NOVEMBER 8, 1941 was first established the Diocese of Tagbilaran- now with 58 parishes covering southern Bohol. The other is the Diocese of Talibon.
This Tuesday, the diocese will observe its 75 years as such and a fitting farewell to current Most Rev Bishop Leonardo Medroso who will also turn an uncanny 75 years old. Seventy five years represent the diamond- and a diamond is forever. As Christianity will so prevail in this diocese, one of the 72 in the Philippines under the ecclesiastical province of Cebu.
Though that date predates World War II, Christianity in Bohol is much older than that. On Nov 17, 1595, two Jesuit friars from Cebu came to to convert Bohol landing gears in Baclayon. They were Fathers Gabriel Sanchez and Juan de Torres.
There, through force labor (polio), the natives gathered coral stones from the sea and used egg white to cement the structural gaps to build a big cathedral church. Word has it (From the Traveler on Foot), that this is the reason the pastry “broa” is so popular in the province as they had to make use of the egg left over after the construction- the egg yolk, a “broa” mainstay.
The heritage church which was built like a military fort at the back was named after Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. It was used most effectively as a sentry to spy on marauding Moros from Mindanao -and allowed the residents to go to the Baclayon mountains to escape a massive pillage historically dated October 16, 1600.
The Boholanos have been a welcoming people. Not only did Datu Sikatuna place the red carpet for Admiral Juan Miguel de Legaspi , the Jesuits and the Recollects found a peaceful, obedient flock in Boholanos. So effective had Christianity sank into the consciousness of the folks that Bohol is known to be a province with the most number of Catholic priests and nuns.
The fact that the two major revolts in Bohol ,namely, those of Dagohoy and Tamblot had religious footings exemplify rather than diminish the importance of the Christian fate in the lives of the Boholanos. They took their religion seriously.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, a diocesan seminary, owned by the Tagbilaran diocese had produced about 446 priests and nine bishops to date.This Christian bias has been extended to the successful forays of religious schools by the S. Sp. S. and the SVDs through the (then) College of the Holy Spirit/St Joseph College and the (now) the Holy Name University which has expanded into a modern hospital.
Today, Bohol has about 1.3 million inhabitants, easily 90% of who are Roman Catholics and Christians. The main patron saint of the diocese is St Joseph the Carpenter , thus the city fiesta falls on May 1, Labor Day, a national holiday.
People must not underestimate the importance of St Joseph in our story of redemption. It was his obedience to partner with Mary and diligence as a carpenter to keep the Holy Family together that allowed Jesus to be born and complete his mission into Calvary -and then the Resurrection.
The good people of the 58 parishes (now) have been fortunate to be shepherded by such leaders and guides as bishops starting from 1946 with the Most Rev Julio Rosales (immediately after the war), followed by the Most Reverends Manuel Mascarinas, Juan Nilmar, Onesimo Gordoncillo, Felix Zafra, and Leopoldo Tumulak.
To them all our “Thank You” and Godspeed to Most Rev. Medroso who we will share fond memories.
As to our faith- we are confident -a diamond is forever. SHALOM.
BC PICKS CLINTON 1ST AMERICAN WOMAN PRESIDENT
THE CHRONICLE PICKS Hillary Clinton as the first woman president of the United States by November 8. A century ago, this was unthinkable.
But neither was it probable -a decade ago- that America- torn by years of racism- will ever elect a black American-African descent president. In 2008, America did and reelected Barack Obama in 2012.
The race is close so the Chronicle is taking a risk in venturing this prediction. When it seemed Hillary, wife of former president Bill, was a runaway winner weeks ago – the FBI last week wrote a damaging report to Congress that she may be investigated for improper use of her email as Secretary of State.
Republican’s Donald Trump’s lot rose- but this increase does not necessarily mean momentum.
Real Clear Politics ,this weekend, had Clinton lead Trump 46-42% although this was 45-39% by mid-October. In the 2012 reelection bid Barack on the last weekend was dead heat tied at 47-47% . He was reelected.
Based on the latest “sure” and “leaning” ratios, Clinton had 222 vs. 164 for Trump in electoral votes. The magic winning number appears to be 270 electoral votes. The final swing votes would come from the 127 apparently “undecided” electoral voter representation .
Trump has an edge among men (+11%) and whites (+19) but Clinton has control of women (+13%), blacks (+74) and voters under age 30 (+17). Clinton also has a decided edge among Hispanics and other minorities including Filipinos (4.3 million in America) .
Barack and wife Michele Obama are urging the undecided blacks to join Hillary – the president saying “I trust her” amid the controversies. The Hispanics are lured by pop diva dancer Jennifer Lopez, the younger generation by celebrities like Beyonce and Jay_Z, Katy Perry and the older ones by James Taylor in these last rounds.
The 2016 has been dubbed a “cultural battle” election- and the outcome will be decided by who has the more passionate zeal among the different sectoral voters. Those who have more at stake in this election.
That is why this paper chooses Clinton for that reason.
Even the decidedly Republican Fox News tagged Hillary leading 45-43% coming to this weekend.
By Wednesday- the USA shall have elected its first “Madam President”. Get used to that.
Or are we going to see the biggest upset yet in modern American political history? We doubt that.