Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Our Guardian

St. Augustine

SAINT AUGUSTINE (354-430)( Greatest of the Latin Fathers and one of the most eminent Western Doctors of the Church. )


Augustine was born on November 13, 354, in Tagaste, Numidia ( now Souk-Ahras, Algeria ). His father, Patricius ( died about 371 ), was a pagan ( later coverted to Christianity ), but his mother, Monica, was a devout Christian who labored untiringly for his son’s conversion and who was canonized by the Roman Catholic church. Augustine was educated as a rhetorician in the former North African cities of Tagaste, Madaura, and Carthage. Between the ages of 15 and 30, he lived with a Carthaginian woman whose name is known; in 372 she bore him a son, whom he named Adeodatus, which is Latin for “the gift of God.”


Inspired by the philosophical treatise Hortensius, by the Roman orator and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero, Augustine became an earnest seeker after truth. He considered becoming a Christian, but experimented with several philosophical systems before finally entering the church. For nine years, from 373 until 382, he adhered to Manichaeism, a Persian dualistic philosophy then widely current in the Western Roman Empire. With its fundamental principle of conflict between good and evil. Manichaeism at seemed to Augustine to correspond to experience and to furnish the most plausible hypothesis upon which to construct a philosophical and ethical system. Moreover, its moral code was not unpleasantly strict; Augustine later recorded in his Confessions: “ Give me chastity and continence, but not just now.” Disillusioned by the impossibility of reconciling certain contradictory Manichaeist doctrines, Augustine abandoned this philosophy and turned to skepticism.

About 383 Augustine left Carthage for Rome, but a year later he went on to Milan as a teacher of rhetoric. There he came under the influence of the philosophy of Neoplatonism and also met the bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose, then the most distinguished ecclesiastic in Italy. Augustine presently was attracted again to Christianity. At last one day, according to his own account, he seemed to hear a voice, like that of a child, repeating. “Take up and read.” He interpreted this as a divine exhortation to open the Scriptures and read the first passage he happened to see. Accordingly, he opened to Romans 13:13-14, where he read: ‘… not in revelry and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” He immediately resolved to embrace Christianity. Along with his natural son, he was baptized by Ambrose on Easter Eve in 387. His mother, who had rejoined him in Italy, rejoiced at his answer to her prayers and hopes. She died soon afterward in Ostia.


He returned to North Africa and was ordained in 391. He became bishop of Hippo ( now Annaba, Algeria ) in 395, an office he held until his death. It was a period of political and theological unrest, for while the barbarians pressed in upon the empire, even sacking Rome itself in 410, schism and heresy also threatened the church. Augustine threw himself wholeheartedly into the theological battle. Besides combating the Manichaean heresy, Augustine engaged in two great theological conflicts. One was with the Donatists, a sect that held the sacraments invalid unless administered by sinless ecclesiastics. The other conflict was with the Pelagians, followers of a contemporary British monk who denied the doctrine of original sin. In the course of this conflict, which was long and bitter. Augustine developed his doctrines of original sin and divine grace, divine sovereignty, and predestination. The Roman Catholic church has found special satisfaction in the institutional or ecclesiastical aspects of the doctrines of St. Augustine: Roman Catholic and Protestant theology alike are largely based on their more purely theological aspects. John Calvin and Martin Luther, leaders of the Reformation, were both close students of Augustine.

Augustine’s doctrine stood between the extremes of Pelagianism and Manichaeism. Against Pelagian doctrine, he held that human spiritual disobedience had resulted in a state of sin that human nature was powerless to change. In his theology, men and women are saved by the gift of divine; against Manichaeism he vigorously defended the place of free will in cooperation with grace. Augustine died at Hippo, August 28, 430. His feast day is August 28.


The place of prominence held by Augustine among the Fathers and Doctors of the Church is comparable to that of St. Paul among the apostles. As a writer, Augustine was prolific, persuasive, and a brilliant stylist. His best-known work is his autobiographical Confessions ( circa 400 ), exposing his early life and conversion. In his great Christian apologia The City of God ( 413-26 ), Augustine formulated a theological philosophy of history. Ten of the 22 books of this work are devoted to polemic against pantheism. The remaining 12 books trace to origin, progress, and destiny of the church and establish it as the proper successor to paganism. In 428 Augustine wrote the Retractions, in which he registered his final verdict upon his earlier books, correcting whatever his maturer judgment held to be misleading or wrong. His other writings include the Epistles, of which 270 are in the Benedictine edition, variously dated between 386 and 429; his treatises On Free Will ( 388-95 ). On Christian Doctrine ( 397 ). On Baptism: Against the Donatists ( 400 ). On the Trinity ( 400-16 ), and On Nature and Grace ( 415 ); and Homilies upon several books of the Bible.



by: Bob Martin, Mindanao Blog
Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte — Unknown to most, nipa rum making known as Gigaquit Rum is an old industry since time immemorial. Blessed with more or less 500 hectares of nipa land, Gigaquitnons embraced and ventures this type of business as a source of income. In fact, some folks were able to send their children to school and even finished college studies.

In the course of time nipa farmers formed themselves into an organization imbibed with the spirit of promoting the product outside of their backyard. However, their endeavors became an elusive dream though how voluminous their produce, reaching to far places still remained hidden before the public eyes. Handicapped with modern technology, lacking of technical know-how and funding, members of Gigaquit Wine Producers Association did not survive and subsequently broken into pieces. For so long a time, they’ve been into rum making by individual or small groups using the primitive distilling method with their own standard of taste and quality.

The birth of Gigaquit Agra Multi Purpose Cooperative (GIAMUPCO) gradually turned of another wave of hopes. Though anxious and hesitant to join hands at first for fear that same old thing would happen again, yet members of the defunct wine producers association expressively came forward willing to be reunited back should there anybody stand with them. The Department of Agrarian Reform now Department of Land Reform took lead in the organizational phase, likewise spearheaded and facilitated in the registration of GIAMUPCO at the CDA.

It started with 33 brave-hearted members who were molded and indoctrinated the philosophy of cooperative, determined to craft back the long dream of bringing Gigaquit Rum (GR for short) to the Philippine market arena and hopefully market to the world. Groping for financial assistance members started the business with their hard-earned money in the form of Capital Build Up (CBU). Inspired by the vision of the Local Government Unit to make Gigaquit the center of wine industry in the Province of Surigao del Norte and Caraga Region, GIAMUPCO vowed to toss up Gigaquit Rum in the hall of fame even within Surigao del Norte. Amidst financial turmoil the Coop has faced, it remained courageous to march forward. Coop members believed that if graced effort proved superior to fate then everything will come into reality.

In the advent of the different agencies the prevalent hopes of the said coop shined brighter and brighter. Their blissful interventions in the life of the aforementioned organization as change agents for development pave the way to zoom its apex of fulfilling its dream. Enormous opportunities entered into the doors of GIAMUPCO to participate in the trade fairs and exhibits to gain public recognition and appreciation from great personalities; construction of distillery building materialized; purchasing of two units of distilling equipments, alcoholmeter to attain standard alcohol contents and premium taste, additional working capital and continuous education and capability enhancement, improved packaging and labeling, product dressing and assessment for product intensification and the like. For all of these, grateful members would like to lay their hats off to salute the converge efforts conveyed by: LGU-Gigaquit, DAR, LGSP-TOUGH Foundation, TESDA, DOST-ITDI, DTI, DOLE, DENR, SDC-Asia and FAO-PATSARRD among others. The public is assured with 100% doubt-free GIAMUPCO’s Gigaquit Rum is methanol free that carried the theme “Go Organic, Go Natural”. No chemical mixture added to attain its historical superior taste. It can be matched up with colas or juices or can be drank straightly. FORWARD GIAMUPCO’s FINEST GIGAQUIT RUM!! (DARMO-Gigaquit/PIA-Surigao del Norte)

Our Past

By Jose Navallo Enano, published in “The Surigao Times” Sept 1954

Click the image . . .

Updated from Gigaquit Town Fiesta 2006 Souvenier Program by Jose L. Bonite, Jr.
In the early years of human civilization, Gigaquit was largely a swampland forests straddling several miles from the eastern part of claver down to the western coastal areas of Placer.

The rivers and streams crisscrossing these vast areas were teeming with fauna and abundant marine life, according to oral history.

These nature’s bounties have lured the early settlers to stay for good. The early known settlements were those of Panhutungan, Boyugnon, Tapahan, Panamaw, and Kasibuan which were all under the territorial jurisdiction of Gigaquit.

The early nomadic settlers were Negritoes a Spanish term for “Little Negro” who were inhabitants of Southeast Asia and Oceania. They were short below five feet, dark brown to black hair that was curly to frizzy, skin color ranging from yellowish brown to black, and scant body hair. Their traditional way of life was based on hunting and food gathering ( Grolier, 1999 ).

The anthropologists Hontendorf, Gervan, and Beyer called them Jojoan Mamanwas, literally means bush people, who arrived at Mindanao through the backdoor of Sulu Archipelago by land bridges between 800 B.C. to 800 A.D.

The third group of settlers, the Indonesians, Papoans, and Malays had driven the Mamanwas inland towards Nuevo Campo mountain ranges.

As permanent settlements have flourished, a bustling economic activity known as barter trade have been established between the natives and foreign traders who came from as far as China and India.

In 1620, a pioneering Recollect priest, Fr. Juan de San Antonio based at Numancia parish propagated the Christian faith among the natives.

As more natives were Christianized, the Muslims escalated their attacks to settlements. The Spaniards who never subdued Muslim settlements in Mindanao called the invaders as “Moros” which means sea marauders.

A converted Christian named Cero established the first settlement at Boyugnon along the seashore open to Muslim attacks. The raiders would capture the natives who would be sold to traders as slaves and/or employed them as house helpers.

To elude invaders, Cero and his men has transferred their settlement in the hinterland of Nuevo Campo. Soon after Muslim raids has subsided, Cero made the dramatic return riding on a raft called GAKIT and landed on a seashore known as Gigad ( hi’gad ). It was later called GIGAQUIT a name derived from that significant event.

In 1849, Rev. Fr. Gregorio Logronio was installed the pioneer parish priest when Gigaquit became independent parish. A year later, the parishioners celebrated their annual fiesta imploring the intercession of patron saint, St. Augustine who died on August 28. He was acknowledged patron saint by parishioners on account that he was a Muslim turned staunch Catholic faith defender.

In 1840, Don Buenaventura Napil became the first town executive known as gobernadorcillo in the Spanish regime. The town’s head was given the title of respect or address as Don.

In 1860 during the term of Don Julian Parnada, wavy Boholanos looking for greener pasture reding on large bancas settled in the Poblacion, Canlagsik, Hinangbudjan, Parang, and Mahanub. The Boholanos being religious originated the Minoros and Djinawa to honor the patron saint during fiesta.

It was widely the lyrical dramas staged along and after the procession of the wooden image of St. Augustine around town would dispel bad weather during the celebration of the annual festivity.

Lack of cultural awareness, however have dragged what would have been the town’s great cultural heritage into the murky depth of oblivion.

Nicolas Enano was elected the first Captain under the American regime established in 1904 as Don Felix Legaspi held on the last vestige of the Spanish colonial regime in 1903.

Recaredo Gonzalez was elected in 1915 when the title of Captain was changed to President. The commonwealth government had Gregorio Canda, popularly known as Kapitan Oyong as the first elected mayor.

When World War II broke, Mayor Leopoldo E. Eliot surrendered to the Japanese to prevent bloodshed even as Protolico Egay became the guerilla governor with headquarter at sitio Tomorok in Nuevo Campo.

In 1956 during Mayor Juan Gijal second term, claver became independent town as the offshoot of his campaign promise. In 1964, Francisco L. Gonzalez won the mayorship and facilitated the establishment of the Gigaquit National School of Home Industries.

In 1972, Atty. Carlos M. Egay served an extended term when President Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21 that same year. During his term, Gigaquit was energized through the rural electrification program of the Marcos regime. After the EDSA bloodless revolution in February 25, 1986, Dr. Rafael B. Eliot was installed the officer incharge in the office of the municipal mayor. His OIC status was confirmed by electoral mandate in 1988.

During Eliot’s term, the remnants players of MINOROS AND DJINAWA tried to revive the play but lack of morel and financial support caused their natural deaths.

In 1992, Mayor Domingo Perral wrestled the mayoralty belt after he was defeated in his first attempt and proceeded to become the second long-reigning mayor completing his three consecutive term. He stepped down and put up a political revenge after his son was defeated in what perceived as a clan showdown in 2001 election.

Mayor Elvira A. Egay easily won the contest only to be humbled by Mayor Mayor Perral in a return mayoralty bout in 2004 election.The MINOROS and DJINAWA were revived during her term along with a SINULOG-inspired street dancing called Serong Serong.

When Perral took over in 2004 it was taken away as a center of activity. It came to limelight with renewed vigor, vivacity, and pomposity of world-renowned SINULOG Festival.

The new administration of comebacking Mayor Carlos M. Egay, Sr. will continue the revival efforts especially the MINOROS, DJINAWA and the Sinulog-inspired street dancing Serong Serong.


Socio-economic Profile


• Name of Municipality : Gigaquit

• Province of : Surigao del Norte

• Region : 13 – Caraga

• Classification : 4th Class

• No. of Barangays : 13

• Total Land Area : 24,147.375 has.

• Major Economic Activity

> Agriculture : 60.00 %

> Fishing : 12.00 %

> Gov’t. Employees : 9.00 %

> Others : 19.00%


• Built – up : 123.790 has.

• Agricultural : 11,146.275 has.

• Open Grassland : 374.000 has.

• Forest Land : 11,152.910 has.

• Swamp/Marshland : 1,134.400 has.

• Rivers/Creek : 216.000 has.


Barangays Population  / Households

A. Urban:

1. Alambique (Poblacion.) 1,591  /  317

2. Ipil (Poblacion) 1,279  /  279

B. Rural:

3. Anibongan 194  /  39

4. Camamonan 1,483  /  267

5. Camboayon 355  /  62

6. Lahi 707  /  127

7. Mahanub 1,778  /  384

8. Poniente 1,588  /  297

9. San Antonio 751  /  131

10. San Isidro 2,925  /  584

11. Sico-sico 811  /  163

12. Villaflor 1,235  /  272

13. Villafranca 1,458  /  275

• Total Population : 16,155

• Ave.Growth Rate of Pop. : 1.145 %

• Total Households : 3,197 HH

• Ave. Population per Households : 5

• Population Density : 0.669 pax/ha.

• Male to Female Ratio : 97 : 100

• Child and Youth Group : 41.30 %

• Productive Population : 54.26 %

• Dependent Population : 45.73 %

• Young Dependency Ratio : 76.11 %

• Old Dependency Ratio : 8.17 %

• Marital Status

> Male : 3.16 %

> Female : 3.38 %

• Labor Force

> Economically Active : 61.00 %

> Employment Rate : 85 %


• Agricultural Areas

> Riceland - Irrigated : 805.000 has.

- Rainfed : 211.430 has

> Cocoland : 9,371.495 has.

> Corn : 202.490 has.

> Others : 555.860 has.

> Total : 11,146.27 has.

• Agricultural Production

> Rice : 6,269.290 MT

> Coco : 18,742.990 MT

> Corn : 121.500 MT

> Others : Unknown

• Road to Agricultural Land Ratio : 0.0048


• Do-ot Beach

• Wetland Park

• Cuyapnit Cave

• Cagban Island

• Nagubat Island

• Anibongan Beach


• Nipa Rum Making

• Nipa Shingles

• Bamboo Products Production


• Rural Bank : 2

• Pawnshop : 1

• General Merchandising : 2

• Public Market : 2


• Elementary Schools : 11

• Secondary School : 2

• Number of Teachers

> Elementary : 97

> Secondary : 35

• Number of Classrooms

> Elementary : 78

> Secondary : 17

• Teacher to Student Ratio

> Elementary : 1 : 25

> Secondary : 1 : 22

• Classroom to Student Ratio

> Elementary : 1 : 46

> Secondary : 1 : 46

• Literacy Rate : 94.39 %


• Crude Birth Rate : 15.70

• Total Fertility Rate : 77.91

• Crude Death Rate : 3.16

• Infant Mortality Rate : none

• Young Child Mortality Rate : none

• Maternal Mortality Rate : none

• Rate of Malnutrition : 15.44 %

• Health Resources, Facilities and Services

> Rural Health Center : 1

> Barangay Health Stations ; 5

> Hospital : 1

> Medical Health Officers

• RHU : 1

• Hospital : 1

> Nurses

• RHU : 1

• Hospital : 4

• DOH Rep. : 1

> Midwives

• RHU : 5

• Hospital : 3

> Sanitary Inspector : 1

> BHWs : 81


• National Road

> Concrete : 4.75 km.

> Gravel : 1.75 km. :

> Total : 6.50 km.

• Provincial Road

> Concrete : 3.50 km.

> Gravel : 11.04 km

> Earth : 14.00 km.

> Total : 28.54 km.

• Municipal Road

> Concrete : 6.00 km.

> Gravel : 3.20 km.

> Total : 9.20 km.

• Barangay Road : 54.00 kms.

> Concrete : 2.50 km.

> Gravel : 41.98 km.

> Earth : 9.52 km.

> Total : 54.00 km.

• Bridges

> National : 4

> Provincial : 5

> Municipal : 4

• Irrigation

> CIP : 1 sys.

> SWIP : 3 sys.

• Water System

> Own use faucet, Community water system 259 HH

> Shared faucet, Community water system 654 HH

> Own use, Tube/piped deep well 238 HH

> Shared tube/Piped deep well 539 HH

> Dug well 346 HH

> Spring, Lake, River, Rain, etc 396 HH


• Cellsites

> Globe Communication 1 site

> Smart Communication 1 site

• Telephone

> Philcom 1

> DOTC 1

Prepared by:



About Gigaquit

GIGAQUIT- is one of the oldest municipalities in the Province of Surigao del Norte, founded in 1850 and is the mother municipality of Bacuag and Claver which became separate municipalities in 1918 and 1955 under executive order number 61 & 125 respectively.

The municipality of Gigaquit consists of 13 barangays, interiorly located facing the pacific ocean and bounded in the east by the municipality of Claver, on the west by the municipality of Bacuag, on the north by the sea and on south by the municipalities of Alegria and Kitcharao in the Province of Agusan del Norte.  It is the second to the last municipality of Surigao del Norte going to Surigao Del Sur in the south via the coastal highway.  It lies approximately between the grid 125 o 40 o to 125 o 45 o north latitude and between the grids 9 o 26 o East longitude.

The climate is similar to the rest of the municipalities of the Province of Surigao del Norte which is classified as type II.  It has the absence of the pronounced dry season but with maximum rainfall from November to January.   It occupies a land area of 24,147 hectares including the land used for agriculture, built up, swamp/marshland, rivers/creek, forest land and open grass.  Two barangays are situated in the urban area barangay Alambique and Ipil and 11 barangays found in rural area.  It is 550 nautical miles from Manila and 58km. away from Surigao city, the provincial capital. Accessibility and mobility is highly concrete from the national road to the provincial road down to the municipal road and other infrastructure which contains gravel in some barangay road.


Majority of the community folks speaks Surigaonon (with unique Gigaquitnon accent).  Boholanon, English and Tagalog are also widely spoken.   Some Gigaquitnons especially in the upland areas still have same cultures and tradition inherited from the local ancestors but which are now seldom practiced by the new  generation due to today’s new trends.   Gigaquit has a total population of 18,870.  Barangay San Isidro is the most populous having 3,184 residents and the least populated is Barangay Anibongan containing only 217 people.  Christianity is the religion by almost all in the municipality while a few has different religious practices.


Although Gigaquit is classified as a 4th class municipality within the province of Surigao del Norte, the wages of government employees are considered to be in 3rd class category.  The major economic activities are agriculture, industry, and fishing.  The municipality is blessed with continuous productivity given by Mother Nature through its rich environmental assets.

During ancient times, early settlers have established a busting economic activity known as “barter trade” between the natives and foreign traders from as far as China and India.   Eventually, this activity vanished owing to the advent of new inventions that changed the dynamics of trade.

In the urban area, general merchandising is quite active which contribute to local employment opportunities.  Commerce and trade in Barangay San Isidro is flourishing as the area served as the center for economic production due to central location and proximity to the provincial road.  The tourism sector has a great potential also for economic contribution. It needs to be developed to meet and satisfy visiting tourists needs for good quality service.