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                This coming August, the monthly mass of the Buluseños in Metro-Manila will be on its 23rd year.  This monthly spiritual gathering in honor of Bulusan’s patron saint, St. James the Greater, has become a part of the lives of many Buluseños who make it a point to attend it regularly.  This is where Buluseños from all walks of life converge just for the sake of meeting and has thus been instrumental in bringing them closer to one another – playing such a vital role in forming Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. to what it is today.

                It was in August 5, 1981, when Mrs. Nena Gonzales-Fabic sponsored a mass in honor of St. James the Greater at the Holy Trinity Church in Balic-Balic, Sampaloc, Manila.  The mass, which was attended by but a few Buluseños, was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Tony Pura, then parish priest of Bulusan.

                It was during their meeting after the mass at the residence of Mrs. Fabic that the case of a young Buluseña who was then detained at the Manila City Jail was discussed.  Upon the advice of Fr. Pura, the group paid her a visit which led to the holding of a mass for three months at the jail’s chapel.

                When she was sentenced to life imprisonment and had to be transferred to the Correctional Institute for Women, the group moved to the Manila Cathedral on the second Sunday of November of the same year and stayed there until December 1996.

                At the cathedral, its staff could hardly believe that the place would be filled with Buluseños every second Sunday at 2:00 P.M. knowing it is a time for siesta.

                In the early part of the monthly gathering, it was conceived as an extended parish of St. James the Greater in Bulusan to make it a part of whatever project was to be undertaken there.

                But realizing that there were more pressing problems in the community that had to be addressed, the group decided to form an association.  So, in the early part of 1982, Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. was born, a SEC-registered town organization.

                After fifteen years at the Manila Cathedral , the group moved again, this time to the nearby Knights of Columbus Clubhouse where it is now since January 1997.

                As to how long the monthly mass and Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. will exist, only God knows.  But its organizers are confident that with the blessings of the Almighty, it will go on and on to the next generations for the sake of the various civic activities and humanitarian projects it has initiated and established and which are now parts of the legacy of the association to the town of Bulusan and the Buluseños.

Vol. XVI No.3 (May - July 2004)

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