Press Release
December 2, 2005

Historical markers in Las Pinas unveiled

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), led by Chairperson Rene Escalante unveiled the statue of St. Ezekiel Moreno and two historical markers in Molino Dam in Las Pinas and Bacoor City to commemorate the important contributions of the St. Moreno and the Molino dam in Las Pinas and Bacoor Cities colorful history.

"Today's events are very close to the heart of the people of Las Pinas and Bacoor. St. Ezekiel Moreno and the Molino Dam both played important roles in the survival of our forefathers, and continues to play a huge role in the lives of the people of Las Pinas and Bacoor," Senator Villar said.

Molino Dam, once known as the Prinza Dam, was built in the 18th century to help irrigate surrounding rice fields of Las Pinas and Bacoor at the height of a dry spell in 1885. Construction of the dam, which was completed in 1890, helped the farmers survived the drought in the 18th century. It continues to serve the people today as it is the convenient passage route of Bacoor to Las Pinas commuters.

Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno Church is a 700-seater church located in Brgy. Pulanglupa, Las Pinas along the Old Town Las Pinas Historical Corridor. Completed in 2014, the church was contructed in honor of St. Ezekiel, patron saint of cancer patients, who served as the parish priest of Las Piñas from 1876 to 1879."

St. Ezekiel was sent off to Manila as a missionary in 1870 and received and finished his minor orders in Jaro, Iloilo. A year later, he returned to Manila and was sent to his mission in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, where he became proficient in Tagalog. He also served as Military Chaplain to what is now known as Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa City before he was struck by malaria, that forced him to leave the island.

In 1876, he was transferred to Las Piñas and worked for the development of the lives of the people in the area. The town suffered major calamities during his pastorship, but the people remained strong and faithful because of his example. He returned to Spain in 1888 and was sent to Columbia, South America where he became bishop of Pasto, Columbia. In early 1906, he returned to Spain where he died of cancer on August 19, 1906. St. Ezekiel was beatified by Popel Paul VI in 1975 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

"Historical and religious accounts of his pastorship in Las Pinas and Bacoor showed his profound love for the people of Las Pinas and Bacoor and the Filipino people as a whole," Villar said. "The Santuario de San Ezekiel Moreno Church is our small way of honoring St. Ezekiel who guided the people of Las Pinas during difficult times."

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