It remains an ‘academic discussion’ whether or not the “first Mass in the Philippines” took place on Homonhon Island off Eastern Samar province, a government agency said.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines said it has refrained from using the “trivial and debatable phrase” so as not to preempt other claims on the historic Mass, reported CBCP News.

“This not to preempt the possible Christian celebration conducted in the Philippine territory prior to the one in Limasawa, such as this claim in Homonhon,” said NHCP chair Rene Escalante.

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