With you believing that we can, we shall.
Help us build a new San Guillermo Parish Church
Ours is a small Parish Church with a big desire to rebuild and preserve an almost century-old spiritual relevance. Our Parish is storied and steadfast, a proud promontory of a traditional Barangay in Pasig City, in the Philippines, partly embracing the historical Pasig River.
In the time and Spanish-period novels of our national hero Jose P. Rizal, and even much much earlier, this meandering river has its mouth on world-known Manila Bay and used to be the principal travel artery between Manila and the uplands of Rizal province.
Why are we calling out today to the rest of the Filipino people and, shyly but hopefully, the rest of a generous world?
For more than six years now, we have been struggling, painstakingly but doggedly, to accumulate enough resources to build a new Parish Church on its present site. Sadly though, we are still less than a third of the way to our target of an estimated US $ 577,000.00 fund for a modest new home for our patron saint San Guillermo.
We will not, however, waver in our devotion to this quest of a new San Guillermo Parish Church. How long it must take us on this all consuming crusade, we do not know for sure, but we’ll be trudging along tirelessly.
BUT WHY MUST WE BUILD A NEW PARISH CHURCH?
An average worship day attendance of about 1,000 patiently brave a number of roof leaks when it rains, or fearfully watch out for occasionally falling small pieces of rotten ceiling boards, or get bothered by the groan of exhausted timberworks. San Guillermo Parish Church has been in a state of decadence for years now. But what is most threatening is the possible occurrence of a major earthquake.
Parishioners recall that what edifice stands today is just a semi-make-shift enlargement of the original chapel that has been there since pre-WWII, or longer than they could remember. The present church was erected in 1993 upon the community’s ascension to a full-fledged Parish.
Gracefully, the church has served more than its purpose. In terms of materials and technology employed, it has lasted longer than expected. Now it must be put to rest for the safety of parishioners from the Barangays of Buting and San Joaquin.
Cost estimates based on architectural and engineering plans point to a conservative US $ 577,000.00 an amount roughly equivalent to
Php 30 Million. Surely not too big or ambitious a budget, yet gut-wrenching for the Parish, considering that the communities served are just about mid-range or lower in the economic ladder. Commercial and industrial establishments in the immediate area of Buting count no more than 10 % of the total households and address.
We are proud enough that out of our modest circumstances we have raised a collection of about Php 8 Million or approximately US$ 154,000.00 +. A long way to go, admittedly, but we have kind souls to feel hopeful by. For San Guillermo’s sake.
PRESENT STATE OF CHURCH INTERIORS
WE LIVE AND BELIEVE BY THE STORY BEHIND OUR PATRON SAINT
S A N G U I L L E R M O P A R I S H C H U R C H
More than just a landmark,
Truer than any folklore…
Citadel of a people’s faith.
Folklore has it that a wooden image of San Guillermo was found floating in the Pasig River in the vicinity of what the old folks call “tangos”, a promontory that is the approximate convergence point of the waters from upland Montalban and Marikina, and that coming from the higher eastern end of Pasig, flowing towards the vastness of Laguna Lake which, in turn ebbs into the Manila Bay coast of the West Philippine Sea. While a flooded Laguna Lake could turn its flow back into Pasig River, the folks then could not fathom where the image came from and how it got into the River.
LOCATION SKETCH OF TANGOS AND CHURCH
(Partial map of Buting, Pasig City)
All this was before WWII, the Second World War, but no records exist of this arrival of the San Guillermo image in Pasig. No hard records, too, exist of when, how and who built the San Guillermo Chapel in Buting, just a stone’s throw from Pasig River where the image was retrieved from the waters.
How the local parishioners learned that it was San Guillermo’s image that they found, nobody now remembers.
LOST BUT FOUND
It must have been in mid-1900’s when a parishioner from Talisay, Batangas happened to visit some folks in Buting and, as fate would have it, saw the image of San Guillermo in the church. There and then, he told people around him that this was their patron saint’s image that their church had somehow lost years before.
To make the story short, the government of Talisay and the clergy of the parish involved found the legal procedure to reclaim the San Guillermo image from the Pasig parish. Again, no proper records of this event still exists.
But the local parishioners could not be denied. SO THEY HAD A REPLACEMENT OF THE SAN GUILLERMO IMAGE MADE. The community had capable artisans for the task.
This story of San Guillermo behind the Pasig City parish has, beyond expectations, affirmed and reinforced the parishioners’ commitment to their faith. From a humble chapel to a make-do parish church, the community’s reverence has grown into an obsession for a new church to replace what has become dilapidated through the years.
To our fellow faithful, help us build the new parish church that San Guillermo deserves.
PROJECT NEW CHURCH COMMITTEE
SAN GUILLERMO PARISH
Buting, Pasig City
By: Bro. Ito Manzano
Donations may also be sent to the following bank account details:
CHINA BANK SAVINGS
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF PASIG, INC
SAN GUILLERMO PARISH ACCT NUMBER #602802017316