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
MEANS AND END
Through the formation of small, viable Christian communities
The website of San Jose De Antique Diocese is available at: www.rcdsja.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) 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.
Literacy rate (simple literacy) in the diocesan territory is 91.78 percent.