CITING his role as the first missionary priest in the city, Puerto Princesa Bishop Socrates Mesiona is appealing to the City Government to rename the street near the Immaculate Conception Cathedral after St. Ezekiel Moreno.

In a two-page letter addressed to Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron and the city council, Mesiona asked the local government to help honor the historical contributions of their first missionary priest and chaplain of the Iwahig Penal Colony.

“It would be great and reflective of the history of Puerto Princesa to name the street abounding Rizal Eulalia Park and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in his name as the first missionary priest of Puerto Princesa, who not only treaded along these roads, but helped clear the area to build the first church in the city in order to celebrate the first Eucharistic celebration,” said Mesiona.

“We are requesting the City Government to enact an ordinance renaming Taft Street to St. Ezekiel Moreno Street to honor this great saint,” he furthered.

According to the prelate, Moreno landed in Puerto Princesa in March 4, 1872 on board the frigate “Marques de la Victoria.”

At the young age of 23, the Recollect Missionary took the challenge of heading the mission to plant Christianity, alongside the Spanish flag, in Palawan.

On March 10, 1872, Moreno celebrated the first Holy Mass in Puerto Princesa soil.

Aside from being the first missionary, Moreno also served as the Chaplain of the Iwahig Penal Colony.

His stay in Puerto Princesa City, however, was cut short as he had to leave on January 10, 1873 after he was afflicted with malaria.

Moreno was canonized as saint last October 11, 1992 by then Pope John Paul II. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)