Archbishop Gilbert Garcera’s Inaugural Speech@ his Installation

April 23, 2017

Please pray for the whole province of Batangas. I beg you. Please pray for me. Hindi pa nagsisimula ang aking panunungkulan bilang Arsobispo ng Lipa, marami nang lindol at aftershocks na nangyari rito sa ating lalawigan (ng) Batangas. Please pray for us.

 

Tulad ng nangyari kay Jesus noong Siya ay nabuhay muli, natakot ang mga sundalo. Ngunit ang lindol sa yungib kung saan si Jesus ay iniibing ay hudyat ng bagong buhay, ng buhay, ng pag-asa at pagtitiwala sa Diyos na hinding-hindi tayo pababayaan. Please pray for us.

 

I am fully aware that Jesus, the Risen Lord, will never ever abandon us. Allow me to divide my message into two parts: the first is my expression of gratitude to all of you and the second is my response to the basic question of what you expect after the solemn installation of your new Archbishop.

 

The Eucharist, which we have celebrated, is my humble way of participating in Jesus’ gratitude to the Heavenly Father. Jesus, who is our Eucharist, will always feed us. And I strongly believe that the Risen Lord will strengthen us and will guide us in our journey.

 

During the Mass, I close my eyes to remember you all in my prayers. My sentiment of gratitude goes to all of you, to our dearest Cardinal Orly, Cardinal Quevedo, the Archbishop of Cotabato, and to Cardinal Lolo Dency, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, (the) Archbishop-Emeritus of Manila, and to Cardinal Vidal, the Archbishop-Emeritus of Cebu. Alam ko po na kahit na po kayo (ay) may karamdaman, Cardinal Vidal, nandito po kayo sa amin. Maraming salamat po, mga Excellencies.

 

To you, Archbishop Rolly Tirona, my Metropolitan Archbishop of Caceres, all the Archbishops and Bishops and administrators present, as I humbly accept this pastoral task given (to) me by Pope Francis, I wish to thank Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, our Papal Nuncio, who on Saturday, January 28, fifteen minutes before the start of the CBCP Assembly, relayed to me the desire (of) Pope Francis for me to assume the shepherding task in the Archdiocese of Lipa. Thank you, Your Excellency, for presiding in my solemn installation.

 

In 2007, I thought of entrusting myself to the words of Jeremiah, “wherever you are sent, go,” ad omnia quae mittam te ibis. This is my episcopal motto. Today, after ten years as a Bishop, Archbishop Soc, the CBCP President, has deepened in his homily “The Fundamental Obedience as mentioned in Pastores Dabo Vobis,” and (by) following the Lord, going means dying. Archbishop Soc, thank you for enlightening us of Jesus’ obedience to the Father’s will, which is dying for his loved ones.

 

In a very special way, allow me to acknowledge with gratitude in my heart the fourteen years of pastoral presence and services of Archbishop Ramon Arguelles in the Archdiocese of Lipa. Archbishop Monching, the Archdiocese of Lipa extends its support to you, both in the immensa episcopy and for any medical assistance the Archdiocese could offer. Rest assured, Archbishop Monching, of our prayers. Please continue being part of our journey as a people in Batangas seeking God’s kingdom here on earth.

 

Alam nyo po, Archbishop, kakaunti lang ang aking kaalaman tungkol sa Archdiocese, ngunit sa iyong pagdalaw sa Daet sa loob ng tatlong araw, sa mga kuwentuhan natin, sa tulong mo po, uumpisahan ko ang pag-aaral ko at pagkakilala sa Arsidiyosesis ng Lipa. Maraming salamat po, Archbishop, sa book na ito na may pamagat (na) “After a Century of Faith, the Local Church of Lipa.” Ito po ang ibinigay sa aking parang report ninyo, napaka-formal at napakaganda at iyan po ay ginawa ni Archbishop Arguelles. Maraming salamat po.

 

At this point, let me thank our government officials in the province of Batangas, our distinguished congressmen and women, Governor Mandanas, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Batangas, the City Mayor of Lipa, Mayor Sabili, all the mayors of the 31 municipalities of the province and three cities, Lipa, Batangas and Tanauan. I also wish to acknowledge the presence of our government officials coming from Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, sa inyo pong lahat na mga Bicolano, maraming salamat po.

 

For ten years, I have journeyed with the people of Camarines Norte, the Diocese of Daet. As I start another chapter of my priestly life in the Archdiocese of Lipa, I cannot but thank you my dear priests from the Bicol Region, the Archdiocese of Caceres and the Diocese of Daet, in particular, and the priests, the religious from Metro Manila and from all parts of the country, thank you, my dear priests for joining me in thanking the good shepherd. I also thank our lay people coming from all over the country, those coming from Bicol, particularly, from Naga City and Magarao, my hometown, and those coming from the thirty parishes of the Diocese of Daet. I also address my message of gratitude to all Family and Life ministers from all over the country, and all of you who are closest to my heart, to all of you who are closest to the heart of Jesus, thank you very much.

 

And lastly, I thank my family who are here, Dios mabalos sa indo.

 

I am now installed as the Archbishop of Lipa. Now, I am here before you. Now, I face the graces of shepherding the beloved Archdiocese of Lipa. I thank you, my dear priests, religious, lay leaders and all of you who are here from all over the Archdiocese of Lipa. As the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lipa composed of the Dioceses of Gumaca, Lucena, Boac, Marinduque, Infanta, San Jose, Mindoro and Calapan, I seek the support and prayers of our suffragan bishops, Bishop Vic Ocampo of Gumaca, Bishop Emilio Marquez of Lucena, Bishop Bernie Cortez of Infanta, Bishop Junie Maralit of Boac, Bishop William Antonio of San Jose, (Mindoro) and Bishop Warlito Cahandig of Calapan. My dear bishops of this Metropolitan Province, turuan nyo po ako, teach me. Ako ay batang-bata na makasama nyo. Turuan nyo po ako na maging Arsobispo and (be) faithful to my task as an Archbishop and a Bishop. To all of you, my dear priests, religious, lay leaders and to all of you who are here, thank you for welcoming me into your hearts and for preparing this solemn occasion of this canonical possession and installation.

 

What is my dream and prayers for you in the Archdiocese of Lipa?

 

Ito po ang dasal ko sa ating lahat sa Arsidiyosesis ng Lipa. Ang ibig ko pong madali nyong maalala ay ang tatlong ‘H.’ I pray to the Holy Spirit that all of us in the Archdiocese of Lipa may be ‘holy,’ may be ‘happy,’ may be ‘healthy.’ Ito ang tatlong ‘H’ na pakatandaan natin. Ibig nating maging banal, galak o happy at masaganang buhay natin through spiritual and physical health.

 

The spirit of Easter is always a blessed occasion. It is always an intimacy with God who embraces us with His love. The Easter spirit is about joy, the joy of the Risen Lord. His gift of peace offers us forgiveness, healing and abundance of life.

 

Sa mga susunod na buwan, payagan ninyo akong mas makilala ko kayo. Ibig ko po kayong makilala nang lubusan. Hingid sa inyong kaalaman, ibig kong malaman ninyo na sa loob ng dalawang buwan, ako’y dumalaw sa mga opisina ng parokya ng Arsidiyosesis na hindi alam ng mga kura paroko. Dumalaw ako sa mga sekretarya at opisina na hindi alam nila kung sino ako. Ako’y nagpanggap na isang magsasaka, naka-tsinelas at butas ang aking t-shirt. Ibig ko lang malaman kung anong ginagawa at ang pakikitungo ng mga sekretarya sa mga maralita. Hindi pa ako umuumpisa, pumunta na ako sa mga opisina ninyo upang tingnan ko how do you treat poor people, yung mga tao natin na ordinaryo lamang. Sa mga sekretarya, pumasok ako sa mga opisina ninyo sa nakaraang mga buwan at alam ko ang nangyayari sa mga opisina.

 

Maraming salamat sa mga kaparian, mga superiors ng congregation at mga pastoral leaders sa pagbibigay nyo sa akin ng panahon upang makausap ko kayo sa pamamagitan ng Lenten Recollection. Maraming salamat sa mga kaparian na nagpaunlak sa hinihiling ng inyong Arsobispo na magpa-medical exam kayo. Sa pasimula ng aking panunungkulan, ibig kong malaman ang kalagayan ng inyong kalusugan. Sino ang may high blood, mataas ang uric, ang PSA at may diabetes sa inyo? Alam ko ang rekord ninyo at alam ko (na) naglilingkod tayo na healthy (at) hindi kain nang kain lamang.

 

Hinihingi ko po sa pamamagitan ng paggabay ng Espiritu Santo, mas makilala ko kayo at mapagnilayan ko ano ang kalooban ng Diyos sa atin, what is the will of God. Kung kaya’t sa mga darating na mga buwan, ito ang mangyayari:

– Sa susunod na taon, 2018, Year of the Clergy, ako’y magpapastoral visit sa lahat ng 64 parishes sa Archdiocese.

– Sa 2019, Year of the Youth, ibig kong dalawin ang lahat ng 40 Catholic schools at colleges, at ang iba’t ibang mga youth parish organizations. Ibig kong pagnilayan ang isang katanungan: Ano ang ginagawa ninyo upang hubugin ang isipan, ang konsensya ng mga kabataan sa panahong ito? How are Catholic schools and colleges responding to the challenges of Pope Francis in view of New Evangelization, new fervor, new methods and renewed love for the Church?

– Sa mga darating na buwan, may inihahanda ang opisina ng Research and Pastoral Development ng mga questionnaires upang sagutin natin mga pari at mga lider layko. Ang ating paghahanda para sa pastoral visit ay hindi technical o corprate. Ito ay pastoral in nature. Hinihingi ko ang tulong ng De La Salle Lipa at iba’t ibang mga universities upang tulungan ako sa paghahanda ng tamang katanungan at analisis na ayon sa kalagayan ng parokya.

– Sa susunod na mga buwan, inaanyayahan ko ang mga pari ng bikaryato na samahan nyo ako sa regular Holy Hour and Common Prayer sa inyong parokya. Prayer is my priority. Asahan din ang mga religious communities, na uumpisahan ko ang pagdalaw sa inyong kumbento. Sa dami ng iskedyul ng inyong Arsobispo, hindi ko kayang tapusin ang aking pagdalaw sa taong ito, ngunit, asahan nyong kakatok lamang ako sa inyo upang makipagdasal at kumain.

– Sa susunod na mga araw, ibig kong malaman ang mga ginagawa ng bawat Archdiocesan Offices and Commissions. Turuan nyo ako. Magpakilala kayo sa akin. Ipaalam ninyo kung ano ang ginagawa ninyo para tayo’y sapat na makapaglingkod sa mga tao.

– Taon-taon, may mga malayong barangay at parokya na ibig kong dalawin at sa pagdalaw ko sa mga barangay na malalayo, ibig kong magbinyag, magkasal at magkumpil nang libre. Sa taong ito, dadalawin ko ang parokya, ang Brgy. Apar, dalawang oras na lalakarin mula sa simbahan ng Parokya ng San Miguel Arkanghel sa Lobo, Batangas, at ang pangalawa ay sa Brgy. Liponpon, sa Parokya ng San Pablo Apostol sa Isla Verde. Sa pagkakaalam ko, dalawa o tatlong oras na lalakarin simula sa simbahan ng parokya. Yung malalayo na mga parokya na hindi pa nakakita ng Obispo, malalayong parokya kung maramdaman itong Diyos natin ay buhay, nagmamahal sa kanila.

– Tungkol sa kalusugan ng mga pari, ina-assign ko ang Adorno Fathers sa pamumuno ni Fr. Liam na mag-iskedyul ng seminar sa November sa lahat ng nagluluto sa mga kumbento ng mga pari. Fr. Liam, turuan ninyo ang mga nagluluto sa tamang ihahain at sa mga pari po naman, alagaan ninyo ang inyong kalusugan. Remember, health is wealth. Ang kalusugan mo ay kayamanan mo.

– Tungkol sa Basilica ng Immaculate Conception sa Batangas, inutusan ko si Fr. Odong Dimaapi, ang kura paroko, na huwag munang gamitin ang Basilica. Ayaw kong may masaktan na mga tao. Sa susunod na mga linggo, inanyayahan ko ang mga kilalang scientists at engineers na recommended ng Episcopal Commission on Cultural Heritage upang tulungan tayong malaman ang extent ng damage ng simbahan at mula roon, alamin natin ang nararapat gawin ayon sa standard ng church renovation o construction. Tungkol sa Basilica ng Taal at iba’t ibang simbahan na napinsala ng lindol, kakausapin ko muna ang mga kura paroko sa nsabing simbahan at titingnan natin ang kahalagahan ng pagtatrabaho at analisis ng simbahang iyon upang bago magtrabaho alam natin ang gagawin.

 

Marami pa akong sasabihin ngunit pansamantala muna ito. Humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa mga kaparian ko. Ito po ang inyong Arsobispo. Ganito magtrabaho ang inyong Arsobispo. To be an Archbishop, to be a Bishop, to be a priest, is not a matter of position or honor; it is about pastoral charity according to Pope Francis; it is about service. This is about what Pope Francis wants, to bring the Risen Lord to all not just inside the Church of Sunday but to go out to its existential peripheries. Again, thank you for coming and please pray for me as I begin shepherding the Archdiocese of Lipa.

 

Maraming salamat po.

 

 

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We Need Mary More than ever

October 30, 2016

(Column of Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, D.D. for Ulat Batangan October issue. )

During the WORLD APOSTOLATE OF FATIMA CONGRESS, one German priest lamented that the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference recently decided to reminisce the quincentennial of the emergence of Martin Luther and the Protestant reform as a remarkable event in Church history but no mention was made of the centenary of the apparitions in Fatima which St Pope John Paul II called probably one of the most important happenings in the Church of our times. Benedict XVI, in his visit to Fatima in 2010 encouraged the faithful to make a seven year preparation for the centenary (2010 – 2017), contending that not all what the Blessed Mother said in Fatima has been fulfilled. That was also left unheeded. Pope Francis realizes the magnitude of that event slating his participation in the Fatima festivities on May 12 to 13, 2017.

The Church in the Philippines is not oblivious of the Fatima phenomenon. Post World War II years witnessed countless people enthused by its spiritual wonder becaming its avid promoters. Fr Patrick Peyton who popularized the importance of the Family Rosary was one of the great Fatima apostles. Fr Roger Moore hopped from country to country, and in the Philippines from parish to parish setting aflame still more the already ardent love of Filipinos for Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother, that earned for our Catholic faithful the label PUEBLO AMANTE DE MARIA. Upon hearing the German priest’s lament about the German Catholic Bishops’ apparent misplaced priority (Martin Luther’s rebellion as against the Marian phenomenon), one may ask: can the CBCP be similarly faulted for its silence about next year’s important Church commemoration, namely, the hundredth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions? Without doubt, many bishops, like their faithful and stirred by them, are aware that this year is the hundredth year of the visit of the Angel of Peace to the little shepherds.

Instead bishops are explicably and deeply distressed along with several citizens at the Philippine presidential overtures to China and Russia. Some openly vent their angst that communists have made inroads in government, and the anti-American rhetoric has become the people’s daily bread creating destabilizing consequences in regional and global politics. Others believe that the communist bogeyman raises goose bumps no longer. As a feared ideology communism has become passé if not at death’s door. Russia, or the former Soviet Union, exudes no more the feared character evocative of atheism, cruel dictatorship, religious persecution, oppression, etc. On the contrary, religion thrives in that country which produced martyrs in its land and elsewhere. It is the long-time ‘friend’ that appears to promote a Godless society and while pretending to champion human rights is seen as the power peddling death. Ninety-nine years ago, the Lady of Fatima warned that Russia would spread its errors. It did. But She also asked prayers for the conversion of Russia. It seems the famed Holy Russia comes back acknowledging the true God, returning to her heavenly Mother and Queen. Mary seems more loved there than in the neighbor beyond the tempestuous Pacific, whose economic assistance packages legalized killing of the unborn and the adoption of same sex union and other anti-God policies.

China is still ruled by self-declared communists. But the leaders are no different from other power hungry and market economy wizards of the West. The majority fear the current demagoguery reveals a dangerous shift in the direction of the uncertain path involving loss of long and hard earned friendship ties and the sure support of powerful allies. They are not ready to accept that the former anti-God and highhanded stance is now taken over by former masters who impose a secular view that excludes the Creator and the moral life He demands of creatures. The Blessed Mother indeed gave the warning that China has great designs to make trouble in the region and even the entire world and the Philippines is a primary target. On the other hand, the Holy Mother also pleads for prayer for the conversion of this immense land.

This year is the centenary of the ANGEL OF PEACE who visited three shepherd children in the once unheard of place in the westernmost extremities of Europe to prepare them for the visit of the Lady from Heaven. This angelic year must introduce the year of the QUEEN OF PEACE. Peace is the issue so prevalent these days. In the pursuit of peace even chrch people may be unconsciously drawn to wrong solutions. Peace certainly cannot be achieved by war. Neither does negotiation achieve peace. Most truly peace cannot be bought. The Angel taught the children to pray on their knees and recite: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not bleve, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.” Innocently but truly the children learned from the angel and communicates to all that true peace can be achieved if we believe, adore home in and love God. Is this not what is lacking in the world. The children pleads for those who fail to believe, adore, hope in and love God. This is the duty of the Church. There is no peace in the world because, following the iniquity of the enemy of God, humanity makes himself his god, knowingly and unknowingly. When the true God is not acknowledged and adored, false gods appear. This is the reason for the lack of peace. Therefore the Queen of Peace appeals to humanity (1) to pray which in the first place means adore the true God. (2) pray especially the Rosary, because the Rosary is the meditation of the Life of Jesus as lived by Mary and of the life of Mary s totally taken up by Jesus, (3) to be converted (to return) to the Lord, (4) to make reparation for the sinfulness of the world, (5) to go to confession and the Eucharist which is being reconciled and united to God, (6) to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The call is as simple as that.

The world is in great upheaval. Many solutions have been offered by great and intelligent minds. Even within the Church intellectuals and exprts have their contrasting remedies. The Holy Mother says it very simply: Pray, Pray, Pray. Return to God. In the pursuit of elusive peace we need Mary to tell us still and remind us: Peace is a gift from Heaven, peace is from Heaven, from God, peace is God. It cannot be found elsewhere, only in God. A hundred years after the Fatima apparitions, in the time of even greater trouble than ever, the Queen of Peace needs to remind us where peace can be attained. Not outside God but only from God Who sends the world the Prince of Peace. #UB


Goodbye, Bishop Salvi

August 7, 2016
His Excellency Bishop Salvador QUIZON, passed away on Friday, 5 August 2016, at the Mary Mediatrix Hospital, Lipa City.  It was on the Feast of the Dedication of St. Mary Major and a First Friday attesting to his closeness both to Mama Mary and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  He was 91.  He was born on 6 December 1924 in Manila.  
 
In his early years as priest and bishop, he is known for his athleticism, dashing presence and for his being a man of prayer, of “Canonical” wisdom, priestly prudence, simplicity and tact.  On top of this, specially in the twilight years of his life, “Bishop Salvi” distinguished himself more for his gift of appreciative and affirming presence.  For that, his company will be greatly and sorely missed.
 
Bishop Quizon’s remains lie in state at the St. Francis de Sales Theological Seminary Chapel in Barangay Marawoy, Lipa City, until Tuesday morning, 9 August 2016. 
 
The funeral Mass shall be on Tuesday afternoon, 9 August 2016 at 1:00 at the Chapel of the same Seminary.  Interment follows at the Chapel of the Living Shrine of the Holy Souls, behind the seminary grounds.  May he rest in God’s peace and love.
 
His Excellency Most Reverend Ramon C. Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa, the entire Clergy, Religious Men and Women and the laity of the Archdiocese express their deepest sympathy to the family and all loved ones of the late Bishop Salvador Quizon. 
 

Archbishop Bows to CDF Directive

July 6, 2016

LET IT BE MADE KNOWN TO ALL

IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE DIRECTIVE EXPRESSED IN THE DECEMBER 11, 2015, CDF DOCUMENT, TO WIT,

CONSISTENT WITH MY FEBRUARY 16, 2016 LETTER TO THE CDF WHERE I STATED ‘may I declare that I recognize the exclusive jurisdiction of the Holy See regarding the Apparitions of Lipa and I defer completely to the decisions of the CONGREGATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH’,

I HEREBY PUBLICLY DECLARE THAT I BOW TO THE CDF PRONOUNCEMENT THAT MY SEPTEMBER 12, 2015, DECREE BE NULL AND VOID.

Given this 8th day of June, in the year of the Lord two thousand and sixteen.

ARCHBISHOP RAMÓN C. ARGÜELLES

(published in Archbishop Arguelles’ Facebook Account)


Post-election Statement of Archbishop Arguelles

May 10, 2016

(Lipa City, May 10, 2016) – The Batangueños have chosen their leaders for the next three years. Regardless whether there were vote-buying, high tech cheating, tricks or anomalies, the fact remains: leaders have been chosen and will soon be declared. The advocacy should however continue: save the environment! Strive to render healthy atmosphere for our citizenry including those who voted for those promoting the destruction of our province and threaten the total good of the general public. Persist in rescuing the poor from misery and exploitation even if their poverty forced them to make the wrong choices. All efforts to help our people should go on with even greater fervor because the salvation of our people, most especially the exploited and neglected, the protection of the environment, the beauty of our province, is a Divine mandate, the pope wants us to protect our common home and go to the peripheries to serve the poor. We will not give up. We will double our efforts. Thank you, young people, for your dedication. Let us not fall into apathy. With God we will succeed in giving our people reason to hope for a brighter future.


Lipa Archdiocese Happy without PPCRV

May 3, 2016

(Lipa City) – The 2013 elections was coming close when the Archdiocese of Lipa made a surprising decision to breakaway from the CBCP-backed Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and formed its own Lipa Archdiocesan Council for Electoral Reforms (LACER). And LACER performed the usual duties that the Tita de Villa-led PPCRV usually did during elections.  IN fact,  the local COMELEC praised LACER’s opus during that electoral exercise.

This year,  LACER will again go out and help COMELEC monitor the elections all over the province.  IN fact,  trainings were held in various times to train volunteers in their election duties.  It has tied up with NAMFREL, and Fr. Ildefonso Dimaano, LACER’s head was named NAMFREL Provincial Chairman.  He has also met up with the new Batangas Election Supervisor, Atty. Allan Enriquez, for the issuance of IDs of the LACER volunteers. This year will see 6 districts to be covered compared to 4 last 2013 elections.

As in the past, the Archdiocesan Radio stations are expected to tie up with LACER, which administratively is under the Lipa Archdiocesan Commission on Social Action (LASAC).


Archdiocese of Lipa Hosts First Salvo vs. CFPP

May 3, 2016

(Batangas City) –  The Archdiocese of Lipa, led by the feisty Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, will host the first ever international action to stop global climate change with a mass action slated for May 4, starting at 6:00 am.  The participants, expected to number more than ten thousand, with foreign climate activists in attendance, will come from two starting points:  underneath the bridge at Bolbok, Batangas City and at the parish church at Lourdes Subdivision, Sta. Rita, Batangas City.  The groups are expected to start with their Lakadasal (Prayer March) towards the Batangas Sports Complex.

There the Archbishop will lead a concelebrated Mass at 7:00 am, after which a program which would feature environmentalists and celebrity guests from giant TV network ABS-CBN will be held.  The program, according to the organizers will last till around 10:30 in the morning.

The event, locally dubbed “Piglas Batangas, Piglas Pilipinas” is part of the international movement “Break Free from Fossil Fuels”.  The Philippines was chosen as the first venue as Philippine government has announced its plan to put up another 27 coal-fired power plants to add to the already 19 coal-fired power plant already in operation.  It would be recalled that world leaders converged in Paris early this year and agreed to lessen the carbon emission.  President Aquino is a signatory to this pledge.

In his statement, Archbishop Arguelles reiterated Pope Francis’ call in his encyclical letter “Laudato Si” to act on climate change and protect the Earth, “urging solidarity with the poor and the most vulnerable, for it is they who suffer most severely the effects of global warming.  Batangas was the first to put up a coal-fired power plant during the time of strongman Ferdinand Marcos.  The plant situated in Calaca, Batangas experienced environmental damage and health hazard to its citizens even up to this time.  JG Summit, which already operates a naphta cracker plant at Barangay Pinamucan, Batangas City, has  applied for a permit to build a coal-fired power plant.  This has caused political division in the city as its application is awaiting judgment at the City Council.  The church has led the opposition to this plan.

Organizers said that this is just the beginning of such protests.  Similar mass actions are scheduled in other parts of the country till May 14.