COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

No. 919          Diocese of Marbel, Philippines                   13 March 2017


Thousands gathered to welcome the arrival of the Statue of Our Ladyof Fatima on 10 March 2017, City of Koronadal.

PRAYERS – Masses and recitation of the rosary, floral offering and talk on Our Lady of Fatima plus vigil were the main activities.

Subsequent schedules:  11 – Our Lady of Lourdes, Polomolok; 12 – Our Lady of Fatima, General Santos City; 13 – Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish, General Santos City.

Our Lady of Fatima’s statue (made in Fatima, Portugal) arrived from Kidapawan Diocese and it will depart on the 13th March for the Archdiocese of Cotabato.

Our Lady’s message, among others: prayer (specially the rosary), conversion and works of penance and mercy.  In Ilonggo-Cebuano: “AMPO, BAG-O, ALAGAD” (ABA).

Our Lady of the Rosary appeared at Cova da Iria, Fatima, Portugal on 17 May 1917 to the three children – shepherds.

They are Lucia Santos and first cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

On 13 May 1917 they saw a woman “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light, clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.  The woman wore a white mantle edged with gold and held a rosary in her hand.  She asked them to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to pray the rosary everyday to bring peace to the world and end to the war” (Wikipedia).

Between 13 May and 13 October (miracle of the “dancing” sun) there were six apparitions.

Francisco and Jacinta died in the international flu that began in 1918 and swept Europe.  Francisco died at home on 4 April 1919 at 10 years of age; Jacinta in a hospital on 20 February 1920 at age 9; Pope John Paul II beatified them on 13 May 2000.  Sr. Lucia, a discalzed Carmelite, died on 13 February 2005, age 97.

Sr. Lucia wrote in 1990 Fr. Robert J. Fox that the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 by Pope John Paul II in union with the bishops of the world had been completed.



Fr. Ariel Destora, Director, Diocesan Social Action Center, sent this report.

2.1. IP Communities profiling

Objectives:  data gathering; understanding dynamics of communities; setting proper course of action to take based on peoples’ felt needs.

Time frame: Feb. 1-5, 2017 for Bong-Mal Territory (14 communities); Feb. 12-16, 2017 for Brgys. Danlag and Pula-Bato.

Persons responsible (enumerators).  For Bong Mal – 4 (3 Bla’ans and 1 T’boli); for Danlag and Pula Bato, 11 ( IPs and non- IPs).

Profiled households.  Bong Mal – 106 out of 287 (36.92%); Danlag – 162; Pula Bato – 148.

Needs.  For Bong-Mal: farm implements, corn and vegetable seeds, education (formal and non-formal),chapel, water system, farm to market roads, medicines. Bla’ans are afraid of military (Bong-Mal).

DSAC’s responses (Bong-Mal)

  • Farm implements/tools and seeds distributed:
  • 21 sprayers (12 stainless and 2 plastics) – 52,200
  • 187 liters herbicides (being discouraged)   63,790
  • 20 tools (various)     5,780
  • 115 packs seeds (various) and 15 kilos peanuts   7,570

TOTAL           129,340

2.2. Legal Assistance, Prison Ministry, Area Visits

  • Four cases assisted
  • BJMP – Alabel; 7 inmates counseled
  • Sarangani Provincial Jail, Baluntay, Alabel Forty-eight (48) interviewed and counseled.
  • Tampakan PNP station and MSWDO visits. Followed up cases of 19 (13 adults and 6 minors) apprehended for illegal Banlas Mining in sitio Campo Kilat, Brgy. Pula-Bato by elements of the 27thIB, 16 Feb. 2017.
  • Visited Batulaki, Glan (legal matters); Brgy. Panamin, Malungon (Tagakaulo’s concerns); SOCSKSARGEN Hospital (detention of 9 patients for non-payment); Kiamba, Milbuk and St. Michael Archangel parishes for orientation on Catholic Social Teachings; etc.

2.3. Thanks for the continued support of all the parishes and the Notre Dame of Marbel University.



February 25, 2017, UP-Diliman, College of Social Work and Community Development.

She was recognized for her fearless advocacy of the human rights of her tribe – the Talaingod in Pantaron(mountain) range, Davao del Norte.  Her advocacy:  defense and promotion of the Talaingods’ right to dignified life, self-determination, ancestral lands, and a healthy environment.

First name is Ligkayan.  Family name, Bigkay.  “Bai” dignified honorific of Mindanao Women of stature.  “Bibyaon” – title of acclamation as her tribe’s chieftain.  She was forced to lead when their datus were killed defending their land and people by government forces who were in the service of mining and logging interests’decades ago.She leads her people against the same forces of injustice and death.

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo: “She had the vision and courage to fight for the people.”  “She is the Mother of the Lumad.”

UP-Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan who regularlyhosts the annual “LAKBAYAN” of IPs in UP called the lumads “visiting professors” of the university whenever they visit us.  Bai Bibyaon is the Chancellor.

Sr. Noemi Degala, SMSM, who accompanied Bai Bibyaon Bigkay to UP-Diliman: “Bai Ligkayan is known by many as ‘Woman Warrior of Talaingod’.”

“The Gabriela Silang of Mindanao” – women’s group.

“A coveted trophy of war” – paramilitary of Alamara, according to Sr. Noemi.

Bai Ligkayan has no birth certificate.  Estimated age is 93 years.  Parents are unknown.  Unschooled.  Her knowledge, values and skills she got from “UP” – “University” of Pantaron. (Raymund Villanueva.  Reposted by Bulatlat)

Back to: 2017 Communications from the Bishop

About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
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