Message of Bishop Crispin Varquez, DD during the turnover ceremony of Balangiga Bells
Bishop Crispin Varquez, DD. Photo by Roy Lagarde
Turnover of Balangiga Bells
December 15, 2018
Balangiga, Eastern Samar
President RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Republic of the Philippines;
Secretary DELFIN LORENZANA, National Defense of the Philippines;
Ambassador SUNG KIM, United States of America;
Acting Governor, Marcelo Ferdinand Picardo, Province of Eastern Samar;
Mayor RANDY GRAZA, Balangiga, Eastern Samar
To the Philippine government that have been working for the return of these Bells for several decades now, MARAMING SALAMAT.
To the American People, represented here by Ambassador Sung Kim, THANK YOU SO MUCH. May I offer a profound sentiment of gratitude to the US Veterans who stood gallantly, both in war and in peace, to uphold the heroism and courage of their comrades.
To the many individuals and groups who have persistently worked, lobbied and prayed for the eventual return of these bells, I bow to you in sincere appreciation and thankfulness.
Please be assured that we will return the bells to their original purpose—and care and cherish them as a precious legacy of the profound faith, heroism and courage of our forebears.
Rightly used, the bells call us to pray and worship our God. Prayer and worship express and deepen our faith, hope and charity. We ring the bells before and during our highest act of prayer and worship—the Holy Eucharist. We ring the bells to signal community acts and to alarm the same community of impending emergencies. In a word, the bells bridge us to God and to one another. The bells are an integral part and parcel of our daily life in the community.
These have symbolized your courage, heroism, love for freedom and democracy.
We owe it to our forebears that we must continue to work together more strongly and more committedly that these bells will help bolster our faith, our history, our dignity and our socio-economic development.
Today, we courageously express our commitment that we will do all we can, under the patronage and intercession of our Patron, St. Lawrence, the deacon and martyr, to protect and secure that these bells will never be separated from you again. They will remain in this Church.
BALANGIGA, never again will these bells be taken away from you!