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The Franciscans in Cagayan Valley
St. Anne Parish, Buguey, Cagayan Valley



By: Fr. Martino Concato, OFM


According to Fr. Francisco Rojano, a great chronicler of Cagayan, the first conquistadores arrive in this province came through a lagoon near the town of Buguey named Cagayan, which gave the name to this province as well as to the natives living there.


The Spaniards set foot in Buguey soon after they founded Nueva Segovia ( Lalloc).  The Dominicans took over its administration, during their Chapter held on June 15, 1596, under the patronage of St. Vincent Ferrer, which in the chapter  held on May 20, 1623, was changed to that of Sta. Ana until the present.


It is not know where the etymology of Buguey comes from.  Perhaps it makes reference to the frequent shipwrecks that used to take place in its shores near the mouth of the Cagayan river.  Such is the opinion of Fr. Antonio Lobato who, in his dictionary, writes under the word Buguey: to sink, to be shipwrecked.


In the year 1616, Don Juan de Silva, Governor General, granted permission to build a church and a convent.  In 1617, Don Antonio de Valtierra was the encomendero.  According to Fr. Rojano, in 1732 the church and the convent were destroyed by fire caused by a vigil lamp that was burning in one of the rooms.  It was a pity to see the best around go up in flames.


The Dominicans were in Buguey till 1897 when the American took over the government of the Philippine Islands and the secular priest s, the spiritual care of the people.


During World War II the convent was burned down – its ruins can still be seen. 


Fr. Gerardo Filippetto and Fr. Angelo Ramponi arrived in March of 1952 and took over the administration of the parish from the last Filipino secular priest, Fr. Francisco Boado.  They also stated the Italian Franciscan Foundation of Cagayan.


During the last 26 years the parish was reorganized both spiritually and materially.  Spiritually, by the increased assistance given to the barrio folks,  bringing to them the Mass and the sacraments.  Parish organizations were reorganized and increased; religious instruction begun to be imparted in all public schools.  Materially, by the improvements done in the convent and church: the convento was enlarged; the church walls were plastered, the roofing was replaced, and a new granolithic floor was laid.


At present, the parish is served by two priest:  Fr. Antonino Sernagiotto, OFM parish priest, and Fr. Martino Concato, OFM, regular superior, vicar forane and member of the Diocesan Council of Priests.


In Febrauary 1978, the fraternity of the Third Order was recognized.  Fr. Bernardine

Leones, OFM, Natinal Spiritual Director of the Third Order, was in Buguey for the occasion and talked to the Tertiaries about the Franciscans spirituality.


IV Centenial Activities


On July 10, 1978, the Bugueyanos held an impromptu program to welcome the rev. Fr. Ezechiele Danieli, OFM, the Provincial of the Venetian Province.  In the course of the program the people thanked Fr. Provincial again and again for having sent the Franciscans to Cagayan.  They also expressed their deep gratitude to all the Franciscans who have worked here and expressed their wishes that young Filipino Franciscans continue working here.


On September 10, 1978, the Very Rev. Fr. Silvestre Murillo, vicar, visited the Cagayan foundation.  He met with the Tertiaries and talked to them at length about the history of the Franciscan Order, particularly in the Philippines.  He expressed satisfaction for the many vocations to the Order here in the Philippines; our house of formation are filled with candidates, some of whom hail from Cagayan.  This is indeed  good news to hear during the fourth centennial celebration.


____  400 Years 1578 -1978 FFRANCISCANS IN THE PHILIPPINES

St. Anthony Parish, Santa Ana, Cagayan

St. Anthony Parish

Santa Ana, Cagayan


Located at the north eastern tip of Luzon in the Province of Cagayan, practically it is the last town in the North. It was formerly the barrio Palawig, Gonzaga, Cagayan Valley, Proclaimed town by Executive Order #. 239 by President Quirino on October 21, 1949, with a new name: SANTA ANA, derived from the first letters of the family names of the provincial officers, A- Governor Nicasio Arranza, N – Board Member Federico Navarro and A- Board Member Roberto Avena.  The former “Palawig” was attended by the Diocesan Clergy from Buguey until 1948 when it was entrusted to the priest residing in Gonzaga.  In March 1952 the Franciscan Fathers from the Franciscan Province of St. Anthony of Padua in Venice, Italy arrived in the newly created municipality. Ecclesiastically it was still a part of the Parish of Gonzaga, with Fr. Salvador Lazo.  Become an independent religious entity in 1954 base on the four parish records of  baptisms, confirmations, marriages and funerals. Fr. Gerardo “Gerry” Filippetto , OFM was the first parish priest.


At Present, the Christian community of Sta. Ana is growing, as evidenced by the activity and involvement of the different parish organizations and the Catholic Education imparted by the St. Anthony College formerly St. Anthony Academy was founded February 14, 1953.



St. Rock Parish Hall , Gonzaga, Cagayan


Gonzaga, Cagayan Valley


Wangag was the town imposingly faces the Babuyan Channel on the Northeastern tip of Cagayan that was officially established as municipality in 1917and was change to Gonzaga in honor of the first Governor of Cagayan, Don Gracio Gonzaga;  with the lot area of 560 sq. (m/km.?). 1980 the census population recorded 22,000 papules. Farming, fishing, cattle and forest product are their main sources of livelihood. It is also rich in natural resources such as, iron, gold and lime stone.  Ecclesiastical record shows that the parish started/ founded in  1948, Fr. Roque Pagulayan was the first parish priest, followed by Fr. Salvador Lazaro and on July to August of 1952 the first Franciscan serve as parish priest was Fr. Angelo Ramponi, OFM, Fr. Martino Concato, OFM  from September 1952 to December 1953, Fr. Carmelo Paludetti, OFM January 1954 to July 1962, Fr. Antonino Sernagiotto, OFM July 1962 to December 1975, Fr. Giovanni Piva, OFM December 1975,  and Fr. Benito Claveria, OFM the last Franciscan Parish Priest. The Franciscan mission ended in Gonzaga on1990. The Diocese took over.


St. Mary of the Angels Parish Sta. Teresita, Cagayan Valley

St. Mary of the Angels Parish

Sta. Teresita, Cagayan


“Namunit” was formerly a big barrio of Buguey.  In  1965 it was separate town and municipality and was given a new name of “Sta. Teresita” not in honor of the saints but in the name of the incumbent Governor of Cagayan at that time , Teresa J. Dupaya.


In1965-68, Sta. Teresita continued to be a part of the Parish of Buguey, with regular Sunday service in its old barrios chapel conducted by Fr. Fortunato de Pellegrin, OFM.

On 1969 it became a “quasi-parish, with Fr. Pelligrin as the resident pastor.  1971, the brothers started the construction of the Parish Church. Fr. Fortunato left for Italy and

Fr. Giuseppe Prandina, OFM took over as “quasi-parocus”.1972, Holy week the church was finished and open to public worship. It was pronounced as parish under the patronage of St. Mary of the Angels, on 1973 with Fr. Giovanni Piva, OFM as the first parish priest. It was assigned to the Franciscans as perpetuum.



Officially, the parish encompasses the whole Sta. Teresita Municipality with its thirteen (13) barrios. It is among the smallest town of Cagayan;  it lies with Buguey, Gonzaga and Sta. Ana in the northeastern tip of the province, along the coast of the Babuyan Channel.  Sits between Gonzaga to the east and Buguey to the west; with a natural boundary, the Mission River that separate it from Gonzaga. The total land area is 80 sq. kilometer. Classified as follows: agricultural, residential, Commercial, institutional, Forest. The 95% of the People are Ilocanos the others are Itawis, Bicolano, Visaya, Ibanags, Aetas  or Negritos among the hills bordering the town. Farming is the basic source of income.