Diocese of Gumaca
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In a land area of 3,666.44 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the eastern part of Quezon province.

Quezon is located southeast of Metro Manila and it is surrounded by the provinces of Aurora to the north, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas to the west and the Camarines provinces to the east. Quezon lies on an isthmus separating the Bicol Peninsula from the main part of Luzon. The province also covers the Polillo Islands in the Philippine Sea.

Population

As of end of year 2009 the total population of the diocese is 862,793 of which 88.7161 percent are Catholics or 765,437.

The Agta/Dumagat is the early inhabitants in the territory. Agta or Aeta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of Luzon, Philippines. They are considered to be Negritos, who are dark to very dark brown-skinned and tend to have features such as a small stature, small frame, curly to kinky hair with a higher frequency of naturally lighter hair color (blondism) relative to the general population, small nose, and dark brown eyes.

Language

Language spoken is Tagalog, which is the base language of Pilipino, the national language. English is also widely spoken, and is the medium of instruction in schools and used in business transactions and government official communications.

History

Suffragan of Lipa
Created: April 9, 1984
Erected: Jan. 29, 1985
Comprises the eastern part of Quezon province
Titular: San Diego de Alcala

The Diocese of Gumaca in Quezon Province is a comparatively new diocese, created twenty six years ago on April 9, 1984. It comprises the eastern part of Quezon Province and is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lipa. It is the youngest of the three dioceses existing in the province of Quezon today; that of Lucena covering the southern portion, that of Infanta covering the northern portion, and that of Gumaca now covering the eastern portion. The diocese's titular patron is San Diego de Alcala.

Early in the Spanish era, about 1595, the territory of Quezon had been part of the jurisdiction of the then Diocese of Caceres in the Bicol area. Eventually it was transferred to the Diocese of Lipa when this diocese was created in 1910.

On Aug. 12, 1950 the Diocese of Lucena was created and got jurisdiction over the entire province of Quezon, until the Diocese of Infanta was created in the same year and got jurisdiction over the entire northern portion. The territory that now comprises the Diocese of Gumaca was part of the Diocese of Lucena until it was made a separate diocese.

The Franciscans are recorded as the first missionaries who brought Christianity to the territory that now comprises the province of Quezon. The Parish of Gumaca was in fact founded as early as 1726, followed by that of Mulanay in 1836, and that of Lopez in 1861.

Brief History of Gumaca
Gumaca, one of the oldest towns in Quezon Province and only several years younger than the "Noble and Ever Loyal City of Manila," was already a well-established community even before the Spaniards came.

Formerly known as Bumaka (to fight), the present town of Gumaca was a settlement founded at the southern bank of Palanas River in the 14th century by a group of settlers from Borneo and Malay Peninsula.

The earliest known ruler was Lakan Bugtali. His sovereignty extended over the regions bordering Gusuan, now called Lamon Bay, from Gamao point to the North, to the island across the bay or now known as Alabat Islands, to the southwest passing the northeastern part of the present town of Caluag, the source of Talolong, which traverses the town of Lopez, and Pandanan Rivers and on the northwest as far as the upper Kalilayan River. Thus when the first Spaniards arrived in this settlement in 1574 led by Father Diego Oropesa, they found a group of barangays with their own culture and government.

From 1574 to 1670 the town of Gumaca was ruled by Spanish Friars. Then from 1671 to 1893 the town was ruled by Spanish and Filipino Gobernadorcillos. From 1893 to 1900 the town executives came to be known as Capitan Municipal and from 1901 the head of the town was elected by the people and came to be known as Presidente Municipal. Later in 1936 this title was change to Municipal Mayors.

It must be noted that the brief history of Gumaca had no mention of any law, decree or Republic Act which created the Municipality and there was no mother municipality where Gumaca came from. As for its daughter towns, Lopez is the most notable among them, being one of the largest and the most progressive in that part of the province.

Political

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.

Transportation

For short distance travel, tricycles and jeepneys is an inexpensive and practical alternative. There are also buses for long distance travel to other municipalities in the region.

Infrastructure

Power Supply
Electricity providers are the Manila Electric Company (meralco), QUEZELCO (Quezon Electric Cooperative) I and II, power supply are provided by Well-Developed Infrastructure and Support Facilities Team Energy Pagbilao Power Plant and the Quezon Power Limited Company.

Water Supply
Water needs of the people in the province are provided by Umiray Watershed in Gen. Nakar and the Quezon Metropolitan Water District located in Lucena City.

Ports
There are seven ports located in the province:
    o    Dalahican Port - Lucena
    o    Real Municipal Port
    o    Atimonan Port
    o    Alabat Port
    o    Hondagua Port
    o    Lopez and Dinahican Fishing Port
    o    Infanta

Road Network and Projects
    o    Manila-South Road (Laguna-Quezon to the Camarines Boundaries)
    o    Lopez-Catanauan Road (Bondoc Peninsula)
    o    Pagbilao-San Narciso Road (Bondoc Peninsula Highway)
    o    Real-Mauban-Atimonan Pacific Coastal Highway ( MARILAQUE Access)
    o    Marikina-Infanta Road (MARILAQUE)
    o    Polillo-Burdeos-Panukulan (MARILAQUE)
    o    Lucban-Sampaloc-Pagbilao (Circumferential Road)

Bangking Institutions
There are some 128 banks in the region servicing the banking needs of the people.

Economy

The annual per capita income (in Philippines Pesos) is 24,066 or USD549 as of November 2010.

Quezon is the country's leading producer of coconut products such as coconut oil and copra. A large part of the province is covered in coconut plantations. Other major crops are rice, corn, banana, and coffee. Fishing is also a large part of the province's economy.

Agriculture
With vast agricultural land, first in coconut production in CALABARZON area. Includes copra making, desiccated coconut, coconut wine (lambanog), coconut oil, and virgin coconut oil. Also, first in rice, corn, goat, carabao, and with areas available for the expansion or production in hog, cattle, chicken, and ducks. Available also for dairy production and intensive vegetable production.

Fishing
First in commercial fish production and in seaweeds production. The commercial fisheries sector has not been fully developed considering that the province is surrounded by coastal areas.

Mariculture
Started in several municipalities (fish cages), e.g prawn, lapu-lapu.

Tourism
A number of tourism-related establishments are operating in the province such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, and parks.

Food Processing
The tropical climate which favors an agricultural environment and the abundance of fresh produce makes Quezon an ideal investment center for both processed and fresh food operations.

Telecommunication

Smart, Globe, Talk 'n' Text, Touch Mobile and Sun Cellular cell sites are also in service to large number of cellular phone subscribers.
* Telecommunication
    o    Digitel
    o    PLDT
    o    Bayantel
    o    Santel Company
    o    GTS
    o    Luctel
* Internet
    o    PLDT
    o    Smart
    o    Digitel
    o    Globe
* Postal and Courier Service
    o    JRS Express
    o    DHL
    o    LBC
    o    FedEx
    o    Fastpack

There are 11 FM radio stations and 8 AM stations in the territory.

Topography

The Province's topography varies from vast plains and valleys to gently sloping hills and rugged mountains. It has abundant water sources, fertile soils and a climate that is suitable for agro-industrial production. It has a long coastline of 1,066.36 km. and diverse land formations. Its sea boasts of rich marine and aquatic life.

The Municipality of Gumaca is a 1st class municipality among its forty (40) towns in the province of Quezon, Philippines a part of CALABARZON. Gumaca is politically subdivided into 59 barangays which belongs to its 4th congressional district.

CALABARZON is one of the regions of the Philippines. Calabarzon region is the result of the splitting of Southern Tagalog Region in two. The split form, Region 4A Calabarzon and Region 4B Mimaropa (Region IVA, comprising Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal) and MIMAROPA (Region IVB, comprising Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan). These two new provinces were formed in 2002.

Quezon is subdivided into 40 municipalities divided into four (4) political districts and one urbanized city. Lucena City, the capital, is not under the administrative and fiscal supervision of the province, but is eligible to vote for provincial officials. It has 1,242 barangays (villages), with Lopez having the most number of barangays at 95 while Jomalig has only 5 and Patnanungan with only 6 barangays.

Education

Literacy Rate in the diocesan territory is 99%.

Culture

Feast of San Isidro / Balwarte sa Gumaca
(May 15; Gumaca, Quezon). This festival is different from Pahiyas sa Lucban - balwarte or arches are decorated with various agricultural products like bananas, vegetables, buco (coconut), pineapple, and root crops. These crop decors are pulled out by the people after the patron saint has passed. The three most beautifully decorated balwartes are given prizes.

San Diego de Alcala Fortress (Kutang San Diego)
Recognized by the National Historical Commission as a national treasure in 1981, this fortress was constructed by the Spaniards under the leadership of Franciscan Father Francisco Coste. It was erected to help guard the town against sea pirates. The fortress is located in Gumaca, Quezon. There used to be an existing tunnel between said fortress and the San Diego de Alcala Church, now a cathedral.

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