In a land area of 24,492 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the 14 municipalities in the western part of the province of Pangasinan.
Alaminos is a 1st class city in the province of Pangasinan, Philippines which belongs to Region 1. It is bounded by the municipalities of Sual, Bani, and Mabini. Alaminos city belongs to district one with 39 barangays.
As of year 2010 the total population is 586,302 of which 80.59 percent are Catholics.
The major ethnic group is that of the Ilocanos who comprise half of the area's total population, followed by Pangasinenses with 40 per cent, Tagalog, Zamals and Bolinaos with the remaining 10 per cent. There are 15 tribal groups of Igorots in the mountains of the diocese, driven south from the northern parts of the country by militarization, eviction by loggers, and by other government projects, and they have finally settled in the mountains of western Pangasinan.
DIOCESE OF ALAMINOS
Suffragan of Lingayen-Dagupan
Created and Erected: January 12, 1985
Comprises: 14 municipalities in the western part of the province of Pangasinan
Titular: St. Joseph the Patriarch, March 19
Alaminos is strategically located in the western part of Pangasinan. From any point of direction, it is the center of the congressional district. More or less 65 kilometers, from the prime city of Dagupan and also 130 kilometers, from San Fernando, La Union, the Regional Center of Ilocos Region.
It used to belong to the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan until its creation as a separate diocese in 1985. It is bounded on the east by the Lingayen Gulf and the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, on the north and west by the China Sea, and on the south by the borders of Zambales and Tarlac Provinces. The whole diocese is a panorama of hills and valleys surrounded by bodies of water. The famous Hundred Islands, a tourist attraction, is found in the vicinity of Alaminos town.
January 12, 1985 was the day when Alaminos, once called the "Wild West of Pangasinan," was created into a diocese by Pope John Paul II. On April 22, L'Osservatore Romano announced the appointment of then Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, the Most Reverend Jesus A. Cabrera, D.D., PhD, as the First Residential Bishop of the newly created diocese. On June 28, 1985 the new bishop was installed.
The Pastoral processes are not mere activities but they are expressions of Unity and Communion in the diocese. These also provide the pastoral direction which guides the diocese in realizing its vision and mission.
The following Pastoral Processes are consciously followed and adopted in some of the more advanced BEC'S, in the parishes and the diocese as a whole:
Vision: To become a community of Christ's disciples.
As early as 1986, Bishop Cabrera convened the clergy and some lay people to define what kind of diocese they would like to have. Their dream was articulated in the first document of the Diocesan Vision: Eternal Salvation in Christ through Total Human Development. Later, when the first Diocesan Pastoral Assembly was called, the first document was reviewed and thus born the existing vision: To become a Community of Christ's Disciples.
The vision of the diocese is an articulation of the aspirations, hopes and dreams of the people: the Bishop, the clergy, religious and the lay people, and has provided the pastoral direction for the whole diocese. Diocesan Pastoral Assemblies
The first Diocesan Assembly was celebrated in October 1995 as a fitting way to thank God in commemoration of the 10th year anniversary of the diocese. The assembly gave birth to three pastoral priorities, namely,
A) The importance of Ecclesial Communion which must exist among the so-called Agents of Renewal: the clergy, the religious and the lay people;
B) the establishment of Structures that would allow wider Participation; and,
C) the identification of (BEC) - Basic Ecclesial Communities as the Pastoral Thrust of the Diocese.
The diocese held its Second Diocesan Pastoral Assembly on Nov. 19 to 23, 2000 focusing on Lay Ministry and Participation.
The basic concern was how the lay people could effectively and efficiently participate in the life and mission of the Church and how the different lay apostolate and ministries could be integrated into the Diocesan Pastoral Thrusts of Building BEC's. The basic programs, structures, skills and values needed to enable the lay people to participate in the evangelizing task of the diocese in fulfillment of their vocation were identified.
The third Pastoral Assembly had Communion of Communities as its theme. To realize this goal the assembly focused on the following pastoral priorities, namely,
A) the participation of all in the life and mission of the Church;
B) how to develop a deeper commitment and greater sense of responsibility among the faithful;
C) holistic and integral evangelization; and
D) how to make the communities become more self-reliant and self-sustaining.
The formation and strengthening of the BECs is another pastoral process that led to the realization of the Diocesan Vision. There are at present more than 800 BECs organized and existing in the different barangays of the 20 parishes in various levels of development and capabilities.
The diocese finds the translation of its character as a Church of the Poor and marginalized. Rich and poor alike find their identity and unity with one another and with whole Church through the BEC's.
Pastoral Programs and activities
The diocese is not only concerned with the building of structures but especially with the building of people. The various pastoral programs are strategies to realize its vision, focused in forming and training lay people through various seminars and recollections so as to better respond to the needs and aspirations of the poor. So it has established socio- economic programs like cooperatives, health and nutrition programs, medical assistance and scholarships to elementary, high school and college students' housing projects, relief and rehabilitation activities. It has also undertaken special projects to and rehabilitates the environment like the reforestation project and organic farming. It has established projects and services that serve the needs and promote the welfare of the sick, the aged and disabled, the youth, children, women, farmers, fishermen, and the indigenous peoples.
The above programs and projects are effectively implemented through the different apostolate and ministries such as the Catechetical Program, Biblical Apostolate, Youth Ministry, Family and Life Program, Social Action, Catholic schools and Media Apostolate.
There are regular Pastoral activities that are institutionalized in various levels of life in the diocese. These activities strengthen the connectedness of the people. These have allowed the people from the farthest BEC or barangays to experience their being a part of the parish, the diocese and the universal Church as a whole.
The following activities are held with varied frequencies:
a) Meetings of leaders in all levels of the Church: BEC, Parish, Vicariate and the Diocese. These include the monthly meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the different religious organizations and movements;
b) Monthly Clergy Meeting and Recollection;
c) AWRA (Association of Women Religious of Alaminos) Meetings;
d) Inter-BEC exchange;
e) Inter-parish visits which are avenues for new pastoral ideas, technical assistance and exchange resources, ideas and technologies;
f) Diocesan celebrations such as Christ the King celebration, the Lenten Pilgrimage to Surip, Annual Misa de Gracia in Manaoag, Chrism Mass, Anniversary Celebrations, Joint Clergy and Religious Christmas Recollection and Program.
The website of Diocese is available at: www.dioceseofalaminos.org
A Philippine province is headed by a Governor. A Provincial Council (Sangguniang Panlalawigan) is composed of a Vice Governor (Presiding Officer) and Provincial Board Members. A Philippine city or municipality is headed by a Mayor. A City Council (Sangguniang Panlungsod) or Municipal Council (Sangguniang Bayan) is composed of a Vice Mayor (Presiding Officer) and City or Municipal Councilors. A barangay is headed by a Barangay Captain, who is also the presiding officer of the barangay council. The Barangay Council is composed of seven (7) Barangay Kagawads. A similar unit called a Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan) is headed by an SK Chairperson with a similar rank to a Barangay Captain. The council is composed of SK Members.
Annual per capita income (in Philippines Pesos) is 24,807 (as of September 2010 USD562).
The City is now a booming trade, commercial and educational center of Western Pangasinan because of its strategic location, abundant natural resources and the most famous tourist attraction, Hundred Islands National Park. With these advantages it attracted more investors and helped in the economic development of the city.
Major agricultural base crops and industry base activities:
a. Farming - Rice, corn, vegetables
b. Fishing - blackish water fish, sea and other marine products.
c. Cottage Industry - bamboo craft, shell craft, and woodcraft.
Hundred Islands National Park, a tourism destination composed of 123 small islands, is located off the coast Barangay Lucap, Alaminos City.
- Local Products
Alaminos City is well known for its bangus production, Pancit miki, quality snow-white salt, rattan and bamboo craft industries.
International and national long distance dialing telephone features are provided by 3 telephone company such as Digitel, PLDT, and Bureau of Telecommunications while wireless communications were provided by Digitel, Globe, and Smart Pilipino Telephone.
There are 3 radio stations in the territory DZWM-AM and DWTJ-FM is a Catholic radio stations and a member of Catholic Media Network covering the areas of: Alaminos Pangasinan, La Union, Tarlac, Northern Zambales, Benguet and DWHA Hot FM-Alaminos. Pangasinan Educational TV (PECTV) is a community cable net servicing the territory.
A new airport is currently being built near the city to service the local area. The airport will occupy 158.5 hectares, including the 13.5-hectare access road, in the villages of Sabangan, Pandan and Telbang.
Mabey-Johnson Bridges - This single lane, 5 Bay Compact 200 Panel/Quick Bridge System substructures were put up in barangays Tawin-tawin, Bolaney, Tangcarang and Sabangan.
Getting to Alaminos City is about five-hour bus ride from Metro Manila and three-hour trip from Baguio City. Land travel from Manila to Alaminos City is 250 kilometers or a four-hour trip by car from Manila via Camiling, Tarlac.
Today, public bus lines regularly ply the Manila-Pangasinan route, some of which pass through Alaminos City on the way to the capital town of Lingayen or the commercial city of Dagupan through Camiling, Tarlac. Buses have regular trips between Alaminos and Baguio via Dagupan.
The City's public transport consists of the following: bus and mini-bus, hired vans, jeepneys, tricycles and motorboat units
Literacy rate (simple literacy) is 95.45 percent.
- Moro-Moro / Zarzuela
Traditional musical plays center on the rich history or colorful origin of the place, thus is usually set before or during Spanish regime. Legends are sometimes given the stage, reintroducing to the people a part of their heritage. Zarzuela is often presented in different festivals and barangay fiestas. Contemporary versions are staged in big celebrations brought about by the remarkable creativity of local literary artists. Most use the vernacular dialect but are now more inclined to use Filipino, to reach more audiences. The youth are often the active participants in these undertakings. The adults readily share the art of living up the heart of the script of the musical play on stage to these young flames.
- Passion of the Christ
Senakulo is the most awaited spectacle during Lenten season in Alaminos City. It is a reenactment and solemn parade of Christ's passion and death. Households near the church wait eagerly for the visit of acting Roman soldiers with their menacingly painted masks and armors, pounding on doors to search for Jesus. At the day of Christ's suffering and death, people gather at the church to witness the reenactment, the judgment of Jesus, the Crucifixion and His Seven Last Words. The routine of the reenactment has not changed, but its presentation is infused with a fresh flavor to reach the modern-world absorbed consciousness of the new generation.
- City and Barangay Fiestas
Festive, colorful and vibrant. Alaminos City celebrates a traditional Filipino fiesta. The weeklong celebration usually starts on March 17 with events and fairs decorating the whole city before, during and after the actual date of the fiesta. Alaminians and visitors are treated to a galore of concerts by famous artists, beauty pageants and sports competitions. Food and product fairs spice up the city fiesta showcasing the people's ingenuity and various products of Alaminos City. The action
- Moro-Moro / Zarzuela