"Moved by the Spirit" from a historian's perspective

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Note: This is the complete text of Prof. Modesto Sao-noy’s review about the Album of Religious and Communites “Moved by the Spirit” delivered during the book launch of the said publication on the occasion of the 21st founding anniversary of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno last November 28, 2019.

This is the title of a book that I had the pleasure of reviewing on invitation of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno of the Augustinian Recollects last November 28. The book was launched at the Provincialate of the Order in Quezon City to commemorate the 21st year of the foundation of the Province. Heretofore, the Recollects in the Philippines belonged to the Province of San Nicolas de Tolentino with houses, parishes, schools, formation institutes, hospitals and many other institutes of apostolic work all over the world.

After the decision in 1588 of the Augustinian Province of Castile, the Augustinian Recollects became a separate province to live a more austere life in 1602. The first Recollect missionaries came to the Philippines in 1606 and to Negros in 1626. They left ten years later after an exchange of mission territory but returned to Negros in 1848 and remained here since then.

The young Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, however, has centuries of experience and missionary work that even today it has institutions and members in the continents of Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Pacific which includes missions to Guam, Marianas and Indonesia. The Philippines has the largest number of their institutions, understandably because of their long stay in this country.

Sadly, many in Negros today are unaware of the great contributions of the Order in our island. Certainly, their parishes and schools in Negros and those who have passed their doorways keep the Recollect name and spirit alive but for others they are just another of the several other religious congregations in Negros.

The Recollects have a special place in our history not only for their pastoral and missionary work but for several others beyond their convents. Of the 31 cities and towns on Occidental Negros, 29 were created by the Recollects or expanded by them. Even the other two, Salvador Benedicto and Hinoba-an were villages that sprung from the works of the Recollect missionaries.

When they arrived in Negros there were only eight towns – the rest were villages or towns that were obliterated or reduced into sitios due to depopulation resulting from Muslim raids that persisted in this island until 1828. The Recollects reassembled, as it were, some of these towns, like Minuluan (now Talisay), Binalbagan and Tukgagwan (now E.B. Magalona) and created villages from scattered evacuees and settlers.

There were no formal schools then but Recollect convents that taught the Catholic faith included secular subjects as reading, writing, and Spanish. They taught agriculture and handicrafts including carpentry and masonry. They introduced many species and varieties of fruits and vegetables and root crops. Even the lowly root crop we call kamoteng kahoy was introduced. Its name is tapioca which is native to South America where the Recollects would pass by on route from Spain to the Philippines.

Of course, the Spanish government and entrepreneurs had their hand in agricultural development as well. The point is that the Recollects did not keep still in their convents preaching but also initiated economic projects that benefitted their faithful.

The most palpable of their agricultural projects was the expansion of the sugarcane cultivation. When they arrived here in 1848, sugar was produced in small quantities. The records show we produced just about 3,000 bags. When the sinamay trade in Panay collapsed, the investors there turned their eyes to Negros for the cultivation of sugarcane. The Iloilo port that opened to international shipping in 1855 created a large demand for sugar for export to England. Investors mainly from the weakening sinamay industry shifted their money to Negros. This is where the Recollect missionaries came in.

The Spanish government had invited immigrants to Negros to develop the island’s wide swath of fertile lands “without owners”. The investors thus called on the parish priests, mainly Recollects (except for Bacolod and Silay as the Filipino priests refused to vacate) and sought their help to find suitable lands.

Fr. Fernando Cuenca of Minuluan who had traversed the island on a government mission knew where the best lands were. The Recollects’ role in the development of the sugar industry did not only involve siting the best lands but also helping improve production and processing.

Most Recollects left after the revolution but “moved by the Spirit” they never left but instead grew exponentially. Appropriately, the Philippines is now their base of evangelization.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Modesto Sao-noy

Modesto Sao-noy

Historian & Contributor, RecoletosFilipinas.org

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< 2020 >
October
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  • All day
    October 1, 2020

    LAUNCHING OF ROSARY MONTH

    Note to all Local Priors [for the Book of Masses]: After the feast of the Archangels (Sept. 29), “a Mass is to be offered for the living relatives, friends, and benefactors of the Order” (cf. Add. Code 70d)

2
  • All day
    October 2, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Sr. Leah Lachica, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2004-2020)
    Fray Leo Alaras

3
  • All day
    October 3, 2020

    START OF THE NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED (Valencia) / OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR (Baguio)

    POPE FRANCIS’ PASTORAL VISIT TO ASSISI

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Baco, AR
    Sr. Elyn Joy Olmedo, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1987-2020)
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Joseph Granada
    Fray Jorge Peligro

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ramona Plaza, AR

4
  • All day
    October 4, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Roberto Gaa (Diocese of Novaliches)
    Fray Joffrey Casusa (novice)
    Sr. Manuela Mandia, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2003-2020)
    Fray Celestino Cachapero, OAR

5
  • All day
    October 5, 2020

    WORLD TEACHER’S DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Miguela Obera, AR

6
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    October 6, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Primitiva Berdejo, AR
    Sr. Noemi Mapa, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR

7
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    October 7, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mc Ariel Capinpin (simply prof.)
    Sr. Juliet Natinga, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2006-2020)
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Fray Russell Lapidez
    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita Miranda de Santa Monica, AR

8
  • All day
    October 8, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Neil Ryan Jarumay
    Ms. Nestoria “Inday” Bad-an (Sister General of the Order)

9
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    October 9, 2020

    3rd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMUNITY OF RECOLETOS DE URBIZTONDO (Pangasinan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Mark Angelo Diaz (novice)
    John Leonard Cabling (RAY-Canlubang)
    Glorie Lynn Sorgon (RAY-Bacolod)

10
  • All day
    October 10, 2020

    ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA,
    Bishop and Patron of Studies

    PRIOR GENERAL LAUNCHES THE BOOK:
    “VIVIR LA POBREZA: GRACIA Y RETO”
    (Note: Title and cover are not yet finalized)

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Raul Dael, DD [Bishop of Tandag]
    Sr. Ofelia Laspobres, AR

11
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    October 11, 2020

    ST. POPE JOHN XIII

    PARISH FIESTA OF NSTRA. SNRA. BIRHEN DE LOS REMEDIOS PARISH (Tanapag Village, Saipan)
    Time: 9:00 A.M. (Saipan Time)
    Presider: Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Samuel Eyas

12
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    October 12, 2020

    BLD. MARIA THERESA FASCE, Virgin

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR
    TOMA DE HÁBITO
    Time: 9:00 A.M. / CARES, Baguio City
    Presider & Homilist: Fray Edgar Tubio, OAR (Provincial Councilor)

    PATRONAL FIESTA: PARISH OF OUR LADY OF THE ABANDONED
    Valencia, Negros Oriental
    Time: 10:00 A.M. (cf. FB Live Streaming)
    Fiesta Mass Presider: Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Bishop of Dumaguete)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Seiji Ishii (novice)
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    Sr. Marilyn Gustilo, AR
    Sr. Bernarditha Barnido, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Dionisia Mitas de Santa Maria Talangpaz

13
  • All day
    October 13, 2020

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED BENEFACTORS OF OAR

14
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    October 14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Laura Cabanacan, AR
    Sr. Rhena Sherra Caranzo, AR

15
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    October 15, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Renz Calex Soriano (simply prof.)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2020)
    Fray Vincent Cadeliña

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Monica de Espiritu Santo, AR

16
  • All day
    October 16, 2020

    WORLD FOOD DAY 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Pia Pineda, AR
    Sr. Ma. Linda Peña, AR
    Jhon Paul Dag-um (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1988-2020)
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Domingo Saladaga, Jr.
    Fray William Emilito Villaflor

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita de Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

17
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    October 17, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. [Bishop of Cubao]
    Sr. Ma. Cirila Uy, AR
    Shiela Mae Labadia (RAY-Caidiocan)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Visitacion de San Miguel, AR
    Sr. Gabriela Garcines, AR
    Sr. Jacinta Mandia Robin, AR

18
  • All day
    October 18, 2020

    WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
    (Pope Francis’ Message:http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/missions /documents/papa-francesco_20200531_giornata-missionaria2020.html

    25th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1995-2020) SARF- VALENCIA CHAPTER

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Jonel Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

19
  • All day
    October 19, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Arlyn Sarmiento, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Virginia Acha, AR

20
  • All day
    October 20, 2020

    ST. MAGDALENE OF NAGASAKI,
    Patroness of the Secular Augustinian Recollects

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao

21
  • All day
    October 21, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ursulina Balading, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lutgarda Cañete, AR

22
  • All day
    October 22, 2020

    ST. POPE JOHN PAUL II

    BIRTHDAY
    Archbp. Agustinus Agus, DD (Archdiocese of Pontianak, Indonesia)
    Fray Edgar Tubio
    Sr. Teresita Diana, AR

23
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    October 23, 2020

    ST. WILLIAM THE HERMIT & BLD. JOHN THE GOOD, Religious

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Hernando Coja
    Sr. Herminia Catindig, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2020)
    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

24
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    October 24, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rafael Cabarles
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1996-2020)
    Fray Glynn Ortega

25
  • All day
    October 25, 2020

    ST. JOHN STONE, Priest & Martyr

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Veronica Purto, AR
    Simon Kurt Casupanan (RAY-Cavite)
    Nestor Tala (RAY-Miranila)

    25th ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1995-2020)
    Fray Joel Dequilla

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1983-2020)
    Most Rev. Buenaventura Famadico, DD (Diocese of San Pablo)

26
  • All day
    October 26, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dionisio Selma
    Fray Renie Villalino
    Sr. Rosalie Ubo, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Leonora Mercado, AR

27
  • All day
    October 27, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Limchaypo

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Presentacion de San Jose, AR
    Sr. Martina Labao, AR

28
  • All day
    October 28, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Jeana Abejuela, AR

29
  • All day
    October 29, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Catherine Ildefonso (RAY-Urbiztondo)
    Kristine Ruelo (RAY-Provincialate)

30
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    October 30, 2020

    ANNIVERSARY
    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    MOST. REV. NATALE PAGANELLI, SX, Bishop of Makeni, Sierra Leone

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristituto Palomar
    Fray Dominador Mercado Jr.
    Sr. Lorlie Decir, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1999-2020)
    Fray Joel Alve

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  • All day
    October 31, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nemesio Tolentin

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Albina de la Virgen de Soledad, AR

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