Limasawa Law

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Republic Act No. 2733, also known as the “Limasawa Law,” is an act declaring the site in Magallanes, Limasawa Island in Leyte—where the First Mass in the Philippines was held—a national shrine.[1] It aims to preserve historical monuments and landmarks in the area.


Limasawa is a 6th class municipality in the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines. On Easter Sunday 31 March 1521, Magellan and fifty of his men came ashore to Limasawa to participate in the first Catholic Mass in the Philippines, converting locals into Christians. Magellan's men also raised a cross on the highest hill on the island, declaring the island and the entire archipelago of the Philippines a possession of Spain and calling it the Islands of St Lazarus.

The site in Magallanes is declared a national shrine to commemorate the birth of Christianity in the Philippines. All its historical monuments and landmarks are declared national historical monuments and landmarks that should be preserved and protected by the Republic Act No. 2733. The bill lapsed into law without Executive approval on 19 June 1960 when President Diosdado Macapagal failed to sign it.[2]

Preservation of the Site

The National Planning Commission is tasked to supervise and control the preservation of the said site and monuments as well as to issue rules and regulations to keep its preserved state. It is also tasked to make annual appropriations for public works and disbursements.

Republic Act No. 11373, on the other hand, declares March 31 of every year a special working holiday in the whole province of Southern Leyte.[3]

External Links

  1. “REPUBLIC ACT No. 2733”.‘’The LAWPHiL Project’’. Accessed on 13 January 2021.
  2. “Republic Act No. 11373”. ‘’Official Gazette’’. Accessed on 13 January 2021.
  3. “Republic Act No. 11373”. ‘’Official Gazette’’. Accessed on 13 January 2021.



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