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Diocese of San Jose de Antique

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Diocese of San Jose de Antique
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In a land area of 2,522.0 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the civil province of Antique.

Antique is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is San Jose and is located at the western portion of Panay Island, bordering Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo to the east. Antique faces the Sulu Sea to the west.

Antique does one of the four provinces comprise the island of Panay. It derived its name from the word hamtic, after the large ants. Antique became a province through Act. No. 2711 in March 10, 1917.

San Jose is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Antique located in the Western Visayas region (Region 6), Philippines. It is the capital municipality of Antique. San Jose is politically subdivided into 28 barangay (villages) or barrio. Antique is subdivided into 18 municipalities with 590 barangays.

Municipalities are Anini-y, Barbaza, Belison, Bugasong, Caluya, Culasi, Hamtic, Laua-an, Libertad, Pandan, Patnongon, San Jose, San Remigio, Sebaste, Sibalom, Tibiao, Tobias, Fornier (Dao) and Valderrama.


As of year end 2017 the total population of the diocese is 648,370 of which 70.60 percent is Catholics.

Antique was first inhabited by Negritos. Then, according to the oral tradition of the province, collected by Father Tomas Santaren, OSA and included in the Augustinian Apuntes Historicos de la Isla de Panay, the province was settled by ten Malayan datus who had fled from Datu Makatunaw of Bornay.


Kinaray-a is the spoken language of the municipality. Kinaray-a came from the word "iraya" equivalent to "ilaya" in Tagalog, which refers to a group of people residing in the mountain areas of the province. Speakers from San Pedro and neighboring barangays have a different intonation from speakers of the Poblacion (town) and the rest of the municipality. There are also some words of the former that differs from the latter, take the word "Calamansi" for example, people from San Pedro calls the fruit as "Bis-bis", while people from the Poblacion goes by "Calamansi" or "Limon".

The locals can understand English, Tagalog and other Visayas dialects.


On March 24, 1962 the province of Antique was made Prelature Nullius and later became Prelature but functioned as a Diocese under the Most Rev. Cornelio De Wit, MHM, DD as its first Bishop-Prelate. In its early years, the local Church was guided by the philosophy and theology of liberation, with these strategies: pastoral care, education/catechesis, liturgy, and socio-economic programs.

True to its mission and dream, the first decade of the Prelature was marked by the setting up of the St. Peter's Seminary for the formation of its future priests, establishing schools for Christian education and formation of small Christian Communities (KKs).

Organizing people for cooperatives both for fisherfolks, farmers and small entrepreneurs as well as migrant sugar workers or the sacadas, and the bringing of health facilities to the barrios through the Socio-Health Program were spearheaded by the Social Action Center of the Prelature.

The Missionary Sisters of the Lord's Table or the Mensa Domini was founded by Bishop De Wit for young women who desire to consecrate their lives to God.

On Nov. 15, 1982 the Prelature of San Jose de Antique was elevated to a Diocese. A Filipino diocesan priest was appointed as Bishop of the Diocese, the Most Rev. Raul Quimpo Martirez, DD.

On Jan. 8, 2001 Most Rev. Romulo Tolentino De La Cruz, DD was installed as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose de Antique and was canonically installed as the Third Local Ordinary of the Diocese by succession on March 16, 2002. He called for the preparation and celebration of the Ruby Jubilee of the Diocese and convened a Pastoral Assembly to chart the Thrusts for the next 5 years.

Upon the transfer of Bishop De La Cruz to the Diocese of Kidapawan, the Diocese welcomed its Fourth Bishop, its very own, the Most Rev. Jose Romeo Orquejo Lazo, DD on July 21, 2009. He was installed Sept. 1, 2009.

Bishop Lazo outlined his Diocesan Pastoral Priorities that will serve as his framework while shepherding his flock, namely: 1) Clergy Ongoing Formation, 2) BEC Organizing and Sustaining Intensification, and 3) Laity Integral Formation.

A truly Antiqueño Christian community, where a living faith in Christ, celebrated in Word and Sacraments and witnessed to by all, in service especially to the poor, builds the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of reconciliation and justice, of love and of peace.

To work towards such Vision by an intensified evangelization in all levels:
a. prayer and spirituality
b. formation of social conscience
c. promotion of peace and order
d. creation of projects for development
e. education for political maturity
f. care for the ecology
g. active participation of the laity

Through the formation of small, viable Christian communities

The website of San Jose De Antique Diocese is available at: 


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.


  • Antique is accessible from north by RORO (Roll-On-Roll-Off) from Manila via Caticlan. From Kalibo, Aklan buses ply the route to Pandan and San Jose de Buenavista, the capital town and the main tourism service center in the province. Buses and vans to and from Iloilo take two main roads -the mountain and the coastal road networks. There are two major seaports in the province: the Lipata seaport in Culasi and San Jose seaport in the capital town. Presently, the Lipata port is being developed for RORO services.

  • Moving Around 
    Tricycles are numerous in all towns of Antique. Buses and jeepneys provide service for intertown travel. In the hinter land, motorcycles for hire act as a fast way to travel to and fro the barangays and town centers. These are what the people call as "skylabs" or "habal-habal".
  • Airport 
    Evelio Javier Airport, also known as Antique Airport and San Jose Airport, is the only airport serving the province of Antique in the Philippines. The airport is located in the provincial capital San Jose, and is classified as a secondary, or a minor commercial domestic airport, by the Air Transportation Office.
    The airport is named after Evelio Javier, a former governor of Antique and a vocal critic of former president Ferdinand Marcos. He was brutally assassinated in the early 1980s.
  • Seaport 
    The port of San Jose de Buenavista is presently being rehabilitated in order to accommodate at least a passenger ship to ply the Manila to Antique route.

    The municipality is also entertaining the idea of transferring the port to Barangay San Pedro by dredging the mouth of Sibalom River to accommodate bigger ships. The idea has been presented to various financing institutions for a Build-Operate-Transfer scheme. The present port in San Jose does not offer a safe shelter for ships during the typhoon season.


Annual per capita income (in Philippines Pesos) 23,461 (as of Februrary 2011 USD520).

Major products shipped out of the province are palay, rice, copra, muscovado sugar, legumes, fruits & vegetable, livestocks, fish & fish preparations and seaweeds. Manufactured items like native gifts, toys and house wares found their way in major cities of the country and abroad. Principally mined products that are being exported include coal, marble, silica, copper and gemstones.

Main goods entering the province are construction materials, dry goods, groceries, canned and bottled products, fertilizer, poultry and livestock feeds and others.

The capital town of San Jose de Buenavista is the center of trade and is considered the business hub business establishments mushroomed in the area. Potential growth areas include the towns of Culasi and Pandan.

  • Mineral Resources
    The mineral resources, metallic and non-metallic that abound the province are as follows; coal, marble, copper, gold, limestone, silica, slice gemstone, clay and others. An indication of oil deposit was recently discovered at Maningning (Maniguin) Island in Culasi. Petronas of Malaysia are currently undergoing oil exploration in the island.

  • Patadyong (Handwoven Tube Skirt)
    This indigenous craft is tediously hand woven by the old women of Barangay Bagtason in Bugasong. The manughabul (weaver) fuses different colors of threads to capture the colors of nature, reveals personal status and for trendy looks. Gradually, this had become a fashion clothing material and now, patadyongs are used as material for hankies, shawls, table runners, hats and gowns.

  • Buri Products
    Buri is very abundance in Diclum, Tobias Fornier and very versatile material in handicrafts making. The weavers simply braid or strip off the leaves and dry them under the sun, dyed and manu ally woven to create conventio


  • The government-operated telecommunications office in San Jose has 300 existing telephone loads to answer Antique's communication needs. To expand telephone services, Islacom has put up some 2,500 telephone lines operating in the towns of San Jose and Sibalom while Globe Telephone Company has established a cell site in the province catering to the subscribers of the six towns from Anini-y to Belison.
    All of these and a number of telegraph/cellular phones, fax machines, and municipal telephone services connect the towns and the province to other parts of the country and of the world. Aside from having a post office in every town, there are a number of cargo and letter forwarders available in the province.

    It is also served by major mobile telecommunications carriers Globe, Smart and Sun with some internet service providers and internet cafes.

    All of these and a number of telegraph/cellular phones, fax machines, and municipal telephone services connect the towns and the province to other parts of the country and of the world. Aside from having a post office in every town, there are a number of cargo and letter forwarders available in the province.

  • Radio stations 
    The FM stations in the province with broadcast centers located at the different towns of the province are owned by the Manila Broadcasting Corporation and Radyo Natin in Patnongon, Laua-an, Culasi, and San Jose, operating in 500 watts power.

    The AM radio stations in the province are: DYKA AM and spirit 94.1 FM a diocesan-owned radio station operated by Catholic Media Network, and DYZN-AM operated by Binirayan Broadcasting Corporation, both in San Jose.

  • TV station 
    Local cable TV companies with community channels.


Literacy rate (simple literacy) in the diocesan territory is 91.78 percent.


  • Binirayan festival 
    This started in San Jose 34 years ago by the late Gov. Evelio Javier brother of former Congressman now Gov. Exequiel B. Javier - a week long festivities of colorful street parades, beach shows, plaza concerts, beauty contest and trade fair. "Binirayan" biray or "sailboat" in Kinaray-a, Antique's local language), refers to the difficult journey of the 10 datus to reach Malandog beach, where they befriended the Atis (Aetas) and eventually started a civilization in pre-Hispanic times. As above-stated, Antique was mythically founded by Bornean Malays in the 12th century. According to legend, 10 Bornean datus (chieftains) claimed Panay Island and their leader, Datu Sumakwel, founded the settlement in Malandog, Hamtik, Antique.

  • Tiringbanay Festival 
    Celebrated from April 30-May 1. Every year people of San Jose celebrate Tiringbanay Festival just to go home to their families and friends and celebrate. The town folks celebrate the event to trace back their history as a people and converge for renewal of commitment as a community of responsible men and women in honor of their patron saint, St. Joseph the Worker. Tiringbanaycomes from the word tiringub or 'to be together'.

  • Karay-a Arts Festival 
    The Karay-a Arts Festival is a feast for the senses in celebration of the creative spirit that keeps the Karay-a culture alive. It is a festival of folk arts and crafts, murals and paintings, performances and poetry readings, launchings, bazaars and al fresco dining and cafes at the Art Circle of EBJ Freedom Park.

    The objectives are:
    1. To promote Karay-a culture as a major cultural stream in the region;
    2. To encourage local artists to produce and excel;
    3. To provide a venue for interaction among artists and audience;
    4. To provide cultural tourism event in support of the province's tourism promotion;

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