Do you know that the first mass in the Luzon Island was held in Magallanes, Sorsogon?
In 1569, at the present-day sitio of San Isidro (formerly Ibalon, or Gibalon) of Ginangra River, Fray Alonso Jimenez held the first mass in Luzon baptizing the natives and making the area as the first Christian settlement in Luzon.
The holding of the first mass in Ibalon (Gibalon) in Luzon in 1569 is evidenced by the records of the San Agustin Museum in Cebu and Manila which stated that he (Fray Jimenez) went to Ibalon in the province of Camarines (the name of the Bicol Region at that time) where he resided for sometime, baptized a lot of indios and principales and built a small chapel. The said records were written in Spanish, a portion of which reads as follows: “xxx aqui paso a Ibalon, de la provincia de Camarines, donde residio algun tiempo, bautizo a muchos indios y principales, levanto una pequeña iglesias xxx”.
To commemorate the 450th anniversary of the First Catholic Mass, Gabrielle Caccia, Papal Nuncio to the Apostolic of the Philippines, led the celebration in Barangay Siuton, Magallanes town.
The Gibalon Shrine dedicated in memory of the first Mass was also rehabilitated and re-opened. The Shrine was designed just like the galleon used by the Spanish missionary group led by Fray Alonso Jimenez
Most Rev. Gabrielle Caccia (5th from right), Papal Nuncio to the Apostolic of the Philippines, led the 450th-anniversary celebration of the first Catholic mass in Luzon in Magallanes town, Sorsogon. Sorsogon Governor and former senator Chiz Escudero (5th from left) also attended the event.