Eternal Gardens unveils Transfiguration of Jesus, inaugurates San Vicente Ferrer Plaza in Cabuyao City

 

Leading memorial-park developer Eternal Gardens unveiled on June 18, 2019, Tuesday, the image of the Transfiguration of Jesus at its newest branch in barangay Mamatid, Cabuyao City, Laguna.  San Vicente Ferrer Plaza in honor of the patron saint of barangay Mamatid was also blessed along with the Transfiguration image.

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the guest of honor in the event, which was also graced by local government officials, headed by Cabuyao City mayor Rommel A. Gecolea, Vice Mayor Leif Laiglon Opiña, and Barangay Mamatid chairwoman Erlinda Alcasabas.

Former First Gentleman Jose Miguel T. Arroyo and former Camarines Sur Rep. Dato Arroyo was with Speaker Arroyo.

They were welcomed by top company officials of Eternal Gardens, led by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer D. Edgard A. Cabangon.

San Vicente Ferrer Plaza

Eternal Gardens chairman and chief executive officer D. Edgard A. Cabangon (4th from right) shakes hands with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo following the blessing and inauguration of the San Vicente Ferrer Plaza at Eternal Gardens Cabuyao branch yesterday. With them from left: branch manager Alexander Atienza, Eternal Gardens vice chairman Benjamin V. Ramos, Eternal Plans Inc. vice chairman and chief executive officer D. Antoinette C. Cabangon Jacinto, Cabuyao City vice mayor Leif Opiña, former First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo, Gomer Torres, Barangay Mamatid chairwoman Erlinda Alcasabas, Cabuyao City Mayor Rommel Gecolea, and Eternal Gardens president and chief operating officer Numeriano B. Rodrin.

The event started with a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Gomer Torres, parish priest of the Diocesan Shrine & Parish of San Vicente Ferrer, who also officiated the blessing.

The concrete image of the Transfiguration of Jesus at Eternal Gardens Cabuyao is a work of veteran sculptor Conrado Balubayan, while the image of San Vicente Ferrer at the center of the new plaza is a creation of artist Jubail Bautista.

Eternal Gardens Cabuyao is the company’s third branch to open in the Province of Laguna, following its branches in the Cities of Biñan and Santa Rosa, and 11th memorial park nationwide. It broke ground on October 23, 2018.

The other branches of Eternal Gardens are located at Baesa, Caloocan City; and in the cities of Dagupan, Batangas (Balagtas and Concepcion), Lipa, Naga, Cabanatuan, and Cagayan de Oro.

Founded in 1976 by the late Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, Eternal Gardens is part of the Eternal Group together with Eternal Plans, Inc., Eternal Crematory Corporation, and Eternal Chapels and Mortuary.

Eternal Gardens and the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus

Celebrating its 41st anniversary on August 11, Eternal Gardens carries on with its self-appointed task of promoting awareness of and devotion to the Image of the Transfiguration of Jesus.

Today, five days before the anniversary celebration, Eternal Gardens will be offering masses in honor of the feast in several of its branches, namely, the parks in Baesa, Caloocan City; Barangay Balagtas and Concepcion in Batangas City; and the parks in the cities of Dagupan, Naga, Cagayan de Oro and Cabanatuan.

While the celebration in these branches will be simple, the Cabanatuan park will be holding a special program at the Court of the Transfiguration, a newly developed area that is dedicated to the image.

Some branches will be offering masses for the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus in their parishes. These include the parks in Lipa City, Batangas; and in Biñan and Santa Rosa in Laguna.

The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event recorded in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-8; and Luke 9:28-36. According to these accounts, Jesus took the apostles Peter, James, and John with Him up upon a mountain, and while they were on the mountain, Christ was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and His garments became glistening white.

As Christ was transfigured, two others appeared with Him: Moses, representing the Old Testament Law, and Elijah, representing the prophets. Thus Christ, who stood between the two and spoke with them, appeared to the disciples as the fulfillment of both the Law and the prophets.

The church considers the Transfiguration as unique among other miracles that appear in the Gospels as the miracle happens to Jesus Himself. For Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest scholars of the Catholic Church, the Transfiguration is “the greatest miracle” in that it complemented baptism and showed the perfection of life in Heaven.

The faithful believe that the Transfiguration allowed the apostles to behold the shining face of Jesus as a prelude to His resurrection.

In the same way, Eternal Gardens, by embracing the Transfiguration as its corporate symbol, affirms the people’s faith in life eternal where the truth and beauty of God’s love is finally revealed to mortals. By promoting the devotion to the venerated image, it has become an active partner of the church in propagating and strengthening faith in eternal life.

This is the meaning of the company’s corporate slogan of “a glimpse of heaven on a patch of earth.”

The Transfiguration image first rose at its very first park in Baesa, Caloocan City, which officially opened on August 11, 1976. Done by National Artist Napoleon Abueva, the giant figure of Christ in steel and bronze has become a famous landmark in the area where the North Expressway starts.

Dean Abueva would later design and execute the Transfiguration Image in Cabanatuan and Santa Rosa branches.

The iconic statue now also looms over nine other parks located in key areas, with the newest found in the company’s 10th park in Cagayan de Oro City.

Besides Baesa and Cagayan de Oro, other places where the Transfiguration image has become a familiar presence are Dagupan City, the second to open after Caloocan; and the cities of Biñan in Laguna, Lipa, Batangas City with two branches in barangay Balagtas and Concepcion; Naga, Cabanatuan and Santa Rosa Cities.

At the beginning in Baesa, residents were initially resistant to the opening of a memorial park in their midst. But eventually, they were won over when they saw that Eternal Gardens was designed as a park, with tasteful landscaping, and with a masterful work of sculptural art as centerpiece: Dean Abueva’s Transfiguration monument that would become a national landmark.

As Nick Joaquin wrote in his biography of the founder, Antonio L. Cabangon Chua: A Saga of Success: “It was an inspired idea to set up in Eternal Gardens a monument to Christ transfigured—and just as inspired was the choice of the artist to create the monument: sculptor Napoleon ‘Billy’ Abueva, National Artist.

“Abueva did a giant figure of Christ in flowing robes soaring heavenward from a base representing the earth opening up for the resurrection of the body. The metal statue, rising 45 feet high, is in steel and bronze and has now become a familiar presence in that area where the North Expressway starts. The sight of that mighty soaring Christ has caused in people riding by an elevation of the
spirit.”

by Lizzie R. Lazo

 

Eternal Gardens’ symbol of excellence now in Cagayan de Oro City

The sales managers and agents of Greenhills Park pose with VIPs and executives in front of the Transfiguration of Jesus.

Eternal Gardens brings its symbol of excellence to Cagayan de Oro City with the unveiling and blessing of the Image of the Transfiguration of Jesus at Greenhills Park in Barangay Bulua last October 25, 2014.

The celebration started with a thanksgiving mass at the park concelebrated by Msgr. Eutiquiano M. Legitimas, PC, SSJV, parish priest of the Immaculate Conception Parish; and Fr. Stephen A. Olario. The unveiling ceremony and blessing of the image, which was officiated by Msgr. Legitimas, followed shortly.

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Sean Oliver Moreno, son of Cagayan de Oro City mayor Oscar Moreno, graced the occasion to represent his father, who was invited to be the Guest of Honor but could not make it to the event due to a prior commitment. Other local government officials also came including Cagayan de Oro first district councilors Candy Darimbang and Bong Lao; and Bulua Barangay Captain Al Legaspi. The special guests were welcomed by Eternal Gardens chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, president and COO Benjamin V. Ramos, EVP – general manager Numeriano B. Rodrin, vice president for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera, vice president for HRMD Victoria C. Nava, vice president for Finance Marvin C. Timbol, and Greenhills Park officer in charge Liezl Adlaon.

Unveiling of the Dedication Marker

Unveiling of the Dedication Marker

Unveiling of the Transfiguration of Jesus

Unveiling of the Transfiguration of Jesus

In his short message, Moreno welcomed the management of Eternal Gardens to their city and assured them of the local government’s full support. Cabangon, in response, thanked the people of Cagayan de Oro and its local government, especial Barangay Bulua, for accepting Eternal Gardens. “In behalf of my dad, our founder, Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, we assure you that we will develop a first class memorial park and render excellent memorial service to your people,” he said. Meanwhile Lao, in a short interview, said the coming of Eternal Gardens to Cagayan de Oro is a new milestone for the city and a welcome investment. “We are very happy that new investors, such as Eternal Gardens, have confidence in our city,” he said.

Moreno receives a special token of gratitude from Cabangon and Benjamin V. Ramos.

Moreno receives a special token of gratitude from Cabangon and Benjamin V. Ramos.

Greenhills Park, which was established in 1969, joined the Eternal Group this year when its management was formally turned over to sister companies Eternal Plans, Inc. and Eternal Gardens in a simple ceremony led by Eternal Group founder and chairman emeritus Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, Eternal Plans, Inc. CEO D. Antoinette C. Cabangon-Jacinto, and Greenhills Park general manager Danilo P. Olivares. It is now the 10th branch of Eternal Gardens, its first in Mindanao, joining the nine other Eternal Gardens parks that can be found in different parts of Luzon.

The first Transfiguration Image to be rendered in concrete and to rise outside Luzon, this towering work of art at Greenhills Park is a masterpiece of artist Conrado F. Balubayan. It is the first of several religious images that will soon grace the beautiful park, in keeping with Eternal Gardens’ tradition of honouring holy men and women by building plazas dedicated to them.

The towering image is an expression of man’s highest aspirations in search of enlightenment and Eternal Gardens’ trademark and symbol of excellence. It is based on the original design of National Artist Napoleon V. Abueva, who himself crafted the very first Transfiguration statue found at Eternal Gardens Baesa in Caloocan City, as well as those found in the Cabanatuan and Santa Rosa, Laguna branches. The Transfiguration statues at Eternal Gardens’ branches in the cities of Biñan, Dagupan, Lipa, Batanags (in Barangays Balagtas and Concepcion), and Naga, were made by other talented Filipino artists.