Japanese bishop, group conclude Ilocos pilgrimage

LAOAG CITY—A Japanese bishop from Tokyo, Japan has just wrapped up his three-day pilgrimage tour around Ilocos region.

Catholic Bishop Yoshinao Otsuka led a group of 13 Japanese who visited the old and historic churches in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.

Araceli Salem of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Laoag sub-office said Wednesday while in Ilocos Norte, the bishop and his group visited the St. Augustine Church, a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site in Paoay town.

Bishop Otsuka, she added, even presided a mass in the said church.

The province of Ilocos Norte in this northern gateway of Luzon is being considered as a pilgrim destination with the presence of old churches that have shaped the faith and culture of the Ilokanos.

Teo added that the DOT is now starting to make plans for the commemoration of the 500th year anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in Cebu City, where Christianity was first introduced.

She said religious activities are a constant crowd drawer in the different countries across the globe and the Philippines offers great potential in terms of promoting “spiritual tour packages” to around 6.6 million Roman Catholic Church members in Asia alone. PNA-northboundasia.com