As you may know, 2014 is the centennial anniversary year of Iglesia ni Cristo or INC, the largest religious denomination founded in the Philippines and one of the most politically influential groups in the country. Today, May 10, is the 128th birthday of the founder of Iglesia ni Cristo, Ka Felix Manalo, and I’m featuring the place where he was born, currently designated as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Ka Felix Manalo was born in Barrio Calzada, Tipas, in the town of Taguig, Rizal. The site of Ka Felix Manalo’s birth is now a small park/plaza commemorating his birth but the site was where his family’s ancestral house used to stand. On January 6, 1986, the NHCP (then called the National Historical Institute [NHI]), issued Resolution No. 1, Series of 1986 declaring the site as a National Historical Landmark. However, it was only on July 27, 2007 (the 93rd anniversary of the founding of INC) that the NHI installed the historical marker shown to the right that provides a short biography of Ka Felix. The marker reads (translated from Tagalog):
Place of Birth of Felix Y. Manalo
Here in Bo. Calsada, Tipas, Rizal was Felix Y. Manalo born on 10 May 1886. Founder and first overall administrator of the congregation of the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines. The Iglesia ni Cristo was first proclaimed in Punta, Sta. Ana, Manila and it was officially registered as a religious association on 27 July 1914. In 1939, published the magazine Pasugo that contains the doctrines of the Iglesia ni Cristo based on the Bible. Established many Iglesia ni Cristo temples in various places in the Philippines and worldwide. Died 12 April 1963. His place of birth was proclaimed a National Historical Landmark in January 1986.
Interestingly, the park/plaza figured in a legal dispute with the owners of the land who did not appreciate the NHI’s declaration of their property as a historical landmark. If you’re interested, you can read the Supreme Court decision dismissing the petition of the owners against the decision of the Court of Appeals that itself dismissed a petition of the owners against the decision of the Regional Trial Court saying that the NHI declaration was not illegal. If that sounds confusing, simply put, the owners lost their case and thus the NHI appropriated the site to be a historical landmark for public use.
Wikimedia Commons has more photographs of the site if you want to see more.