San Remigio urged to preserve areas near ‘Capelinha’

CEBU Auxiliary Bishop Ruben Labajo is urging local officials in San Remigio town, northern Cebu to help them preserve areas surrounding a pilgrim site in Barangay Tacup-Lambusan.

Labajo made the call after he found out that the area surrounding the Capelinha de Fatima Cebu in the barangay is not owned by the Archdiocese of Cebu and could be used by landowners to put up their own structures which might obscure the view in the area.

Labajo raised the matter when the Archdiocese called for a press conference on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, to promote awareness of the pilgrimage site through a coffee table book they were selling to the public.

Labajo said it is important to the pilgrims that the holiness and ambiance of the place surrounding the Capelinha are maintained.

A prominent feature of the pilgrim site, Labajo explained, is that the three-hectare lot offers a clear overlooking view of the sea.

However, he worries that the area behind the religious site, which is not owned by the archdiocese, might later be used to erect tall structures that will obscure the view.

San Remigio Vice Mayor Mariano Martinez, who was present during the press conference, assured Labajo that his concern had already been brought up to his fellow town officials.

“Aside from height restrictions (of buildings) in areas overlooking the sea, we also are encouraging same color scheme of houses there. So at least, when people go there, the buildings and roofings are of similar colors,” Martinez said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

He also vowed that the local government unit will support and help in the conservation of the religious site, which has already drawn visitors from all over the country.

The Capelinha de Fatima Cebu is the fourth replica in the world and the first in Asia of the original “Chapel of Apparitions” in Cova de Iria, Fatima, Portugal where the Our Lady of Fatima appeared to Francisco, Lucia and Jacinta every 13th day of the months of May to October 1917. (Jenika Gi-An C. Nero, STC Intern)