St. Andrew the Apostle Parish - Bugallom
The seat of the St. Andrew the Apostle Parish was originally
situated at Salasa –the old town site, which was founded by the
Dominicans in the 18th century. When the town site was transferred,
the seat of the parish was also transferred as a consequence brought
about by natural calamities that battered the area. We read in the history
of Salasa that, ”In 1914, a big flood visited Salasa, destroying
crops, properties, building, etc. and brought untold miseries among
the people. The mighty Agno River was continually eroding its banks,
threatening to destroy the presedencia and several residential houses
including perhaps the church and the convent. Authorities were worried
and lost no time in transferring the poblacion to Barangay Anagao…..”(which
would later be called Bugallon in honor of a brave soldier turned into
hero: Torres Bugallon; Salasa would become one of the barangays but
still remaining the parish with our Lady of Lourdes as its patron Saint).
St. Andrew the Apostle remained the patron Saint when the parish was
formally established in its present site on July 1920 with Fr. Eustaquio
Ocampo as its first parish priest. Fr. Montano Domingo took over the
parish on November 29,1921. Almost seven years after, on June 1928,
Fr Emeterio Domagas replaced him.
On May 23,1929, Pangasinan was created as a new Diocese
with Msgr. Cesar Maria Guerrero as its First Bishop. Aware of the situation
of his jurisdictoin,where parishes were abandoned for many years, the
bishop invited religious and missionary priests to reconstruct or revive
the deserted parishes or build up new ones. St Andrew the Apostle Parish
was included among the “flocks without good shepherds”.
In 1930, the Franciscan Capuchins accepted the invitations and sent
Fr. Cesario of Legario and Fr. Fernando of Erasum to Bugallon and Salasa
respectively on September 17, 1930 – a day significant to the
Capuchins for ut was the day of the Stigmata of St. Francis. They found
both parishes physically and spiritually ruined as can read in the history
of Capuchins in the Philippines: “ between the town of Salasa
and Bugallon existed a centuries-old rivalry; so when Fr.Cesareo was
named parish preist of Bugallon in 1930, he had to please the people
of both town. He personally liked the big church of Salasa – on
of the biggest in the archipelago – a hundred meters long, but
which was completely destroyed and despoiled by the people of Bugallon.
When he started its reconstruction, the envious people of Bugallon protested,
so he had to give way to them by building a beautiful tower for the
Church in Bugallon and then a convent. It was a Solomonic work in so
short a time and with very few resources.” (A DREAM….A VISION….A
REALITY 100 years of Capuchin presence in the Philippines).
Rev. Fr. Benjamin of Ilarduya took over on October 16,
1933 up to June 27, 1941. It was during Fr. Benjamin’s incumbency
when the church brick-structure and the old façade were built.
When World War II broke out, Fr. Hipolito of Azcoita parish priest of
Labrador, was transferred to Bugallon to be its new parish priest. He
and another Capuchin were out of the town