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Priest wants Barasoain Church depicted in RP money as before

By Carmela Reyes
Inquirer
Last updated 10:08pm (Mla time) 10/16/2007

CITY OF MALOLOS, Philippines -- In a bid to remind Filipinos of the role the Barasoain Church played in shaping the country's history, a local parish priest and some of his parishioners are urging the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to restore the church's image to in any Philippine peso bill.

Monsignor Angel Santiago, parish priest of Barasoain Church here, launched a signature campaign to drum up support for their appeal to bring back the image of the church to a Philippine bill.

"The people are starting to lose a sense of nationalism and history and a nation's currency system ought to help bring them back," Santiago said.

The church, where the revolutionary congress convened and where the first Philippine Constitution was drafted in 1898, was depicted in the old P10 bill. However, the bill has been replaced by a P10 coin and only a few old bills have remained in circulation.

Santiago said they would be happy even if the BSP would include the church's image in any of the paper bills in circulation.

"Kahit isama lang sa P100 bill o sa iba pang bills (They can include it in the P100 bill or in any other bill)," he said.

He said he has gathered at least 6,000 signatures from his parishioners, tourists and some residents since he launched the campaign last month.

He placed an open letter and a signature sheet at the church's entrance so churchgoers would be informed about the campaign.

Santiago, a native of Hagonoy town, said the events that transpired inside the Barasoain Church led to the birth of the Philippine Republic.

"It would be such a waste that Filipinos, especially the youth, would not get the chance to see the image of this historical church. We should join hands in this campaign to restore the image of Barasoain Church in our currency because it holds one of the most important events in our history," he said.

Santiago said he has asked the approval of Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros to bring the signature campaign to other parishes in the province.



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