La Divina Pastora's
50th Coronation Anniversary
A rare photo of the
original miraculous Divina
Pastora image wiithout
lead to Gapan City in Nueva Ecija on
April 26 for a historic religious event
– the 50th Canonical Coronation
Anniversary of La Virgen Divina Pastora,
the object of the biggest Marian
pilgrimage in Central Luzon.
with the Canonical Coronation Golden
Jubilee is the 28th anniversary of the
declaration of the Three Kings Parish
church as the National Shrine of La
Virgen Divina Pastora.
Antonio Mangahas, Three Kings Parish
priest, said five bishops and some 50
priests from the Diocese of Cabanatuan
and Diocese of San Jose, will
concelebrate the Golden Jubilee Mass to
be officiated by Cabanatuan Bishop
Sofronio Bancud at 2:00 P.M. in the
National Shrine of La Virgen Divina
bishops include Lingayen-Dagupan
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, San Jose
Bishop Roberto C. Mallari, Tarlac Bishop
Florentino F. Cinense and Batanes Bishop
current president of the Catholic
Bishops Conference, will be the guest
homilist and will re-enact the
Mass, a grand procession will be held
featuring the 49 patron saints of Gapan
City’s barangays and sitios. Capping the
event is the unveiling of the Golden
Jubilee marker and a fireworks display.
attend the event are top government
officials led by Nueva Ecija Gov.
Aurelio M. Umali and Vice Gov. Jose Gay
Divina Pastora fiesta hermano and
hermana are Dr. Janette Valmonte de
Leon-Padiernos, wife of the Vice Gov.
Jose Gay G. Padiernos, and retired Maj.
Gen. Ruperto R. Pabustan
to the Divina Pastora was started by
Dona Juana Valmonte in the late 1700s
with the arrival of the original
miniature image from Spain. Not long
after, stories of miracles attributed to
the intercession of the Virgin Mary
through the image began to circulate.
What was supposed to be a family
thanksgiving fiesta for abundant harvest
held every May 1 began to be joined by
pilgrims who would show up uninvited to
pray before the image to ask for favors
or give thanks for those granted. In
time, the Gapan parish, noting the
popularity of the devotion to the image,
adopted the Divina Pastora as its second
patron saint after the Three Kings.
In the 1950s,
the Church enthroned the Divina Pastora
as patroness of the Diocese of San
Fernando that used to encompass the
provinces of Pampanga, Bataan and Nueva
19, 1963, Pope Paul VI issued a papal
bull for the canonical coronation of the
image of the Divina Pastora of Gapan.
The honor is bestowed by the Church to a
Marian image that is historically old,
acclaimed in a certain locality and, in
times of need, serves as beacon of faith
and hope among the people. The
coronation rites took place on April 26,
1964, officiated by the first bishop of
the Diocese of Cabanatuan, Mariano
Gaviola. On that occasion, Divina
Pastora was declared as patron saint of
the newly created diocese that, at that
time, covered the whole province of
On April 26,
1986, the Catholic Bishops Conference of
the Philippines through its president,
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, declared the
Gapan church as the National Shrine of
La Virgen Divina Pastora.
occasion, the Valmonte family donated
the original image of the Divina Pastora
to the Three Kings Parish, where it is
now permanently enshrined at the altar
of the left side chapel. ###
Early preparations for
rainy season underway
summer season has just begun, the
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and
Management Council has already in place
a preparedness program for the rainy
season, including over P28 million in
quick response fund.
presided by Department of Interior and
Local Government Assistant Regional
Director Abraham Pascua as co-chair,
approved the P93.97 million local risk
reduction and management fund investment
plan that provides for over P28 million
as stand-by fund for relief and recovery
program for areas stricken by disasters,
calamities, epidemics and other complex
that climate change is the reason for
the early preparations.
He said that
under the program, the local council
will procure early warning systems,
disaster preparedness equipment, medical
supplies and relief goods.
trainings and seminars for relief and
rescue teams will be held, including
simulation exercises and drills at all
will also rehabilitate flood-mitigating
infrastructure like the Santa Monica
Dike Phase II in Aliaga costing
P21.9 million and the Luyos-Buliran
Overflow Bridge in San Antonio costing
five gymnasiums, serving as multipurpose
facilities, will be constructed soon to
serve as evacuation centers during
calamities. The modified structures with
a total cost of P17.6 million will have
toilets for men and women, kitchen,
laundry area, facility for proper
disposal of human waste and water pumps.
places already identified as location
for the gyms are Barangays Padolina and
Pias in General Tinio; San Roque and
Tambo North Elementary School in San
Leonardo; Gabaldon Integrated School in
Barangay Gabaldon, Science City of
Muñoz; Barangay Casongsong, Guimba; and
Cama Juan, San Antonio. ###
ensures delivery of Pantabangan
Dam water to farms
Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga
River Integrated Irrigation Systems
(NIA-UPRIIS), operator of Pantabangan
Dam, is building dike bypasses to ensure
that irrigation water will reach the
tail-end of its service areas,
specifically in southern Nueva Ecija and
parts of Bulacan.
Secretary Proceso Alcala said the agency
has begun the construction of bypass
canals after thousands of farmers
complained of losses when irrigation
water failed to reach their farms
despite the abundance of impounded water
in Pantabangan. He said the bypass
canals will start operating on April 15.
Alcala was in
Talavera for the town's harvest festival
and the opening of the rehabilitated
60-year old Murcon Dam.
Operations Manager Josephine Salazar
said that areas in Bulacan and Gapan
City and Cabiao in Nueva Ecija serviced
by the system's Division 4 primarily
source their irrigation needs from the
Peñaranda River System which normally
provides 31 cubic meters of water per
second. However this dry copping season,
it is able to generate only three cubic
meters per second.
the division to get water from
Pantabangan Dam which had to pass
through the Rizal-Bongabon Irrigation
Ssytem, Cabanatuan City, Santa Rosa and
San Leonardo where there is no longer
any need for that much water.
the building of by-pass canals was a
long-term solution to the problem. ###
Fort Magsaysay area
Magsaysay has been shrinking at an
average rate of 460 hectares a
year due to the issuance of presidential
proclamations and intrusion of thousands
of informal settlers.
Robert Reyes, adjutant of the 7th
Infantry Division based in the
military reservation, said the camp is
now only 45,837 hectares from its former
area of 73,000 hectares when it was
established on December 19, 1955.
He said the
Army is now looking into ways to recover
and retain its land area by reviewing
different presidential proclamations and
directives. He said areas that can no
longer be recovered are referred to the
Office of the Solicitor General.
He cited the
case of 3,100 hectares in Laur which
have been set aside as settlement for
victims of the Mount Pinatubo eruptions.
He said the
situation is worsened by the
proliferation of informal settlers who
now number 15,000. He said two
relocation sites have been proposed for
there is a plan to use portions of
the reservation for agricultural
production, including 3,000 hectares for
land use plan, meanwhile, intends to set
up a logistics center, economic and
industrial zone, eco-tourism area,
reforestation area, livestock and
vegetable area and 240 hectares for the
proposed transfer of the National
Bilibid Prisons to the portion of the
camp in Barangay Nazareth, General
of titles of Barangay Militar
Mayor Adrienne Mae Cuevas said the
Department of Environment and Natural
Resources(DENR) can start the processing
of land titles for more than 5,700
residents of Barangay Militar.
the residents are no longer considered
squatters after the land they have been
occupying were separated from the Fort
Magsaysay Military Reservation by the
late President Corazon Aquino in 1991.
Roberto Quizon, the surveyor in charge
of the DENR's Land Management Services,
said the agency would start processing
the titles based on the subdivision
Barangay Militar is titled under the
Republic of the Philippines as part of
Fort Magsaysay and declared a basic
political unit under Proclamation 708 of
Militar was created on March 20, 1960
under General Order 58 of the
Headquarters of the 1st Infantry (Tabak)
captain was appointed by the commanding
general of the Army, and the first
barrio council was organized with an
Army officer designated as administrator
until March 1991 when the place was
separated from the military reservation.
holds boodle fight for Lions World
Lunch Relay Event
Infantry (Kaugnay) Division of the
Philippine Army under Brig. Gen.
Glorioso Miranda and the Nueva Ecija
Cardinals Lions Club headed by Jing V.
Fernando fed 625 Army personnel in
connection with the Lions World Lunch
Relay Event last April 4.
program was held before the boodle
fight, with Col.Amuerfino Datu,
assistant chief of staff for CEIS G6,
giving a message.
ingrained in the social consciousness of
the7ID Troopers, and we thank you for
impressing this virtue among your
members. Once again, thank you to Lions
Club of Nueva Ecija headed by Ms. Jing
Fernando for feeding a total of 625
soldiers and for promoting 7th Infantry
(KAUGNAY) Division as one of the tourist
destinations here in Nueva Ecija.
Together, let us craft the legacy of a
fully revitalized 7ID and create a
profound difference in the lives of the
Kaugnay Troops," Col Datu said .
also featured a yo-yo exhibition by
Spyro Marco, Ultimate Talentadong Pinoy
Champion 2013. ###
cases filed against employer of
beheaded OFW, brother-in-law
suspected of killing a female overseas
Filipino worker whose head was found in
a plastic bag in an irrigation canal
have been charged with murder.
Samson and his brother-in-law, Elcielo
Valdez, both of Barangay Lourdes, Santa
Rosa were charged at the Provincial
identified as the employer of the
victim, Maribel Alpas, 30, single, of
Hinona-An, Negros Occidental, who worked
as a domestic helper for his family for
two years in the United Kingdom.
Eric de Venancio, Cabiao police chief,
said the victim was last known to be
alive last March 20 when she texted her
sister that she would go to her
employer's house and that someone was
going to pick her up at the bus stop in
Barangay Lourdes, Santa Rosa.
camera installed at a gasoline station
near the bus stop captured Alpas getting
into a multicap.
did not say if the man driving was
Samson or Valdez, but it was the last
time Alpas was seen alive.
later, a plastig bag containing the head
of the victim was fished out of an
irrigation canal in Sitio Saint Joseph
in Barangay San Fernando Sur, Cabiao.
The rest of the body has yet to be
said that despite the filing of murder
charges against the suspects, the motive
for the killing was still under
6 girls rescued in
Cabanatuan, 2 pimps arrested
arrested two alleged pimps and rescued
six young women, most of them minors, in
reaching Camp Crame said the suspected
pimps, Shan Sanchez and Jessielyn
Aquino, were arrested after offering the
services of the girls for P4,000 each to
undercover agents of the 3rd Criminal
Investigation and Detection Unit
undertaking anti-human trafficking
women were turned over to the
local social welfare and development
Former army soldier
killed in Talavera
Philippine Army soldier was shot dead by
unidentified men in Barangay Minabuyok,
Talavera on the night of April 11.
Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police
office chief, reported to Camp Crame
that the victim was Carolito
Rcohermoso, 47, a former member of the
Army and a resident of the barangay.
was on his way to harvest palay at the
farm of Boyet Vinculado and while
walking along an irrigation dike, he was
shot several time by the suspects. The
victim died on the spot due to severe
gunshot wounds in the body.
later recovered two caliber .45
cartridges at the scene.
he had ordered the Talavera police chief
to conduct hot pursuit operations and
identification of the suspects, and
uncover the motive for the killing. ###
Ex-police asset shot dead
police asset was shot and killed by
armed men who had barged into his home
in Barangay Bantug Norte, Cabanatuan
City last April 11.
was identified as Angelo Lucas, 39,
body with gunshot wounds in the head was
found at 7:00 A.M. by a certain Rolan
Lucas who informed the police about it.
Investigators believe the persons
responsible for the killing were members
of a syndicate that Lucas had tipped to
the police. ###
Pa, daughter killed in
San Leonardo traffic accident
A father and
his daughter were killed when the
tribike they were riding collided with a
passenger bus along Maharlika Highway in
Barangay Tabuating, San Leonardo on the
night of Apriil 1.
Renato Morales identified the victims as
Andy Zaragoza Tigao, 47, and his
daughter Angeliine Alguarte Tigao, 6,
both residents of Barangay Tabuating.
showed that at about 8:00 P.M. the
victims were on their way home aboard a
tribike when they were bumped by a
Baliwag Transit Bus (CXM-910) driven by
Luisito Bundoc Ortiz, 56, of Barangay
San Roque, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. The
driver surrendered to the police.
were rushed to Gonzales General Hospital
but were declared dead on arrival. ###