Sitio Calubog is located in Purok 22, Barangay Iba, Cabanglasan. An isolated place near the Pulangi River, it is one of the far-flung areas of the town. People use motorcycles and “gakit” (a river raft made of bamboo) as means of transportation. They are without electricity and have only one source of water from a well. Living and working here is difficult, yet they persist because of farming (primarily corn), their primary source of income. Majority of the people are indigenous or “lumad” (about 90%) who have settled from Umayam, Wao, and Sitio Mainaga.
Some adults have been baptized Catholic but others particularly the young ones have yet to receive the rite. The parishioners from Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe visit Sitio Calubog to share their lives with the residents and help build a Christian community. The population numbers about ninety (90), representing eighteen (18) households with 2-3 families living together. People are hospitable and welcoming to the parish visitors. They have started to conduct sessions on Basic Ecclessial Community (BEC) and wish to build their own chapel with the Virgin of Fatima as their patron saint.
This chapel is located in Sitio Lower Mapulo of Barangay Mapulo where there are 300 households (about 1000 residents), 80% Catholic, 75-80% Dumagat (the rest are lumad and a few Muslims). The community has an active Basic Ecclesiastical Community (BEC) program and members take turns in sponsoring Masses in the community. They contribute generously to the upkeep and renovation of their chapel as evidenced by the continued improvement of the concrete fences and façade.
Because many devotees attend the Masses, it is quite difficult to maintain social distancing. They crowd the small area of the chapel. Thus at times, parishioners or their children have to be sent home to comply with LGU enforced public event restrictions. The chapel requires roof repairs. C-Purlins and angle bars are required to replace rotting wood frames. Many rusted corrugated sheets need to be replaced with more sturdy color-roof shingles.
The St. Peter Chapel has benefited from the generosity and ardent support of the community members. Located in Barangay St. Peter, it serves 500 households (about 2000 residents), 65% Catholic, of mixed lumad and Dumagat ethnicity. mostly the latter. The chapel was once burned to the ground and the parishioners rallied to have it rebuilt. Now that the population has increased over the years and that the present structure could no longer accommodate new parishioners.
A larger, more spacious and sturdier chapel is needed. Over the stretch of two years, the community has raised around P108K solely on the strength of contribution and donation by its members. Covid-19 has affected the livelihood of the community and has halted their on-going construction. They owed a hardware supply store some P50K which they promise to pay as soon as situation normalizes. They have skilled workers whom they pay minimal wage to finish the construction.
Mass attendees to this chapel outnumber the main parish church in Zamboanguita and St. Peter Chapel combined. It is located in Sitio Indalasa (Centro), with 402 households (about 1925 residents), 85% Catholic, of mixed lumad and Dumagat ethnicity. mostly the latter. There are a total of 10 active BEC seldas/panon that take turns sponsoring Masses.
The community has already turned over to the parish P47K to repair the rusting 25-year old roof. Rainfall easily gets inside causing water to accumulate in the altar and entrance areas. Another P50K will be needed for materials and labor. Total project cost is estimated at around P140K. The rest of the money will be sourced out from raffle earnings.
A tiny sitio shed is currently being used as a makeshift venue for masses and catechetical activities in Purok 4A in Sitio Llanga. The structure is quite small. Thus it can accommodate only a few parishioners inside, come rain and harsh sunshine. Eucharistic celebration is inconvenient. Just across from this shed, the Protestant Church has already built a concrete chapel with shingled-roof. It is feared (and rightly so) that if a physical chapel is not built within a few months, this once homogenous Catholic lumad community would be attracted to the newly-built non-Catholic chapel.
The burgeoning lumad community is active and responsive to the programs of the parish, albeit it could not at the moment support a chapel construction on its own. The land (around 200 square meters) adjacent to the sitio shed has been donated to the parish and signed by the lumad leaders of the area. Bamboo, fine sand and gravel are readily available in the area while manpower is not a problem. A mixed bamboo-concrete chapel built in lumad style would be appropriate to this community.
We thank the generous donors and benefactors who supported the construction of the new chapel in Sitio Upper Limao, Cabanglasan; the renovation of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception chapel in Sitio Calapat, Bgy. San Miguel, Talakag; and, the completion of Sagrada Familia chapel in Bgy. Caburacanan, near Zamboanguita.
A Christian community in Sitio Upper Limao, Cananga-an, Cabanglasan, wishes to build a chapel as their place of worship. This community was largely affiliated to a Christian sect, Iglesia sa Dios del Espiritu Santo or locally called Filipinista. Its pastor died a few years ago and left the group without a leader to tend to them. Consequently, many feel the need to belong to a Christian community and wish to be converted to the Catholic Church. They now want to be baptized together with their children and live a Catholic life. About 10 households have recently come to the fold of the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Parish in Cabanglasan and wish to build their chapel in Sitio Upper Limao. The photo shows the BEC president, Junie Sasuman (left) and a donor of the land (right) at the prospective site of the new chapel.
The Upper Limao community members have deliberated to start a small group of Basic Ecclesiastical Community (BEC) through bible sharing sessions, catechism, and other Christian initiation activities. These Catholic households are encouraging their relatives, friends, and neighbors in the sitio to turn to the Church and be Catholic like them. A Catholic family in the group has generously donated a parcel of their land where their chapel can be built. But these people are farmers and people of modest means. An assistance to this thriving new Catholic community will go a long way. Photo shows the community members after mass in the newly built chapel.
The chapel in Sitio Calapat of Bgy. San Miguel (parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Miarayon) needs renovation badly. Weather beaten and damaged by recent earthquakes, it is located near a DENR watchtower, an elevated area frequently buffeted by strong rain and winds. It is made of Hardiflex wall panels on timber frames with thin G.I. sheets as roofing. Decorative steel grilles serve as window coverings. A portion of the altar wall is made of piled-up stones need to be rebuilt.
The chapel is the place of worship for some 80 parishioners mostly of Talaandig ethnicity. The immediate need for the chapel is to have the roofing materials replaced and to build a stronger reinforced wall for the altar area. The parishioners also request an extension of the front roof area to further shelter and protect the chapel from incoming rain. The altar wall needs to be repaired as it has no solid foundation. Its reinforcement was damaged by recent earthquakes and left opening gaps on the wall.
This chapel is part of Our Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All Grace parish and located in Bgy. Caburacanan (300 households,1130 residents; 55% Catholic; Lumad and Dumagat ethnicity). Despite being surrounded by Protestant and Born Again churches, the community is actively involved in the parish. Their deep Catholic faith and strong community spirit are evident in their generosity with their offerings of farm produce. Photo shows the chapel before start of construction work.
The community has around P50K capital money needed to renovate their chapel which can only accommodate 20-30 individuals due to its narrow structure. They have already used their earnings of P78K for the past two years and would need assistance to continue widening their chapel to house an increasing number of members. They also source needed construction materials from their members. This recent photo shows the ongoing construction work which include new roofing over the old structure.