History

San Isidro Labrador Parish Alabel, Sarangani Province Erected: 1988 Patron: San Isidro Labrador Feast Day: May 15 Population: 61,974; Catholics: 48,342

The name “Alabel” comes from the family names of “Alaba” and “Beldad”, who were the first settlers of Alabel. In 1947, Mr. Santiago Alaba, and Mr. Tomas Beldad, Sr., migrated to a place called Mulo and Beto, and settled there with their families. Later, the place became a barrio of the Municipality of Buayan (which later transferred to Dadiangas and became General Santos). In 1956, the place was renamed Alabel in honor of Alaba and Beldad. Alabel became a municipality in 1971.

Alabel was formerly part of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish of Lagao. In 1968, a chapel was built at a vacant lot where the present parish church now stands. The chapel was built through the effort of Mr. Honorio Lalisan, the Teniente del Barrio that time. For patron saint, the community chose San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. Various priests from Lagao came to celebrate Mass in the chapel once a month: Fr. Jerome Does, C.P., Fr. Henry Free, C.P., Fr. Leonard Amrhein, C.P., and Fr. Gabriel Baldostamon, C.P.

In 1971, the Samaria-Cursillo was organized in Alabel by Engr. Jayme and Mr. Barrientos, the Municipal Treasurer. The Samacur members facilitated the construction of the priest’s convento. The construction was a project of the first Samacur Officers: Mr. Emilio M. Ebalca, Mr. Mariano Samson, Mrs. Elsie 0. Ebalca, Mrs. Angelita Pacarat. and Mrs. Inocencia Formoso. When the project was completed, Fr. Wilfredo Estraza, C.P. was the first priest who stayed in that convento.

In 1983, Alabel was made a sub-parish of Lagao. Fr. Joel Otarra, Assistant Parish Priest of Lagao, was assigned to take care of Alabel, He was succeeded by Fr. Pascual de la Cruz and other priests from Lagao. Finally, after almost five years of preparation, Alabel was created into a parish on May 15, 1988, by Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez, D.D. During the Mass, Fr. Fortunato Ferolino was installed as first parish priest of Alabel. The new parish was called San Isidro Labrador Parish, Alabel.

The development of the parish:

During the term of Fr. Ferolino with the assistance of Mr. Mariano Samson, PPC president, the parish was able to put up a deep well and a pitcher pump for the church and convento use. A perimeter fence around the church was also completed, a parish stage was constructed, and the Samaria Cursillo was strengthened.

When Fr. Jose Legaria took over as parish priest, with the leadership of Mr. Benedicto Arnado, PPC president, and Mr. Herson Dema-ala, PEC president, the renovation of the parish convento was undertaken. The church construction was also completed and kitchen utensils for meetings and seminars were procured..

During Fr. Raul Vale’s time and with the help of Mr. Enriquito Daguplo, PPC president, and Mrs. Elsie Ebalca, PEC President, church benches were procured and parish policies were established and implemented.

When Fr. Cristito Joloro was installed parish priest, together with Mr. Daguplo and Mrs. Ebalca as PPC and PEC presidents, the green environment was promoted in the entire parish. Fr. Tito motivated the parishioners to plant trees and he himself initiated the planting of trees around the church property.

During the term of Fr. Ronilo Huesca and with the assistance of the PPC president, Mrs. Elsie Ebatca, and PEC president, Mr. Enriquito Daguplo, more church benches were procured, church constructions were continued, and the different parish committees were strengthened.

When Fr. Francisco Romano took over, with the help of Mr. Paul Villamora and Mr. Herson Dema-ala, PPC and PEC presidents, the Parish Speakers Bureau and the parish lectors were organized. Before he left Alabel Parish, Fr. Frank completed the office renovation and procured office fixtures.

During Fr. Godofredo Maghanoy’s stay in Alabel, the PPC, PEC and GKKs were strengthened, and monthly dues of 5.00 per family member were approved. With the assistance of the PPC president, Mr. Eliseo Lariosa and PEC president, Mrs. Elsie Ebalca, the titling of the church site was facilitated and the developmental plan was realized. Fr. Fred also contributed a lot in exposing the Sarangani Capitol Scam which brought social awareness to the people in Sarangani.

When Fr. Reil Posas took over, with the support of Mr. Eliseo Lariosa as PPC president, and Mr. Joel Aton as PEC president, parish policies were implemented in the GKKs, diocesan and parish norms were observed, office computers were procured, and the church sanctuary was renovated.

During the time of Fr. Sinon Alcarde, with the help of Mr. Danilo Sibugan, PPC president, and Dr. Norma Navarro, PEC president, the campaign for the church construction was launched and the Benefactors Society was organized. After three years of their stay in Alabel, ¼ of the church steel construction was finished; the benches and kitchen utensils were procured.

At present, during Fr. Floro Litigio’s time, the thrust of the parish is to strengthen the parish ministries and the GKKs. Fr. Floro’s plan is also to complete the church construction begun by Fr. Sinon, and to complete and beautify the church sanctuary and sacristy.

Alabel Parish will celebrate its 25th Anniversary as a parish in 2013. The parish has 54 GKKs, 70 KRISKA units with 41 alagads, 53 catechists, 51 family and life workers, 80 laycos, 8 lay eucharistic ministers, 150 lay liturgists, and 100 altar servers.

Other groups in the parish are the KC, DMI, CWL, Lay Vocation Promoters, CFC, PREX, Divine Mercy Apostolate, and Samaria-Cursillo.

The social action programs of the parish are JP, Alay Kapwa, Health, Farmers Apostolate, IP, and Sus-Ag.

PRIESTS ASSIGNED IN ALABEL:

While under Lagao Parish:

1. Fr. Joel Otarra – 1983-1984
2. Fr. Pascual de la Cruz – 1984-1986
3. Fr. Renato Cruz – 1986-1987
4. Fr. Robustiano Morgia – 1987-1988

As Parish:

1. Fr. Fortunato Ferolino – 1988-1991
2. Fr. Jose Legaria – 1991-1993
3. Fr. Raul Vale – 1993-1995
4. Fr. Cristito Joloro – 1995-1997
5. Fr. Ronilo Huesca – 1997-2000
6. Fr. Francisco Romano – 2000-2003
7. Fr. Godofredo Maghanoy – 2003-2005
8. Fr. Reil Posas – 2005-2007
9. Fr. Sinon Alcarde – 2007-2010
Fr. Arturo Pancho – 2007-2010 (PV)
10. Fr. Floro Litigio – 2010-2013
Fr. Romeo Subaldo – 2010-2011 (PV)
Fr. Alan Catigday – 2011 (PV)
Fr. Ricardo Pajarillo Jr. - 2012 (PV)
11. Fr. Antonio Chua - 2013-2016
Fr. Alexander Salas (PV)

Sources:

Mrs. Elsie A. Ebalca
Miss Tess Golosinda
Mrs. Lermie Lumayag
Mr. & Mrs. Rolly Villanueva