Cebu News

Pope to use Cebu-made altar, lectern

Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The altar and lectern that Pope Francis will be using during his visit in Tacloban City are proudly made in Cebu.

Mehitabel Inc., a Cebu-based exporter of high-end wooden furniture, was chosen by the papal visit organizing committee in Manila to produce the altar and lectern that the Pope will use when he celebrates the Holy Mass at the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City on January 17.

Jennifer Lunod, customer service manager of Mehitabel Inc., shared to The FREEMAN that without any word, they immediately agreed to produce the altar and lectern for Pope Francis.

“Right there and then we accepted it. This happens once in a lifetime. It is a privilege for us,” she said.

She added that this is not only an honor for the furniture company but also for the entire Cebu, which is globally renowned as the furniture capital of the country.

“It’s an honor for Cebu nga kita ang nabuhat. Ni-participate gyud ang mga Cebuanos sa pagbisita ni Pope. Sama ra nga niapil gyud ta sa iyang misa,” she said.

After the furniture company agreed to the request, the papal visit organizing committee in Manila sent them the designs on the first week of December. Mehitabel Inc. began the production last December 18 and targets to finish by Monday. The items are already 80 percent complete, she said.

The altar and lectern, both hand-carved, are made of Philippine mahogany. The top and base of the altar are made of fossil stone.

Lunod said that while the design of the altar and lectern are simple, both are manufactured using the finest quality of materials with a high-end finish.

These will be then shipped on Tuesday via truck from their factory in Tac-an Road, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City en route Danao City going to the port in Isabel, Leyte before it finally reaches Tacloban City on the same day.

Lunod said the altar and lectern are free of charge since these will be donated by the furniture company.

“It’s our way of thanking and returning the blessings we received,” she said.

According to Lunod, the total production cost including the shipment is pegged from P250,000 to P300, 000.

After the papal visit, the furniture company will turn over the altar and lectern to local church officials who will then decide if these will be displayed in the museum or be kept in the church.

Lunod said around 80 percent of the company’s workforce worked on the production of the altar and lectern. Mehitabel Inc. is composed of 300 employees.

She added that even the company president, Robert Louis Booth, is personally supervising the production. The execution team of the project is manned by product engineering department head Lennie Fernandez.  (FREEMAN)











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