Magalang was initially mentioned as visita of Arayat in 1598. However, in April 30, 1605, the Augustinian chapter was officially declared Magalang as independent town separating from Arayat. It comprises the present town of Magalang, and the city of Mabalacat in Pampanga; plus, the present towns of Concepcion, Capas, Bamban, San Jose and city of Tarlac in neighboring province of Tarlac. Magalang was administered by the Augustinian friars since 1605 until 1771, when the parishes were brriefly secularized. It is only in 1849 when Magalang was given back to the Augustinians. In 1863, Magalang was relocated to the present town proper due to large flood from rampaging waters of Parua River. Interestingly, Augustinian friars are not only engaging in religious service in their respective parishes; but they also has huge influence over local government affairs. They also protecting the parish and the town from bandit attacks, and giving warnings to upcoming natural calamities. In Magalang, there are two Augustinian friars who experienced hardships during their tenure in Magalang. 

Fr. Ramon M. Sarrionandia- native of Yurreta (Vizcaya), son of Juan Sarrionandia and Juliana Magunagoicoechea. He took his solemn profession in Valladolid in 1854. Four years later, he arrived in Manila in May 26, 1858; and he became a zealous missionary in Pidigan, Ilocos (1862), Tarlac (1863), Magalang (1866), Minalin (1873) and Angeles (1877). He also became active in Tagalog missions where he was remembered for his good tenure. He built the magnificent church of Magalang in 1866, however, in 1868, bandits robbed Magalang and they attacked the church. Fr. Sarrionandia attempted to save the town by offering the bandits of two hundred pesos. But the bandits shoot him and he was slightly wounded. The bandits kidnapped a Spaniard, Don Carlos Vega and he was brought to Mt. Arayat. However, he was saved by the townspeople who valiantly pursued the bandits. His last assignment was in Angeles, where he built the present stone church, designed by Spanish chief engineer, Don Antonio de la Camarra. He also built three bridges crossing Abacan river. He later retired and he settled in Magalang and he died there on August 14, 1880.

Fr. Pedro Diez Ubierna- a native of Celada de la Torre (Burgos); Fr. Ubierna was born in January 18, 1869. He took his solemn profession in September 19, 1886. He arrived in the Philippines in 1893 and he was assigned in San Simon (1894), Floridablanca (1896) and Magalang (January, 1898). During the revolution, he was captured by the revolutionaries in Magalang convent. He was brought in old tribunal (municipal hall) of Magalang together with two Spanish prisoners. He laid his last wish to have confession to his coadjutor, Fr. Francisco Panlilio. However, while he laid his confession, the revolutionaries maltreated him harshly.  He was the last Augustinian parish priest of Magalang. He was became a friar prisoner until he was able to escape with his companions in 1899. After his captivity, he administered the parishes of Lubao and Floridablanca, where he repaired the cemetery and roofing of the church. He was assigned back in Manila where he was credited for the renovation of the convent. He became Definidor and Procurador of the province in 1926. He also wrote in the periodical, La Estrella de Antipolo. He died in July 12, 1945.

Photo Credit:

www.sacs-stvi.org retrieved, March 4, 2017


Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L., The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015); Manila, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2016

Perez, Fr. Elviro Jorde, Catalogo de Bio-Bibliografico de los Religiosos Agustinos Provincia del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus de las Islas Filipinas, Manila: Establicimiento Tipografico de Colegio de Sto Tomas, 1901

Rodriguez-Prada, Fr. Jose, Memorias de Un Prisionero Durante La Revolucion Filipina, Madrid, España; Imprenta de la Viuda e Hija de Gomez Fuentenebero, 1901

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