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.