Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dalaguetnon Devotees Of San Guillermo De Aquitania In Metro Manila, Inc

A Brief History
By: Dolores Bajarias-Bilar (+)

Decades ago, several Dalaguetnons immigrated to manila in search of a better life and a bright future,bringing not only their belonging but also their love for the land of their birth and deep devotion to San Guillermo, the Patron Saint of Dalaguete,Cebu.

Hard work and preseverance led to the realization of their cherished dreams of economic and educational endeavors.But their enjoyment of such prosperity did not last long enough because of the entanglement of the Philippines in World War II.On December 10, 1941 ,Japan invaded the Philippines.On January 29, 1942,the invaders entered Manila.The people ran away.Many evacuated to the provinces.Some went home to their places of origin.The rest decided to stay regardless of consequences.

From 1942 to 1945, the Filipinos suffered from the oppressive acts and atrocious abuses.The worst, however, happened in Manila, during the first three weeks of February 1945, when the city was liberated. The Dalaguetnon and foreigners suffered from sickness, hunger, thirst, loneliness and uncertainty of their future.

At the height of their crisis they pleaded to the Almighty for His mercy and to San Guillermo for intercession. Their prayers were heard.

Sometime in August 1945, when they learned that the war finally over,they met, formed the KAPUNUNGANG DALAGUETNON, elected the late Candido Alvarado president or pangulo and planned to hold a fiesta in order to thank God and San Guillermo for their survival.

One day in February 1946, the first fiesta after World War II was celebrated in Pinaglabanan, San Juan, Rizal. This became a tradition. Since then, the truly devoted Dalaguetnons have never failed to honor San Guillermo in a special way, All the fiestas from 1946 up to fiesta on February 26, 1989 were sponsored by the KAPUNUNGANG DALAGUETNON.

During the 1989 fiesta sponsored by the Ambrad clan, an election was held for 1990 president/hermano. it was the birth of San Guillermo DE DALAGUETE, CEBU ASSOCIATION, INC which was organized and registered in November 7, 1989. The first fiesta under it was held on February 25, 1990.It continued to sponsor Fiestas, in spite of the existence of another group devoted to San Guillermo.

The majority wanted to provide the image with a chapel, as an appropriate abode. Fund raising activities were conducted during fiestas to accumulate funds for the purpose.

Just before the 2006 fiesta an alleged chairman of the Board of SAGUIDACEA told her friend , also a member, that she would "lie low, stay frozen," meaning that she would not participate in the annual celebration, so the fiesta was held on February 26, 2006 according to schedule even without her and three others, The affair was well attended, very lively. The Caritan Clan served plenty of food. We did not expect trouble.

A few months after the fiesta, a meeting was called, an election was conducted replacing those who were elected on March 7, 2004, due to their failure to elect a new set of officers on the General Assembly, day of the fiesta. The affected and the members did not complain. They just kept quiet.

I the remembered what the late Placido B. Bilar, a survivor who had participated in celebration of the first fiesta after the war, and one of the founders of SAGUIDACEA. He said, " My religiosity and deep devotion to San Guillermo is my legacy to my family. I want them to keep this legacy sacred. I kept these words ringing in my ears.

When I smelled an odor of break up I recalled my promise I had made on July 09, 2006, that beginning 2007. I would offer a Eucharistic Celebration every fourth Sunday of every year at the gymnasium of the Department of Agrarian Reform If available , but if not, then in any Catholic Church, But no food. I promised to fulfill such promise even if only my family and I would attend.Then a very good opportunity came on January 14,2007 when sex individuals expressed their full support to me. We agreed at once to hold a fiesta on February 25, 2007. More than 600 attended the affair as reflected in the registry book.. Some of them were Col.& Mrs Jose Mier. He told us that Mrs. Dolores Castillo Bejec would sponsor the february 2008 fiesta. Mrs. Castillo is the window of the late Atty. Conseco D. Bejec who sponsored the fiesta on February 18, 1967. She was in the Philippines in 2005 to visit her familly and had the occasion to attend our fiesta. She was happy to observe that the Dalaguetnons are very devoted to San Guillermo.

With the responsibility we are facing and for legality with new personality we made a name to our group: DALAGUETNON DEVOTEES OF SAN GUILLERMO DE AQUITANIA IN METRO MANILA INC.