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Component Parishes

St. Joseph Parish Seņor Sto. Niņo Parish Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish

Barangay San Jose, Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines

The Parish of St. Joseph is one of the component parishes of Miagao. It is based in Barangay San Jose, a northern village nine (9) kilometers from the town. It was declared as a parish in 1932 by Bishop James P. McCloskey of Jaro, Iloilo City. Following its declaration, villages that would be members of the parish and boundary lines that divide the parish with other parishes in Miagao were specified. Including San Jose, St. Joseph Parish is presently composed of thirty three barangays (villages) namely: Agdum, Alimodias, Bariri, Belen, Bolocaue, Cabalaunan, Cadoldolan, Cagbang, Cavite, Frantilla, Igbita, Igpuro-Bariri, La Consolacion, Mabayan, Maduyo, Matalngon, Olango, Ongyod, Onop, Oya-oy, Pudpud, Pungtod Monteclaro, Saring, Taal, Ticdalan, Tiglawa, Tig-amaga, Tigmalapad, Tigmarabo, Toog, Tumagboc and Wayang.

There are no specific data to confirm when San Jose was legitimized as a barangay. There is, however, a surety that the village has entirely transformed itself from its previous disorderly arrangement. Indeed, present day San Jose boasts no significant landmarks of its past. Creeks once traversing within the area were filled up. The fortification of bamboo palisades against the rampant banditry is now non-existent. Houses formerly scattered are now arranged circuitously around the church and plaza. San Jose has one of the highest population in Miagao today.

San Jose is heretofore known as Muro Pangkug. There are two versions on how it derived its name. The first claims that it was an attribution to a certain Father Jose of Miagao town, who initiated lectures on Roman Catholicism in the area. The other version asserts that it was named in honor of St. Joseph who spared the inhabitants from the frequent attacks of Pulahan rebels from Maasin, Iloilo. A popular story narrates that once, bandits attempted to rob the barangay. Their attempt, however, was quelled by a tall man clad in green vestments and holding a child and a staff on both arms. The man was known to be St. Joseph.

The history of the church of St. Joseph Parish is marked by a process of construction and reconstruction. In 1895, the inhabitants of San Jose built a temporary capella (chapel). It was constructed under the leadership of Padre Crispino Hinolan. Joaquin Taskog was then the teniente del barrio (barangay captain). The construction was completed in 1898. The capella became the venue of the weekly Sunday masses and the catechism conducted by the aforementioned Father Jose.

The first priest of St. Joseph was Father Jose Ariete (1932-1938). Since the capella had no convent, he stayed at a certain Montiague family of the same barangay. His most significant achievement was the establishment of the parish cemetery located in an area of land called Iboy. The lot was donated by the same Montiague family. Father Ariete was succeeded by Father Maximo Montealto (1938-1940).

On the eve of World War II, during the term of Father Valente Alegro (1940-1942), the church was intentionally destroyed by the residents of the barangay for fear that it will become the garrison of Japanese forces. After the war though, another provisional church was constructed. Unfortunately, it was leveled to the ground by the 1948 earthquake. Another church was immediately constructed using palm leaves, bamboos and other light materials. The construction was under the supervisions of Father Sebastian Paguntalan (1948-952). Sometime during his term, Father Mauro Flortides (1952-1960), who served after Father Paguntalan, spearheaded the erection of a concrete church. The construction began with the convent made of timber. On the other hand, Father Antonio Holipaz (1960-1962) supplemented the galvanized iron roofing, while Father Restituto Serdenna (1962-1963) worked the walls and altar.

Lack of an adequate financial resources and the variably brief pastoral terms of parish priests in a way impeded the prompt completion of the church construction. The problem was overcome when Father Severino Montiague (1963-1970), a native of San Jose, became the parish priest. Through an extensive network of his relatives, friends and acquaintances, the church was finally completed. He also encouraged villages within the parish to celebrate Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) and barangay fiestas. Flores de Mayo is a series of daily rosary held usually in barangay chapels throughout the month of May. Together with this is the offering of fresh flowers to honor Virgin Mary as the Queen of heaven and earth. Barangay fiestas, on the other hand are colorful celebrations done in honor of the respective patron saints of each barangay.

These religious activities were upheld by Father Elpidio Fruto (1971-1980) who succeeded Father Montiague. He encouraged them to join the cursillo, a kind of religious seminar held in the City of Iloilo, to deepen the attachment of the parishioners to God. He also encouraged the establishment of barangay chapels, especially in the villages where none of such structure exists. The cursillo was later on superceded by the samaria, an activity of common nature with cursillo. Sometime later, this was again superceded by the Christian Community Seminary (CCS). Through these activities, parishioners were able to interact with other people, especially those from outside the parish, thus widening their horizons.

Father Fruto was succeeded by Father Justiniano Hingco (1980-1982). During his two-year service, he encouraged villages not celebrating patronal fiestas to celebrate one. He also maintained and continued the undertaking of religious activities initiated by Father Montiague and Father Fruto. He was temporarily succeeded by Father Ramon Baron from August to November 1982. After the temporary stay of Father Baron, Father Celestino Sagra (1982-1986) became the parish priest. It was during his term that Redemptorist Lay Missionaries arrived in the parish. These missionaries conducted seminars and lectures to a number of villages and likewise taught Christian songs. Through their help, a plan for a new church - larger and more stable that can withstand natural calamities such as earthquakes - was conceived. Father Sagra, enthusiastic with the plan for a new church, made a proposal seeking financial aid named Missio-Germany. Unfortunately, the amount budgeted for the construction was not readily tapped and Father Sagra did not see his efforts materialized.

Due to reshuffling, Father Ricardo Vendabal (1986-1989) commenced the construction of the church based on the plan conceived by Father Sagra and the missionaries. He followed-up the Missio-Germany proposal of Father Sagra to acquire a certain sum for expenses in the course of the construction. This amount was supplemented by solicited cash from well-to-do families of the parish and those families who have relatives working abroad. However, despite the all-out effect to seek financial help, funds were still inadequate. Obviously, because of the magnitude of the project, this caused subsequent delays in construction schedules. Thus, as with Father Sagra, Father Vendabal did not see the fruits of his endeavor.

When Father Vendabal ended his pastoral term, he was succeeded by Father Henriette Losaria (1990 to the present). Like his predecessors, he executed the same untiring effort so that a larger and more stable church be completely erected. He continued to solicit money from parishioners and to all those who have generous spirits just to generate construction expenses.

Presently, the fruit of all these efforts is now standing within the center of Barangay San Jose. It is not totally completed though, for it still needs some finishing touches. Incessant fund raising activities are still conducted to generate more funds. The credit for its initial success, however should be attributed to all parishioners of St. Joseph who, since the start of the construction professed continued support.

Barangay Igbugo, Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines

Due to the increasing number of the faithful of the Parish of St. Thomas of Villanova in Miagao, and the fact that the distance of component barangays are too far from the town proper, former parish priest Msgr. Fernando Javillo planned for the establishment of a new parish in the western portion of the town. The proposed site was Barangay San Fernando but further studies led to the conclusion that it was better to put-up the new parish at Barangay Igbugo.

At his juncture, acts of generosity characterized the succeeding events: Eustaquio Nualla donated 1.7 hectares of land for the church site; Jesus and Cresencio Nievales donated 2 hectares for the cemetary and the Faling family gave the "right of way" going to the church.

On December 1983, 26 barangays passed a resolution requesting Msgr. Artemio Casas, then Archbishop of Jaro, to give due notice to the plan of parishood. Attached was the deed of donation of the two parcels of land. Unfortunately, on February 1984, Msgr. Javillo died without seeing his plan materialized. He was succeeded by Msgr. Enrique Perez who continued the unfinished task.

On August 29, 1984, the foundation of the convent was laid through the effort of Msgr. Alberto J. Piamonte, the Assistant Bishop of Jaro, who for the first time visited the place. Among the notable tasks that were undertaken to raise funds for the construction of the church: the sending of solicitation letter to patrons and benefactors, raffle draws, the "One Million Signatures", the Search for the King and Queen of the Parish and the Niņo-Niņa contests. The newly elected officials of the Interim Pastoral Council on June 2, 1984 were: Patricio Fio - President, Gloria Moleta - Secretary, Azucena Sarte - Treasurer, Alberto Factes - Auditor and Wilfredo Nualla - Business Manager.

On January 11, 1985, Msgr. Artemio Casas signed the decree creating Igbugo Parish under the grace and honor of Seņor Sto. Niņo. Four days later, during the barangay fiesta of Barangay Igbugo, a historic event happened. Msgr. Alberto Piamonte proclaimed the parishood of Igbugo. Since the parish was still young, Pius XII Institute brought its 13 graduating students to help in the spiritual needs of the parish. In April 1985, a celebration was held in connection with the blessings of the newly-constructed convent and cemetery, which was attended by the sponsors, guests and parishioners. On January 14, 1986, the first sacrament of confirmation was held with Archbishop Piamonte officiating. The celebration of the first parish fiesta was held the next day.

In a span of two years, the liturgy was held regularly in the chapel of Barangay Igbugo. The organization of leaders, catechists, youth and parishioners were conducted through seminars, retreats, recollections, meetings and others. With these busy activities, the need for a meeting place became a necessity. This prompted the parish priest to initiate the construction of a seminar house. Through the kind efforts of the parishioners, the seminar house was finished and blessed on January 15, 1987.

In August 1990, the construction of the church was started and the fund raising campaign became intense. On June 15, 1994, Fr. Jose Alberto Guillen replaced Father Gonzales as parish priest. He started organizing the lay ministers and altar knights. On October 1 to 2, 1994, the orientation seminar of the Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) was held.

On July 22-23, 1995, the most significant event in the parish was held - the Pastoral Congress under the program of PCP II. In that event, the structure of the parish composed of three councils was founded. They are the Parish Pastoral Council; Parish Apostolic Council with four ministries - Worship, Education, Service and Youth; and the Parish Finance Council. The members of the three councils spearheaded the determination of the mission-vision of the parish and its Christian community.

In June 27, 1996, Most Reverend Msgr. Alberto Piamonte, Archbishop of Jaro, made a pastoral visit and celebrated mass attended by the parishioners, together with their respective barangay councils and pastoral councils. Despite the bad weather, the pastoral visit was well attended. An open forum was conducted after the mass whereby the Archbishop answered questions regarding the Catholic faith, the sacraments, etc. In the afternoon, the Archbishop visited Center II in Barangay San Fernando, Center III in Barangay Igdulaca and Center IV in Barangay Naclub.

On December 31, 1996, a mass wedding was held as a Christmas gift to the unwed couples. The parish councils meanwhile conducted a daigon in different centers to raise funds to construct a concrete road going to the church. The fund-raising was complimented by a search for the King and Queen of the Parish '97 which earned a substantial amount to be used for the project. Jean Suansing and Reymor Facto were chosen as such.

The Parish Council and the officers and members of the different Catholic organizations of the parish have still many plans to implement. Among which is to finish the construction of the parish church and the development of Christian community as well.

The Parish of Seņor Sto. Niņo is located at Barangay Igbugo, nine kilometers from the town proper. The parish is composed of 26 barangays, namely: Awang, Bacolod, Buenavista Sur, Buenavista Norte, Cabangcalan, Cabunotan, Cawayanan, Dalije, Fundacion, Igbugo, Igcabidio, Igcabitoon, Igcatambor, Igdalaquit, Igdulaca, Igsoligue, Ilog-Ilog, Lacadon, Naclub, Narorogan, Nam-o Norte, Nam- Sur, Potrido, San Fernando, Tig-apog-apog and Tigbagacay.

Barangay Cubay, Miagao, Iloilo, Philippines

In September 1984, fourteen barangays namely: Barangay Aguiauan, Banbanan, Cubay, Baraclayan, Bugtong Lumangan, Cubay Ubos, Dawog, Diday, Indag-an, Tan-agan, Maricolcol, Sibucao, Banga and Tambong were assigned to the Parish Center Area III by the Parish of St. Thomas of Villanova, Miag-ao, Iloilo. The selection of the Parish Center Area III officers was held and Rodolfo Nojalda was elected President.

With a plan to construct a parish church, Retired Superintendent of Schools Joaquin D. Tesoro Sr. spearheaded the fund raising campaign locally and abroad. Through the generosities of the Tajanlangit and Libo-on families and through the help of Judith Nobleza, lots were acquired by the Parish Center. The parish church situated in Barangay Cubay was started. The construction then was under the supervision of the Miag-ao parish priest Msgr. Enrique Perez with Rev. Fr. Agapito Losaria as assistant. Basically, these succeeding events fashioned the birth of the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish.

To increase the spiritual fervor and awarenesss of the people, a Bible sharing activity was initiated in different barangays every Sunday. Particularly, a three-day Bible seminar for the parishioners was conducted by Rev. Fr. Tibudan and Sister Nora Nogra with more than one hundred participants at the residence of Ret. Supt. Joaquin D. Tesoro at Barangay Tan-agan, Miag-ao.

Barangay Cubay, the site of the new parish center, chose Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal as their Patron Saint. The original statuette of Our Lady which was given by a parish priest before World War II to Cristina Natan on her request, was repaired and enshrined on the altar.

In 1986 the Parish Center Area III initiated the Youth Summer Sports Festival which was participated in by all the barangays of the parish. The following year, Msgr. Enrique Perez was transferred to La Paz in Iloilo City. He was replaced by Msgr. Claudio Sale and his assistant was Rev. Fr. Elmer Tababa. Through the guidance of these two newly assigned priests, the parish in that year took an active part in the repair of "Bactisa" irrigation system. The second election of the Parish Center Area III Officers was held in 1988 and Simeon Fermindoza was elected president. The exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in every barangay chapel was also held as well as the massive campaign for the Family Rosary during the Lenten season. Also in that year, the Legion of Mary of Iloilo City has their apostolate in the seven barangays of the center.

In 1989, the construction of the church was given a thorough emphasis. Proceeds from the raffles and search for Reina Elena were used to finance the enclosure of the windows and doors with iron grills and the marble floorings of the altar. Through the generous family of Sis Asunsion Madrid, D.C., the "Retablo" which is made of Mactan stones was constructed. The United Cubaynon Movement in Manila likewise extended some financial assistance for the on-going projects. Free services in the supervision of the construction was offered by Architect Ramon Molejona. The assistant priests of the Miag-ao parish at the time were Rev. Fr. Manuel Gonzales and Rev. Fr. Jesus Ordize Siva, who also shared their valuable time with the new parish during its early period.

In 1990, Dominador Faicol was elected the third president of the Parish Center Area III. Through the initiative of the barangay youth leaders, the Youth Ministry was born. The solicitation campaign was continued to raise funds for various projects. The heirs of the late Feliciano Fantillo and the Mueda family donated additional lots. During that year, the first announcement that the Parish Center Area III will be installed as a Parish was made. The succeeding events held sway for the information campaign for the creation of a new parish in every barangay concerned. The assistant parish priests then were Rev. Fr. Noel Gomez and Rev. Fr. Jose Guillen.

The year 1991 was the most significant in the history of the Parish. It all started with the building of the temporary convent and the construction of the church ceiling adjacent to the altar (the latter was donated by the United Cubaynon Movement). The Life in the Spirit Seminar was conducted by the elders of the Iloilo Charismatic Renewal Group. The resolution of support for the new parish by all barangays concerned was approved and the organization of all working committees for the creation of the parish was prepared.

November 27, 1991 was a historic date for the parishioners for it landmarked the creation of the Cubay Parish or the Parish of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. Archbishop Alberto J. Piamonte installed Rev. Fr. Francisco Gabriel as the first parish priest. After that, the parishioners worked hand in hand in suport of the new Parish. The United Cubaynon Movement donated a pair of loud speakers and necessary images for the Lenten season were acquired through donations. The Youth Ministry spearheaded the carollings and the proceeds of which were used to acquire a sound system. In 1992, the sacristy and the parish social hall was built. The deep well was also constructed and Mr. and Mrs. Vicente Javelosa donated the tabernacle "pallo" and other altar linens.

In 1993, a parcel of land for the parish cemetery was acquired. A water generator was obtained and a water tank was erected. Another project initiated by the Parish was the Alay Palay which has already become a tradition until the present.

In 1994, the Parish acquired a church bell costing Php28,000.00 from a donation of Gem Famatid and family. A fund raising campaign in the States was also made through the initiatives of Mr. & Mrs. Richard Bole (nee Sofia Espada) There was also a barter of lot owned by Felipe Nieves for a piece of land owned by the parish convent. The three parish councils were created after the re-organization of the parish structure. A ground breaking ceremony signifying the start of the construction of the permanent parish convent was made. The Parish also hosted several group meetings such as: the Jaro Assistant Parish Priests Association, the Vicariate of St. Thomas de Villanova Parish Priests and the Eucharistic Lay Ministers of Southern Iloilo. Since then, a series of fund-raising campaign was instituted by the parish priest himself, Fr. Francisco Gabriel. The proceeds were used in different projects and one of which is the on-going construction of the convent.

[see also Architectural Designs and Motifs of Miagao Church]
[see also Present Structure of the Miagao Church]

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