Friday, June 30, 2017

Building Catholic School in Tumauini . . .


After serving the Parish of Cauayan, Isabela, for more than five (5) years building Chapels in every Barangay of the more than 60 Barangays in Cauayan, Fr. Angel Luga returned to Tumauini, his hometown, as Parish Priest of the UNESCO declared heritage site St. Matthias Church.  With the present state of the Church damaged by the typhoon that hit Tumauini in recent years, Fr. Luga is advocating for the renovation of the Church and to address the educational needs of the children in Tumauini and its nearby towns.

St. Matthias School in Tumauini has been in existence since 1951.  It is the only Catholic School and the second oldest educational institution in Tumauini catering to the secondary educational needs of its residence and its neighboring towns.   What makes the school unique was its curriculum focusing on value formation of its students. For more than half a century the School of St. Matthias caters not only to the Tumanuians, but also those in the nearby municipalities.  They develop God fearing, caring children to their parents and as a responsible member of the society, under its vision: Love of God, Country and Environment.

Lately, however, its population continuously decreases. Other schools in Tumauini also suffered the same fate.  

When Fr. Angel B. Luga, an Alumni of the School himself, took over as its School Director sometime in January 2012, he wrote the Board of Trustees of the School (which is under the Diocese of Ilagan)  and made a strong representation requesting that the tuition free for the first year students of the school should be made FREE.  In his letter, Fr. Luga wrote that he is willing to donate whatever honorarium he shall be entitled, i.e., P 6,000.00 a month or P 72,000.00 a year, should the school suffers financial loses in its operation.     

In the same manner, Dr. Iluminada L. Nepomuceno, PhD, expressed her strong support to Fr. Angel B. Luga’s move.  Dr. Nepomuceno said:  “I myself is an Alumnus of this School. I dedicated my entire life in rearing the youth of Tumauini and shall soon be retiring from the service. If there is something more that I can do to propagate and foster the moral values we have learned and internalize from our Alma Matter, so let it be and may God help us all.”

Both Fr. Angel and Dr. Nepomuceno is appealing to all the Alumni of the School to bond altogether help the School in developing and molding the youth of Tumauini, the way its Alumni was molded by the School.  “It is high time for us to look back. If we have  talents, extra materials or possession in life, it is high time to share should it be in excess of what we have in this earthly world.  Should it be the only legacy we can share to the youth as an embodiment of what we have gained through the learning and values instilled on us by the Institution where we all came from, so let it be. Our Father in Heaven shall grateful to Us,” said Fr. Luga. 

Fr. Luga further said that, “while we may be in a difficult situation, we must not lose sight of continuously upgrading our facility and services to develop youthful Tumauinians to be competitive in whatever endeavor they shall be indulging into in the future.  It is in them that our future lies.  The quality of leaders we shall have in the future depends on the values we shall inculcate and instill to our youth.  I am appealing to you, not only as an Alumnus, but also as fellow Tumauninian and as an Ibanag, a proud people of our glorious past, to rise once again and face this challenge united as a one.”  

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

OLPP, Building Christian Communities in Cauayan City, Isabela

Rev. Fr. Angel Luga have been a Priest for over three decades serving different Parishes in Isabela. He is a native of Tumauini. With a group of persons whose roots were from Tumauini and the Parishioners of Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Cauayan, the Parish produced this Audio-Visual Presentation to thank those, here and abroad - who continuously helps Fr. Angel realize his project for the people of Cauayan City, which started with our simple project: Isabela Awaits You . . .", which we mentioned in our previous post. To those who resides in a Barangay somewhere in Cauayan City now working in Germany who continuously helps their Barangay raise fund abroad to built a Chapel for their community - thank you very much from the people of your Barangay! Now you can see it worldwide. To many others and to those good samaritans who passes by, please watch the AVP below. Thank you po! Let us help build a Christian community in Cauayan City. There are many more things that can be done before its Parish Priest shall be transferred on 2011.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Isn't it wonderful to celebrate the birth of Christ in its true meaning? The spirit of giving and sharing to and from the people of Cauayan City, here and abroad. Building chapels for their communities with the help of Good Samaritans, the community and the Church in You Tube . . .





(Our proposed cover and label design, we hope that there are good samaritans along the way who is willing to sponsor the mass production of the cover through Fr. Angel in Cauayan, Isabela, as we are working in tight budget for this production considering that this is a non-profit undertaking.)
(Above picture: the Bishop of Ilagan, His Emminence Joseph Nacua).

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I fell in love with St. Mathias Church in Tumauini, Isabela, the first time I saw it. I promised myself to return, whenever permitted. After Isabela Awaits You Part I Project (which we mentioned in our previous posts), it was an honor to serve once again Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in Cauayan City, Isabela - through the kindness of Fr. Angel. Actually, Fr. Angel's project concerns building of Chapels in Cauayan City, the hometown of DONNA SAMONTE one among the great Photographer we encountered in Facebook. We hope that in His time, Donna shall personally capture the intricate details of St. Mathias Church and the Barroque churches in Isabela for the New Yorker's to see the beauty of Isabela by Donna's keen interpretation in details, colors and composition, for those in the United States to see the beauty of Isabela.

We shall start by honoring those who inspired us to return to Tumauini after we documented Fr. Angel's projects in Cauayan City. Isabela Awaits You . . . Part II. This shall be a series of video clips in support of Fr. Angel's Project in Cauayan City - One Barangay . . . One Chapel . . . One Community . . . One Church. Imagine the Tumauinians helping those from Cauayan City build Chapels, at the same time promotes its place and Isabela per se . . . . Isn't it wonderful?

(Our proposed cover and label design, we hope that there are good samaritans along the way who is willing to sponsor the mass production of the cover through Fr. Angel in Cauayan, Isabela, as we are working in tight budget for this production considering that this is a non-profit undertaking.)
(Above picture: the Bishop of Ilagan, His Emminence Joseph Nacua).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


We never realized that it was over a year ago when we first started the "Isabela Awaits You" project, after a brief meeting with Rev. Fr. Angel Luga at Col. Mateo Luga's place. It was in September 2008 when we started the project Isabela Awaits You with Fr. Angel Luga. What was then a simple project now claims its place at the first spot in google search engine when you search for St. Mathias, Tumauini, churches and shrines in Isabela. St. Mathias Church in Tumauini its history is now in the forefront of google search engine when you look for the Church and the place.

This was how our project begun. We have not acquired a 3ccd camera then and we were just converting from VCD to DVD format, unlike today with our upgraded top of the line equipment. Yet we are proud that the Tumauinians and the Ibanag started the Cyber Revolt it was sad, however, that Fr. Luga have to relinquished his post as the Superintendent of the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Ilagan due to his heavy workload. Cauayan with roughly 115,000 residents, 85% of which are Roman Catholics, only have a Parish Priest in Our Lady of the Pillar Parish. Mariesu Antonio, is now with the present Superintendent of Diocesan Schools. We appreciated her help in our first mission. Meanwhile, Rev. Fr. Luga remains with his Parishioners at Our Lady of the Pillar in Cauayan, Isabela, now concentrating on building Chapels for each Barangay, which we shall be presenting as we progress in this newly constructed site. This was how it begun (our first experiment):

(Pardon us for typographical errors, as the above production was hastily made and the editors then were not fully familiar with the places).

Lately, we returned to Isabela to document the chapels which were already constructed by Our Lady of the Pillar Parish, in Cauayan City, which we shall be featuring soon. It's a documentary.

On our second mission, we have to fulfill our promise to a woman (just like our promise when we were in Legaspi City), to see her mother, who resides in Tumauini and to the Tumauinians in U.S. and Canada, who this woman represents. I am referring to no other than, Mila Samonte Opseth of Merry Christmas!
Fr. Angel Luga celebrating Mass at Our Lady of the Pillar Parish, during the lighting of the candle, which symbolizes the start of the Misa de Gallo, the Simbang Gabi.Fr. Florman Cabauatan, the Parish Priest of St. Matthias Church in Tumauini, with Eng'r. Tony Luga of the Malappo Nga Ibanag Cooperative. I was told that the lady in yellow is also a relative. Fr. Cabauatan was the former Chaplain of the Philippine Military Academy at the time when Col. Alan Luga was still in the Academy. Caught on camera was Mrs. Samonte, the mother of Mila Samonte Opseth of, we never thought of meeting Mila's sister instead of her Mother, to whom we partly dedicate this production.
Above pictures: Eng'r. Tony Luga, his brothers and sister and their family (The family of Rev. Fr. Angel Luga); and, a wedding between a bride (also a relative of the Lugas) from Ugad, Tumauini and the groom, who hails at Cauayan City.
Above pictures: The members of Our lady of the Pillar Parish Choir, Cauayan City; and, the Altar Boys, don't you know that the one who organized the Knights of the Altar at Baguio Cathedral was from Isabela? We were told by the children at Baguio Cathedral. Unluckily, we did not get his name, but we were told that he went back to Isabela.