Hiyas sa Dalaguete Awardees, (The Dalaguete Hall of Fame)
Venerable Matriarch, Multi-termed LGU Executive
Vice Mayor Conrada "Dading" Almagro is the only living recipient who is 84 years old and has been popularly known as Manang Dading to all and the living Matriarch of the Dalaguitnons. She has devoted almost all of her life in public and community service and has been known of her philanthropy and charities – the latest is a more than four hectare of prime lands for the socialized housing of the municipality. She also donated the land of the Parish Church of Mantalongon, Dalaguete. According to the President of Dalaguete’s Federation of Senior Citizens, Mr. Invicto Alcantara, Manang Dading is a true model of a religious lay woman who practices a very simple lifestyle in both her public and private life, despite the stature of her position and her economic affluence. The people of Dalaguete are quite lucky for having Manang Dading who in her younger years has always wanted to be a contemplative nun.
Ildefonso Quilala Alcantara
Specialist Obstetrician, Poet, Writer (in Spanish)
Dr. Alcantara was a migrant to Dalaguete who has served as the Government Physician from 1938 to 1955, lived and served Dalaguete for almost four decades until his demise at the age of 87 last 1976, a model father whose children are now successful in their undertakings while most of them are serving Dalaguete; established with his daughter, Dr. Ensoñacion Alcantara, the Alcantara Clinic converted later to Dr. Ildefonso Alcantara Memorial Hospital.
Don Crispin and Doña Paula Almagro
They were recognized leaders and philanthropists of Dalaguete, model parents whose children have all been successful in their lives who have mostly served Dalaguete, known for their charities and concern to the Dalaguitnons, the donors of the land used as the site for the Dalaguete National High School.
Guillermo Sandalo Legaspi
Statesman, Guerilla Fighter
Manong Memong was the first Dalaguitnon to be elected Member of the Cebu Provincial Board 1971-76, Mayor of Dalaguete for 3 Terms from 1960-69. Responsible for the construction of the Dalaguete Provincial High School, now the Dalaguete National High School and several Infra-structures in Dalaguete, a statesman, a guerilla fighter and a hero.
Eriberto “Berting Buta” Montenegro
Blind Guitarist, Composer
Berting Buta – the blind composer and guitarist of Dalaguete. One of his nationally known compositions “Lagkaw” is a recipient of National Awards. The story goes that “love-struck” swains never failed to cajole Berting Buta into joining them when serenading their beloved.
Manuel Sandalo Salvador
Archbishop of Cebu, Dalaguete’s Pride
Msgr. Maning was the first Dalaguitnon who has reached this position and honor in the Catholic Hierarchy, has served the Church in a number of key positions; instrumental in establishing the Cardinal Julio Rosales Memorial Hospital in Dalaguete.
Ruperto “Padre Pintong” Sarmiento
Dalaguete’s First Filipino Parish Priest
The First Filipino Parish Priest in Dalaguete who served for a successive 49 years, established the Annunciation Academy and opened the Poblacion-Mantalongon Road; responsible in establishing various historical landmarks and infra-structures which Dalaguete still enjoys and/or appreciates today, i.e. Sta. Cruz, etc.
Amando N. Osorio
Former Mayor, Writer, Poet
The former Mayor of Dalaguete who has placed Dalaguete in fame in the field of Cebuano Literature with his skill and talent in writing. He has written plays, zarzuela, novels and balak using his pen name, Gerundio Amar.
Public servant, educator, journalist, author, Urbano Osorio was responsible for Cebuano publication, Ang Lungsoranon from 1963-1971. He served the Japanese Government to protect his fellow Dalaguitnons within the enemy camp.
Inocentes “Inus” B. Vergara
He was popularly known as the Musical Genius from Dalaguete who performed with signature artists and musical groups in the Philippines and abroad. He was the musical arranger for the renowned Pilita Corrales and was the musical director of Matt Monroe when he performed in a concert at the Cebu Coliseum.
Parish Priests of St. William Church (1798-present)
Parish Priests of St. William Church (1798-present)
|Rev. Fr. Manuel Cordero||1798-1799||Rev. Fr. Urbano Alvarez||1889-1895|
|Rev. Fr. Domingo Hemojal||1799-1802||Rev. Fr. Mateo Diez||1895-1898|
|Rev. Fr. Juan Chacel||1802-1816||Rev. Fr. Ruperto Sarmiento||1898-1947|
|Rev. Fr. Juan Crysostomo||1816-1818||Rev. Fr. Zacarias Suñer||1947-1948|
|Rev. Fr. Juan Chacel||1818-1825||Rev. Fr. Esteban Montecillo||1948-1952|
|Rev. Fr. Julian Bermejo||1825-1829||Rev. Fr. Pedro Montibon||1952-1953|
|Rev. Fr. Bernando Giganto||1829-1833||Rev. Fr. Jose Alojipan||1953-1958|
|Rev. Fr. Lucas de Soledad||1833-1834||Rev. Fr. Demetrio Gonzales||1958-1966|
|Rev. Fr. Manuel Galllo||1834-1837||Rev. Fr. Roman Jamili||1966-1976|
|Rev. Fr. Pedro Hernandez||1837-1839||Rev. Fr. Tomas Villamor||1976-1981|
|Rev. Fr. Juan Alonzo||1839-1860||Rev. Fr. Cayetano Gelbolingo||1981-1988|
|Rev. Fr. Leon Mendoza||1860-1861||Rev. Fr. Vicente Dayao||1988-1994|
|Rev. Fr. Juan Alonzo||1861-1868||Rev. Fr. Antonio Quintana||1994-2001|
|Rev. Fr. Mariano Braza||1868-1869||Rev. Fr. Maximino Villamor||2001-2008|
|Rev. Fr. Mateo Diez||1869-1889||Msgr. Phil Tumulak||2008-present|
The Warrior Priest Called Padre Capitan
The Warrior Priest Called Padre Capitan
The strategic location and presumably economic importance of the island of Cebu made it a natural target of frequent harassment by the Muslim raiders, usually from June to October of every year during the southwest monsoon (locally known as the habagat). Fray Julian Bermejo, (born in Pardillo, Ciudad Real, Spain in 1777), was only 25 years old when he took possession of the parish in the neighboring town of Boljoon in October, 1802. Having found the futility of building a church only to be destroyed by the raiders, he conceptualized a military plan that would eventually involve the building of church-fortresses in the southeastern part of Cebu, (foremost of which are the quadrumvirate church-fortresses of Argao, Dalaguete, Boljoon and Oslob, all of which he was the parish priest at one time or another), to be linked by a string of watchtowers designed to work like the relay torch towers of the Lord of the Rings saga. These watchtowers were manned by appointed native sentries, who, upon sighting the dreaded raiders at the horizon, signalled the next station with the blowing of a horn or burning of a torch (followed by flag signals should the attack happened during daytime), triggering an alarm system for the local fighters to arm themselves and defend the area at pre-determined spots. So successful were his scheme that the Muslim raiders were decisively defeated for good in the historic Battle of Sumilon Island sometime in 1813. He was able to serve at the San Guillermo Parish from October 15, 1825 until August 15, 1829 until a tactical re-alignment, in part brought upon by the Spaniards’ attempts to squeal the on-going Dagohoy rebellion in the neighboring island of Bohol, necessitated that he should return to Boljoon (by then, the most strategic area for him to stay and effectively direct the defense course of the Argao to Oslob stretch, should there be further Moro raids to come). After waiting for years for another Moro raids that would never come, (at least in his lifetime), he retired and died at the Monasterio del Santo Niño on April 30, 1851.
Richard and William Stories
Richard and William Stories
There is no offense intended for both Mr. Richard Gutierrez, and the other Richard, Mr. Gomez, in the above-said paragraph. The confusion in their biographies demonstrate the similar but much more complicated mix-up in the life- histories of Saint William, Patron Saint of Dalaguete, and the other Williams, both sinners and saints. While it is very much easier to discern Richard Gutierrez from Richard Gomez, the Saint William case is a scholastic nightmare. Exaggeration aside, the life and death, (and almost everything in between), of our Saint William is shrouded with a concoction of myths, legends, and real history. The only certain things as of the moment are that he was not the son of Princess Diana, and that he did not write, Romeo and Juliet, at all.
The Roman Catholic faithful that shared a patron saint with us – from the churches of Catmon in Cebu, to that of Laoag in Ilocos Sur, and even that of Castiglione della Pescaia in Italy (to which according to tradition our Saint William breathed his last) – are one in the call that we cannot and must never allow this sort of a chopsuey biography of our patron saint to remain as it is, and hence, this humble research undertaking is being made.
THE AUGUSTINIAN CONNECTION
The above line-up of saints is displayed together for a reason. In one way or the other, they are all connected with the 13th-century group of friar-monks which we now come to know as the Order of Saint Augustine, or simply the Augustinians. A little review of history reveals that our Catholic faith is intertwined with the 1521 Fernando Magallanes and Pedro de Valderama stories. Having fought and lost the now famous April 27 Battle of Mactan, the first missionary priest and the expedition’s chaplain Father Pedro de Valderama found himself among the survivors of the First of May massacre that killed 27 of Magallanes’ remaining men. Being unable to continue his missionary work, he was one of those who hurriedly embarked and continued their voyage to the Moluccas. This is the reason why the glory of being the first missionaries of the Philippines was given to Fray Andres de Urdaneta and his other 4 companions, (Friars Martin de Rada, Diego de Herrera, Andres de Aguirre, and Pedro de Gamboa), all of the Augustinian Order who accompanied the 1565 expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This thus started the Augustinian influence in the ecclesiastical history of the island-province of Cebu, Dalaguete included.
Prior to the 1900s, Cebu simply did not have an effective means of transportation – which was, ironically, a blessing in disguise. The significant distance of Dalaguete from the central government had shielded our town from the intrigues and power struggles of the capital, and thus, with the exception of those feared but eventually subjugated Moro raiders, much of the town’s Spanish era history is a leisurely narrative of arrivals and departures of Augustinian friars assigned at the parish church. It is therefore not a surprise that the Augustinian community would put as a patron saint of Dalaguete a holy man among their ranks.
The first settlement at Castiglione della Pescaia in Maremma, Province of Grosseto in Italy, stood on the hill facing the outlet of Lake Prile (Prilis Lacus). On the banks of the lake, near the outlet, the Romans established fisheries, salt basins and a village. It is from those fisheries that Castiglione della Pescaia got its name. Tradition has it that sometime in September of 1155, a warrior-nobleman from Aquitania, having decided to leave the sword to devote himself to the hermit's life, arrived alone and settled at the dreaded Stabulum Rodis (Stable of Rhodes) of the Castiglione. The region by then was so desolate and damned that its very sight would have made even the most resolute of would-be hermits to think twice. It was indeed one of the last places on earth that anyone would dare to go, and for this reason, it earned the name, Maleval (spelled in Italian as Malavalle, and which means wicked valley). Before settling at the Maleval, this penitent hermit went back and forth between two to three different places in frantic search of absolute poverty – the more uninhabitable the place was, the more fulfilling it would be to his self-imposed new lifestyle. The hermitic life is a painful struggle of trying to be in constant commune with God in an almost inaccessible place – amidst the harsh weather, intense hunger, and the constant temptation of returning to the mainstream world. So horrible were the ascetic practices of the hermits that premature deaths of so many almost always came in a hurry. Meanwhile, the warrior-turned-hermit’s existence in the Maleval area was virtually left unnoticed. Having lived in the icy confines of a cave, he ate nothing but herbs and roots and for four months in a row, had not seen a single trace of human life other than his own. Wearing a single outfit all throughout the rest of his Maleval life and with chains intertwined in his body for his ornament, one could no longer distinguish his rotten flesh from his rotten cloth.
On January of 1156, news went like wildfire to the four corners of the Castiglione about the discovery of this most holy man from Aquitania. They call him by the name depending on their nationality – for the Castilians, he was Guillermo; for the Italians, he was Guglielm; for the Germans, he was Wilhelm; and for the rest of the English-speaking world, he was William. Some of them correctly recognized him as the struggling leader of a group of hermits way back in another Italian town of Monte Pruno, who, having failed to establish order among his men, decided to live the hermitic life all alone. Others mistook him for one of the dukes of Aquitania who traveled his way three hundred miles to search for the God he could not find at home.
Meanwhile, at about the same time that William’s stay at Maleval was discovered, he was joined in on January 6, 1156 (Feast of the Epiphany), by an aspiring ascetic named Albert, (whom history would later fondly call as Albert of Maleval, chronicler of William, and founder of the Order of Saint William, also known as the Barefoot Friars, or simply the Williamites). More and more aspirants gathered at the small hermitage that William and Albert built. One of them, Renauld the physician, (to be known later as Renauld of Maleval, co-founder of the Williamites), came to stay and thereby completed the Malevalian Three, the founding pillars of the Order of Saint William. The hermitage at Maleval would become William’s final resting place on the 10th of February 1157, to the sorrow not only of the Castiglione but to the whole town of Maremma as well.
Following many reports of miracles wrought through the intercession of William, Pope Innocent III declared him a saint on May 8, 1202, via the Papal Bull Ex Littera. Then came the tentacles of destruction. In the 13th century, during the war with Siena, the hermitage was destroyed and the remains of our Saint William were scattered in neighboring countries. At the end of the 1500’s, the Venerable (and soon to be saint) John Nicolucci of Saint William, prior of the Augustinian monastery of Monte Cassiano retired to a hermit’s life there and oversaw the restoration of the place. In 1833, Castiglione della Pescaia was declared a town independent from Maremma and is now a seaside tourist attraction.
Twelve years later, four hermit groups participated in the Grand Union of 1256 summoned by Pope Alexander IV, namely – the Hermits of the Order of St. William (founded by Albert of Maleval), the Hermits of the Order of St. Augustine of Tuscany (founding members of the Little Union of 1243), the Hermits of Brother John the Good and the Hermits of Brettino – and from them, the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine has been created. By the passing time, the congregation gradually came to be known as the Order of Saint Augustine, or the Augustinian Fathers, or simply the Augustinians. As a consequence of the amalgamation of the Williamites into the Augustinians, our Saint William has thus become an Augustinian ninety-nine years after his death!
THE FOUR OTHER WILLIAMS: CLEARING OUT THE CONFUSIONS
In an age devoid of both the effective means of communication and an efficient compilation of historical data, (notwithstanding the writer’s tendency to romanticize the life story of his idolized saint), the rarity of reliable sources would often led historians to piece together several attributes of so many personalities into the life story of a single man. This is most especially true on hermit saints, as in our Saint William case. The Catholic archives and the written accounts of the Middle Ages’ rich and famous mentioned the following four other Williams.
William of Gellone (William the Great, William of the Desert)
A distant relative of Charlemagne, he was a great general and a nightmare to the Saracens, whom he decisively defeated at Orange. As a reward, Charlemagne made him Duke of Aquitania. However, in 806, having obtained the consent of his duchess, (who also renounced the world), and of Charlemagne, though with great difficulty, he received the habit at the hands of St. Benedict of Aniane and made his monastic profession at a monastery in Gellone, (since then referred to as St. William of the Wilderness), and remained there until his holy death in 812.
William IX (The Trobadour)
Born on October 22, 1071, William inherited the thrones of his father at the age of 15, and thus came to be known as William IX Duke of Aquitania, and concurrently William VII Count of Poitiers. An anonymous 13th-century biography of him remembered him thus: “He was one of the courtliest men in the world and one of the greatest deceivers of women. He was a fine knight at arms, liberal in his womanizing, and a fine composer and singer of songs. He traveled much through the world, seducing women.” He had such a rocky relationship with the Church that he was excommunicated by the Bishop of Poitiers at age 43. As the bishop was at the point of pronouncing the anathema, the duke threatened to kill him if he did not pronounce absolution. The bishop, surprised, pretended to comply, but when the duke, satisfied, released him, the bishop completed reading the anathema, before calmly presenting his neck and inviting the duke to strike. To this, the duke hesitated for a moment before sheathing his sword and replying, "I don't love you enough to send you to paradise." Duke William died on February 10, 1126, aged 55, after suffering a short illness.
One surviving legend narrated that Duke William X, after being wonderfully converted by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux to renounce his licentious life, had ingeniously faked his own death (via the high-profile poisoning incident), and was the very same person who lived and died a saintly hermit’s death at the Maleval in Castiglione twenty years later. It is for this reason that some sources would refer to him as the “Saint”. Meticulous and thorough review of the surviving literature of the age would however reveal that this is way too far from the truth. For one, taken for granted that Aquitania had buried a bogus Duke William X, it would be very illogical for the real Duke William, (after painstakingly engineering his own “death” to conceal his identity), to come out in the open in 1145, (roughly eight years after he “decided to die”), to once again ask for absolution from the new Pope Eugenius III.
William of Vercelli (William of Monte Vergine)
The over-all picture of a hermit depicts him as an ascetic who, rejecting the modern world around him and facing a crisis of conscience, (often following a serious matter made by himself – perhaps committal of a crime or an experience of extraordinary vision), came to a conversion. He always chose a wild and lonely place (mountain, island, forest, if not wilderness), to live in solitary confinement or in small groups. Eating only raw herbs, wild fruits, and whatever else that were available in the area, he did not take anything for his appearance, which explains why the sacred writers generally describe him as a shaggy, bearded character wearing ragged clothes, and barefooted. And as a recompense for his rigid life, he was almost always reputed to have the gift of healing and the ability of knowing what was to come. And this was precisely our general impression of our Saint William. In order to paint a better picture of him, we sifted back more than eight centuries of world history, hopefully to separate the reality from the myth of his life and times, details of which were awfully intermingled with at least four other personalities of the same name.
Our Saint William. He might not be a Duke of Aquitania after all, but he must have been either a very important person or was such an infamous sinner or both, to get the audience of no less than Pope Eugenius III himself. Saint William – Warrior of Aquitania, Hermit of Maleval, Patron Saint of Dalaguete. Calling him Saint William of Aquitania is correct. Calling him Saint William of Maleval is more proper. However, calling him Saint William of Dalaguete is most appropriate. After all, being the oldest town in the country established under his tutelage, our peace-loving saint would not hesitate to once again take arms, (and a heavy cannon to that), to defend our beloved Dalaguete in times of war.
A Little Intramuros
Then in the early 1700’s, so goes the local tradition, village chiefs, Manoktok of Obong and Cogo of Tapon, agreed to lay a communal venue for religious worship at an area in Unab, (the present day Poblacion). Presumably acting on the appeal, then Bishop of Cebu, Msgr. Pedro Sanz de la Vega approved the establishment in 1711 of a pueblo under the tutelage of San Guillermo de Aquitania, in honor of the warrior-hermit-saint of the Order of Saint William, (one of the groups that were incorporated in the Grand Union of 1256 to become the Order of Saint Augustine, the bishop’s congregation). However, historical amnesia ruthlessly restricted us to trace back the assigned parish priests of Dalaguete only as early as July 14, 1798 during the tenure of Fray Manuel Cordero. Definitely, there were earlier parish priests before him that were assigned in Dalaguete.
Meanwhile, the building of the church started some few years later under Fray Juan Chacel and upon consultation with then Boljoon parish priest and his eventual successor, Fray Julian Bermejo. The church structure was not ordinary, for alongside the churches of Argao, Boljoon, and Oslob, it served as a fortress that merged with the above-said three churches to form a larger fortress that would provide a defense system against invaders, and a safe haven for the inhabitants, during assaults. The church complex used to be surrounded by a thick wall of coral stones, and outside of it, by the shore, stood a watchtower armed with a cannon, by now renovated and popularly known as the Kiosko. The present day convent on the other hand was completed in 1832 under Fray Bernardo Giganto while the San Guillermo Church Belfry was erected in 1854 upon instructions of Fray Juan Alonzo.
Upon the establishment of Santa Monica Parish in Cawayan on April 12, 1952 and the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Mantalongon on February 4, 1958, San Guillermo Parish now only include Balud, Caliongan, Consolacion, Coro, Jolomaynon, Manangal, Obo, Obong, Poblacion, Sacsac and Tapon.