The 16-meter-high “Cross in the Sky,” perched atop the 50-meter-high Black Hill at the People’s Integrated Agri-tourism Center here, is now open to local residents.
In an interview on Sunday, Piat tourism officer Benedict Santo Tomas said visitors from other towns and provinces, especially from other regions and Metro Manila where the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis still persists, are not yet allowed for the meantime.
Located near the famed black water lagoon, the giant cross is expected to lure tourists from outside the region once community quarantine restrictions are lifted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The municipal government spent PHP1.5 million for building the giant cross and another PHP3 million for the road network from the ground up to the hill.
Mayor Carmelo Villacete, along with other municipal office heads, led the ceremonial lighting and blessing of the giant cross last Friday, which, the former said, “would serve as a symbol of faith, hope and love of villagers as they battle the pandemic.”
“It (cross) relays a message that we can surpass all problems including the pandemic if we have Jesus as our center of life,” Villacete said.
Meanwhile, the famed Piat Basilica Minore church in this town opened its doors to the Catholic faithful on Monday, with limited seating capacity.
Last month, the church was temporarily closed while some villages were locked down after an organist, as well as two doctors and 11 other health workers, contracted Covid-19. (PNA)