Letter from Father José Minóves to Father Siperior of the Mission.
Dapá December 16, 1883 P.C.
Reverend in Christ P. Superior: With divine favor I am going to give to V.R. a succinct account of the most remarkable things. that have occurred in this Parróquia-Mision de Cabúntog and Dapá since our arrival there.
At the beginning of last August I wrote from Surigao to R. Fr. Antonio Martin who served in this parish, that Fr. Bové and I were about to go to occupy our destiny. Father Luengo had written to the Captain of Cabúntog about the same thing, instructing him to send a dispatch to look for us. At the moment Fr. Antonio offered his boat, which was the best in town, and they came for us.
We arrived at Cabúntog on the 13th of the same month. and on the beach the people received us with signs of affection and respect, with Fr. Antonio in front with the authorities and the boys and girls from the schools who were carrying banners in their hands. The next day, what was necessary was arranged for the delivery of the pUToquia; and on the 15th, feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, I took possession of it, reading the title Fr. Antonio, at the high mass that I sang, and in which he made the eulogy of the feast. In the afternoon I preached after the Rosary.
Late on the night of the 15th, Father Antonio Martin left for Surigao, and we went to see him off on the beach with the principals and other residents of the town.
These peoples still groan under the shock of almost the only one that offers them livestock resources. Many of the houses in Cabúntog are still unroofed, their owners having satisfied themselves in a small hut in the town or in the seed farm.
The parish of Cabúntog and Dapá was disbanded from that of Siargao, now called Numantia, in the year 4871; the two towns of his name having been assigned to him and the two neighborhoods, Pilar, which belongs to Cabúntog, and Cambasac, which belongs to Dapá. Cabúntog already has seven head offices, Pilar four, Dapá ten and Cambasac two.
The convent or parish house of Cabúntog has a ground floor, raised from the ground less than two yards; that of Dapá, with the upper floor and, by the way, for a good entrance hall on the ground floor, was almost removed by the April baguio, as was his church, so that both buildings should be redone. Currently the court serves as a convent, and the neighbors have been gathering materials for both buildings. I have thought that the convent should be made in accordance with the plans coming from Manila, common to several houses in Mindanao; However, as there are none here, I see myself in the precision of asking you for V.R. a copy.
When they leave Ea Cabúntog the adults are usually very well educated in regard to their religious duties.
In mid-October we went to Pilar to celebrate the feast of its patron saint. After the party we stayed there, preaching morning and night and preparing the boys and girls for the first communion. Fifteen days later, there were no more people than a few who lived in other towns and some half-climbed in the ilayas. All went to confession and communion with great good will. Father Chambo honored us with his presence and with the eulogy of the Virgen del Pilar, as he had done before in Cabúntog, preaching at the fiesta of the Patron Saint Thomas of Villanueva.
After the confessions were finished in Pilar, we returned to Cabúntog, where we stayed for fifteen days; and then we moved to this town of Dapá, to give a mission like that of Pilar.
We opened the mission on Tuesday the twentieth of November, I preaching in the morning after Mass, and Father Bovo at night to the touch of prayers and the same Father preparing the boys and girls for their first communion, at ten in the morning. We had this plan in Pilar and we have followed it here too.
On Sunday November 25 there was the communion of the principals, and other people of the town, Bn the high mass. Seeing myself surrounded by those princes whose confessions I had heard for the most part, and knowing their good dispositions and their resolution to serve God in the exact fulfillment of their duties, I wanted to say a few words to them before communion, but I was touched by In such a way that the Tears escaped from my eyes, and I could not utter the words I was saying to them fluently. Almost the ttiismo had happened to me in the first communion of the boys and girls of Gabúntog, to whom I had also confessed, because Father Bové was out of Cabuntog.
The communion of boys and girls was the day of the Immaculate Conception. Between children and adults, two hundred and eighteen people were reported on that day, confessed for the most part by Fr. Bové, which was inexcusable.
We will soon finish this mission, since there are not many who remain to confess, and we will, God willing, bring communion to the sick who cannot go to church.
Public health enough now is almost unbeatable; no more than three cases have occurred .
Archive by Dino Roberts - Cantilan Historical Preservation Movement