After 42 years, the remains of the Grand Old Lady of the Katipunan, Melchora Aquino, more popularly known as Tandang Sora, will be finally home.
Mayor Herbert Bautista has announced that on the eve of the celebration of her bicentennial year on January 6 next year, Tandang Sora’s remains will be officially transferred to the Tandang Sora shrine at Banlat Road. The Mayor said Himlayang Pilipino has finally acceded to the request of the Quezon City government and the family of Tandang Sora to have the heroine’s remains exhumed for permanent burial in her birthplace.
Once exhumed, Tandang Sora’s remains will be placed in a flag-draped casket that will be carried by a horse-drawn carriage during a funeral procession from the Himlayang Pilipino to Quezon City Hall.
Military and police personnel will provide escort assistance during the funeral procession.
At QC Hall, there will be a funeral ceremony where people will have the opportunity to offer their final respects to Tandang Sora, who has been recognized for her exceptional heroic contributions in the struggle for Philippine Independence and Liberation despite her advanced age.
City hall officials will be joined by descendants of Tandang Sora, especially officers and members of the “Mga Apo ni Melchora (Tandang Sora) Aquino Association Inc., in welcoming the heroine’s remains.
An overnight vigil will also be held at QC Hall hosted by the cultural and tourism affairs office, office for senior citizens affairs, scholarship and youth development program, general services department and the Liga ng mga Barangay.
On January 6, the 200th birthday of Tandang Sora, a memorial mass in honor of heroine will be held at the QC Hall before her remains will be finally transferred to the Tandang Sora shrine for re-interment.
Tandang Sora’s remains will also be carried by a horse-drawn carriage during a funeral procession, this time, from QC Hall to the Tandang Sora shrine.
Vice Mayor and Task Force Tandang Sora chairperson Joy Belmonte has designated senior adviser to the Mayor, Dr. Manuel Alba, to handle the negotiation for the transfer of the remains of Tandang Sora from Himlayang Pilipino to the Tandang Sora shrine at Banlat Road.
“We express our appreciation to Himlayang Pilipino. This is a genuine act of graciousness,” Alba said.
The year 2012 has been declared as Tandang Sora Year by the QC government through Ordinance No. SP-2092, S-2011.
On orders of the Mayor, a task force was formed to oversee the development of historical and economic activities in the area, especially the expansion of the Tandang Sora Shrine, which was restored by the city government in 2005 as a fitting tribute to Tandang Sora.
Development plans include the establishment of a museum dedicated to preserve the ideals and good deeds of Tandang Sora, particularly her quest for women empowerment.
The Mayor is eyeing the purchase of properties located beside and behind the shrine for the proposed construction of the Tandang Sora museum.
According to the mayor, part of the expansion program for the shrine will also include the clearing of sidewalks along the Tandang Sora area which include the removal of all illegal structures. The Mayor has already instructed concerned city government officials to conduct a series of dialogues with establishment owners in the area on the city’s plan to recover the sidewalks along Tandang Sora leading to Visayas Avenue. Precy/ Ramir/ Maureen Quinones, PAISO