In a land area of 7,189 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the northern part of Quezon province, the archipelago of Polilio, Island of Jomalig, Patnanungan and the Province of Aurora.
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 kilometers and diverse land formations. Its sea boasts of rich marine and aquatic life.
Infanta is politically subdivided into 36 barangays: 7 urban and 29 rural.
Poblacion 1, Poblacion 38, Poblacion 39, Poblacion Bantilan, Comon, Ingas and Dinahican
Alitas, Langgas, Anibong, Balobo, Bacong, Magsaysay, Amolongin, Pulo, Binonoan, Gumian, Tongohin, Pinaglapatan, Ilog, Catambungan, Pilaway, Agos Agos, Banugao, Miswa, Lual, Batican, Boboin, Libjo, Abiawin, Binulasan, Maypulot, Silangan, Cawaynin, Antikin and Tudturan.
The Province of Aurora is the 73rd province of the Philippines created by Batas Pambasa Blg. 07. It is the youngest among the seven (7) provinces of Central Luzon.
Aurora has eight (8) municipalities with a total of 151 barangays divided into three (3) development zones, i.e. Northern Zone (Dilasag, Casiguran, Dinalungan), Central Zone (Baler, Dipaculao, Ma. Aurora and San Luis), and Southern Zone (Dingalan).
As of end of year 2016 the total population of the Prelature is 468,000 of which 91 percent are Catholics or 379,000.
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 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.
Suffragan of Lipa
Created: April 25, 1950
Erected: Sept. 5, 1950
Comprises the northern part of Quezon Province, the Archipelago of Polillo, Island of Jomalig, Patnanungan and the Province of Aurora Titular: Divine Infant Jesus of Prague and St. Mark, the Evangelist
The Prelature of Infanta was established April 25, 1950, the same year that the Diocese of Lucena was created. Both places belong to Quezon Province, and both were part of the Diocese of Lipa before they were established. The Diocese of Lucena covers the southern portion of Quezon Province while the Prelature of Infanta covers the northern part including the sub-province of Aurora, the archipelago of Polillo and the island of Jomalig. These last two localities belong to the sub-province of Aurora.
The Diocese of Lucena and the Prelature of Infanta are suffragans of the Archdiocese of Lipa.
The titular patron of the Prelature of Infanta is the Divine Infant Jesus of Prague, and the secondary sponsor is St. Mark, the Evangelist.
About the Province
The province formerly known as Tayabas, was explored by the Spaniards in 1571 and 1572 when Juan de Salcedo visited and explored upon the order of the first Spanish Governor General of the Philippines, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. They passed through the central portion of Tayabas in his march across Laguna Province to Paracale. The following years, Salcedo led his famous expeditions around the northern coast of Luzon.
He visited the "CONTRACOSTA" towns of Casiguran, Baler and Infanta.In 1574, Father Diego de Oropesa, who found a group of native barangays with their own culture and government, founded the municipality of Gumaca, then called Bumaka as well as Mt. Bahanaw at Kamay ni Hesus Shrine.
The territory which now constitutes the province of Tayabas was at one time under the jurisdiction of various provinces. The southern and central portions, for example, were in 1585 under the jurisdiction of the province of Bonbon, sometimes called Balayan (now Batangas). The northern portion was divided between Laguna and Nueva Ecija, while the other portion was divided into the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque and Camarines.
In 1591, Tayabas was created into a province under the name of Kalilayan. Its capital was the ancient town of Tayabas, now a barrio in the town of Unisan where ancient tombs and artifacts can be found. However, by the middle of the 18th century the provincial capital was moved to what is now the municipality of Tayabas.
The year 1595 marked the spiritual birth of Quezon Province with its incorporation into the Diocess of Nueva Caceres. The first Catholic Bishop of the province was Fray Francisco Ortiga, an Agustinian Friar, while its first Alcalde Mayor was Don Simeon Alvarez, who served from 1625 to 1655.
On Sept. 7, 1946, President Manuel A. Roxas, by virtue of Republic Act No. 14 renamed the province to Quezon, in honor of the late President Manuel L. Quezon, the most illustrious son of Baler, formerly part of Quezon.
The present seat of provincial government is Lucena City, the province's capital.
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.
One can take a bus, jeepney or a rented van to navigate the province's nature and culture destinations. For short distance travel, the ubiquitous tricycle is an inexpensive and practical alternative. Motor boats can be rented from the local fisher folks for bay tours and diving sessions.
Roads and Bridges
The infrastructure facilities and utilities are vital to the development and growth of Aurora which will in turn serve as gauge of its development level and economic status.
The majority of the road network of the province is in poor condition except the Poblacion and some highways which are concrete.
In central Aurora, the part of the circumferential road the municipalities of Baler, San Luis, Maria Aurora and Dipaculao is now concrete except the western section connecting Maria and San Luis, and about half of the section between Maria and Dipaculao. Even within the Poblacion gravel roads still exist that need to be concreted. Coastal roads are likewise waiting to be developed/improved. Most barangay roads are not concrete paved.
Domestic Water Supply
Facilities for water supply in the province are classified into level 1, level 2, and level 3. The level 1 type source its water from deep wells/free flowing wells, Shallow wells and spring development, while levels 2 and 3 are communal faucet systems or stand pipes and municipal waterworks systems or individual households connections, respectively. The town proper of Baler and Dipaculao are being served by the LWUA.
All municipalities of Aurora has level 1 and 3 water facilities except Dilasag which lacks level 3 type of water source. On the other hand, Baler, Casiguran, Dinalungan, and Dilasag have level 2 type of water facilities. In terms of households' number being served, level 1 serves 8.622 households, followed by level 3 with 3,911 households and only 303 households rely on level 2 water facilities.
Almost all municipalities of Aurora, except Dingalan are now served by the Aurora Electric Cooperative, Inc, (AURELCO). The AURELCO subscribed power supply from the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) through the latter's power station in the Sta. Rosa Grid, Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija with sub-station in San Isidro, San Luis serving Central Aurora, and it's Power Generator Plant in Casiguran serving the DICADI areas. Dingalan's power source comes from the Nueva Ecija Electric Cooperative Company II (NECCO II) via Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija but distribution lines are installed by the AURELCO.
Within the municipalities, some remote barangays are not reached by the electrification program which left the areas without distribution power lines. Some households use portable power generators to run their appliances and lighting fixtures.
Annual per Capita Income (in Philippines Pesos) is 24,066, USD552 as of October 2010.
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, ducks. Available also for dairy production and intensive vegetable production.
First in commercial fish production and seaweeds production. The Commercial fisheries sector has not been fully developed considering that the province is surrounded by coastal areas.
Started in several municipalities (fish cages), e.g prawn, lapu-lapu.
A number of tourism-related establishments are operating in the province such as hotels, resorts, restaurants, and parks.
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.
As regards to telephone system, Baler is serviced by the PT & T, RCPI and PLDT and now Smart Satellite.
The PT & T has installed individual household connections while the RCPI and PLDT are using a centralized booth calling systems. In other municipalities of the province like Dingalan, Maria Aurora, Dipaculao, Casiguran and Dinalungan, they already have the Bayan Tel (RCPI) centralized booth calling systems, while Dilasag is still working on the installation of their telephone communication systems.
All municipalities have telegraphic communication facilities and single side band radios. Likewise, most municipal and barangay officials have been provided with portable hand-held radios. These communication facilities provide a quick transmission of communications between municipalities, barangays and the provincial capitol.
There is only two broadcasting station under the Catholic Media Network-Veritas, an AM which is based in Infanta and FM station based in Baler.
Literacy Rate (simply literacy) is 99 percent.
Feast of St. Mark Evangelist (Harana't Sayaw Festival)
Harana" (or serenade) is one of the positive Filipino tradition and culture which was being practiced by the people from Infanta, Quezon and nearby municipalities in the early days. During those days, it is the appropriate means for a young bachelor to meet formally a young lady. The young man shall organize a small "harana" ensemble - size ranging from two (duet), three (trio) or five-man team, with one guitarist. With the silence of the night as their background, the team will serenade the young lady with amorous "kundimans" or Tagalog love songs. After two to three songs, the young lady will invite the group into their house for some conversation. During the conversation proper, songs shall also be exchanged between the young man and the young lady. After the "harana-getting -to-know-you" stage, the young bachelor will start courting the young dame through frequent visits, gifts, "panunuyo or paninilbihan" (i.e., voluntary service in the young lady's household like chopping of firewood, fetching of water, etc.). After some time, the young man will propose to the lady of his dreams and if the dame replied "Yes" to his proposal, then the "pamamanhikan" will follow. If the parents of the lady agreed to the proposed wedding arrangements of the young bachelor's family, then the wedding date shall be set, finally. The tradition of "harana" has been practiced by Infanta folks for the past decades.
Gonsalo Garcia was born on Feb. 5, 1556, to a Portuguese father and Indian mother of Konkani descent, at Agashi village at Bassein (now Vasai), near Mumbai city in western India. His father was a soldier stationed at Fort Bassein, a Portuguese fort. Gonsalo received his education under the Jesuits. While assisting at the Church of the Holy of Jesus at Bassein, he developed a friendship with Jesuit Father Sebastian Gonsalves, who eventually became his lifelong mentor and guide.
This Filipino layman martyr saint could be rightly called the patron of infant baptism because it was after the baptism of an infant through his instrumentality that on 2nd April 1672 Pedro was martyred along with his companion missionary Fr. Diego San Vitores who baptised the infant. This infant was of a mother who got converted to Catholicism.
Lorenzo Ruiz, also called Saint Lorenzo of Manila, is a Filipino saint venerated in the Catholic Church. A Chinese-Filipino, he became his country's protomartyr after his execution in Japan by the Tokugawa Shogunate during its persecution of Japanese Christians in the 17th century.
Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korea-born Catholic priest ordained by the French Bishop Jean-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste Ferréol at Shanghai in 1844.
On every first Friday of the month thousands of Catholics flock to Holy Cross Church of Cherpunkal in Kerala, India to revere Infant Jesus and St. Thomas, the founder of the church. The church stands on the southern bank of Meenachil River. This fabled church, also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)Church, belongs to Catholic Diocese of Palai of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.
St. Anthony Cathedral at Wahakotte in Kandy is a melting of cultures and religions in Sri Lanka. Wonder worker St. Anthony of Padua is a highly respected saint among Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and faiths. Thousands visit this pilgrimage site all the year round. On the feast of St. Anthony on June 13, this national Catholic shrine draws tens of thousands of faithful from all over the country.