The Ides of June

Or it’s the fourth year since they stole San Pascual Baylon. . .

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The last photo of San Pascual Baylon de Guinarona, taken on April 14, 2010 or two months before it went missing. Photo credit: Evelyn Fabian-Ausa.

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Close up of San Pascual Baylon de Guinarona taken in 2009 by Salvacion Juanico-Navora.

San Pascual Baylon de Guinarona Documentary.avi from Benito Maray on Vimeo.

It’s June 2014, and the fourth year since our dear old image of San Pascual Baylon was hijacked, never to be seen again. And who would forget the denouement, the divine justice that was the super typhoon Haiyan that hit Leyte-Samar–the biggest and strongest typhoon to ever hit earth?

From our oral history:

In 1903, in the midst of a cholera epidemic, THE FOUNDERS OF GUINARONA sent Timoteo Daclizon to Manila to procure the image of SAN PASCUAL BAYLON, known far and wide to possess miraculous powers. Residents of Guinarona offered contributions in the form of cash, abaca, palay and coconut for the purchase. Contributions totaled two pesetas, a substantial amount during that time.

Dagami’s Parish Priest, then was Fr. Manuel Pascasio.

After a month-long voyage by sea, the image of SAN PASCUAL BAYLON arrived in Tacloban City. The barrio founders met the image at Dagami after which a procession followed, bringing it to Guinarona.

As oral history would have it, SAN PASCUAL BAYLON’s first miracle was when the cancerous lesions on Pedro Tibe’s foot healed after a handkerchief patted on the image was placed on it. News about the miracle spread like wild fire and pilgrims flocked to Guinarona by the hundreds. Because of their sheer numbers, some pilgrims had to stay overnight in Guinarona. San Pascual’s image was then in the care of Raymundo Casarilla.

Guinarona’s reputation as a pilgrim’s mecca gradually spread in Leyte and Samar, and this contributed in no small measure to the prosperity of the place. Guinarona then had all sorts of businesses mostly owned by Chinese traders.

The image of SAN PASCUAL BAYLON’s accumulated much cash from its devotees such that in no time a church was built, initiated by barrio illustrados such as Francisco Benitez, Alfonso Maray, Fernando Sudario, Esperedion Raquel, Raymundo Casarilla and Basilio Raquel.

The church and convent were completed in time for the second fiesta celebration, Don Alfonso Maray having been voted as the first Hermano Mayor.

On April 30, 1930, a big typhoon hit Leyte, totally destroying the church and the convent. It was so strong that the entire church was blown to a distance of about six meters from the original site. The altar was also destroyed, but the image of SAN PASCUAL BAYLON was well intact as though nailed to the floor. After the disaster, the Parish Priest of Dagami, Fr. Pedro Aruta, enjoined the people of Guinarona to build a temporary chapel for SAN PASCUAL BAYLON’s image.

Upon the initiative of Jose Raquel and Teniente del Barrio Apolonio Bacal, son-in-law of Antonio Justimbaste, the church was built as pilgrims doubled in number.

On November 5, 1971 at 7:00 AM, Guinarona was inaugurated as the Parish of SAN PASCUAL BAYLON during the visit of Msgr. Manuel S. Salvador, Bishop of Palo. The creation of Guinarona as a separate parish came about through the noble efforts of illustrious Guinaronanhon, the late Msgr. Esteban Justimbaste, the Vicar of Carigara Parish. Guinarona’s first parish priest was the ebbulient Fr. Romeo Mazo.

So where do we go from here? Well, we think the following quote is appropriate.10352931_10152290765087819_7507755118801706721_n

And we will not forget about the desecration of our San Pascual. Ever.

3 thoughts on “The Ides of June

  1. nawa gadla an San Pascual Baylon imahe hadto ngahaw na adlaw hn akon ka adlawon…June19….i dnt knw the year.. nangalmot na ako hn paghinulat kada tuig na ma birthday ako…wrai gud hea habalik.. ngan kon mahinunumdom ako ..usa ako hn katapusan na naka pasag ha ia..hadto na tuig bespira han kapatronan nia.. inin subra an ia kabug-at hn guin lulusad namon hea ha altar.. ngan subra an ia pgpakita hn milagro ha akon han pagbalikan namon ha ia tkang han prosesyon tkadto balik ha altar.. nga an ia kabug-at wrai na mgkatunga han subra na ka gaan…

    naghuhulat ako na hea hababalik ha Guinarona…an ia lawas/imahen….Viva Sr.San Pascual Baylon

    • June 18, 2010 an dateline han kawara, nasa ABS-CBN at Inquirer. Maupay kun habalik pa hiya, pero ayon sa patigo, nasa ilalim daw ng dagat ang imahe at lumubog and banca ng nagsakay nito.

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