Guinarona and San Pascual Baylon: A Journey Thru Time

(Note:  The more than a century old image of San Pascual Baylon was stolen at dawn of June 13, 2010 at the San Pascual Baylon Parish Church in Guinarona, Leyte, Philippines.  Hopefully, with the awareness created by this blog, efforts will double up to recover the priceless icon.  Source of literature:  Souvenir Program, Guinarona Annual Fiesta, May16-17 .)

A Brief 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.

San Pascual Baylon

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.

The century old icon of San Pascual Baylon in Guinarona. (Photo credit: Mabelle Fabian-Ausa)

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.

Central district, Guinarona (Photo credit: Nilo Malate)

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.

Past Hemanos Mayores

Hereunder is the list of past Hermanos Mayores for San Pascual Baylon in Guinarona:

1904 Alfonso Maray 1945 Sixto Justimbaste
1905 Fernando Sudario 1946 Juan Almenario
1906 – 1907 PULAHAN YEARS 1947 Leon Lobrigo
1908 Francisco Benitez 1948 Maximo Ty
1909 Timoteo Daclizon 1949 Cipriano Tibe
1910 Pioquinto Cardante 1950 Balbino Jandoc
1911 Raymundo Mintay 1951 Fernando Aniano
1912 Eusebio Lobrigo 1952 Esteban Justimbaste
1913 Eulogio Olimpo 1953 Melanio Ordame
1914 Alejandro Gaspay 1954 Eleuterio Maray Sr.
1915 Isidro Calbitaza 1955 Anacorita Porteza
1916 Antonio Balatar 1956 Obdulia Aragon
1917 Mauricio Aragon 1957 Crestita Martinada
1918 Mass Celebration 1958 Esteban Justimbaste
1919 Andres Daclizon 1959 Timoteo Justimbaste
1920 Alfonso Palita 1960 Almerino Family
1921 Aquilino Ordame 1961 Raymundo Tibe
1922 Alejo Maganda 1962 Dominga Quartela
1923 – 1924 Mass Celebration 1963 Zosimo Berida
1925 Marciano Camposano 1964 Alejandro Balderian
1926 Juan Nario 1965 Concordio Tibe
1927 Juan Balatar 1966 Pablo Remalate
1928 Agosto Balatar 1967 Pablo Ontimare Jr.
1929 Mass Celebration 1968 Segundo Caneda
1930 – 1937 Court Litigation 1969 Gerardo Florencio
1938 Ponciano Remalante 1970 Pacita Tibe
1939 Ponciano Raquel 1971 Meliton Iroy
1940 Gavino Go 1972 Anastacio Emata
1941 Hermogenes Martinada 1973 Buenaventura Cuartela
1974 Generosa Yu
1975 Juan Berida
NEW GENERATION 1976 Maria Collado
1977 Benjamin Go
2000 Bardillon Family 1978 Apolonio Ontimare
2001 Eufracia Raquel 1979 Crispen Cerno
2002 Eugenia Aniano 1980 Raymundo Jandoc
2003 Miguel Ontimare 1981 Licerio Martinada Sr.
2004 Shangrela Lea Loreno 1982 Bardillon Family
2005 Godofredo Talavera 1983 Salustiano Remalante
2006 Erlinda Almaden 1984 Pedro Agda
2007 Eulalia Guarino 1985 Enrique Cardante Sr.
2008 Ruena Family 1986 Eleuterio Malate
2009 Shiony Nabora 1987 Epifanio Balidio
2010 Aleta Aniano-Sayong 1988 Pelagio Bayona
1989 Gregorio Abejar
1990 Hermogenes Martinada Jr.
1991 Miguel Almerino
1992 Ben de Dios
1993 Virginia Remalante
1994 Serafin Olimpo Jr.
1995 Rogelio Yalong
1996 Mercedes Balatar
1997 Felipe Bayona Jr.
1998 Mauro Engracial
1999 Fulgencio Almenario

3 thoughts on “Guinarona and San Pascual Baylon: A Journey Thru Time

  1. Pingback: San Pascual Baylon Parish: A Fact Sheet | Anibongpalm's Blog

  2. Tito Villablanca Tibe

    Only few maybe know this, one of the Hermano Mayor, Anacorita Porteza, was a first cousin of my mother Encarnacion Araña Villablanca. Anacorita was the daughter of Pastor Bastante Araña and Donata Raquel Cardante. Pasto Bastante Araña and my grandmother, Lucia Bastante Araña were siblings. Now you know the rest of the story.

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