By Fr Rex Rocamora
The author is a Columban priest from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. He was ordained in 2000 and until this year was based in China. He is now in Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate, Manila. His brother, Fr Joseph Joy Rocamora, is a priest in their home Diocese of Ipil.
‘No wonder he was always looking towards the altar’, said Miss Dominga Bayocot who had witnessed as an eight-year-old the man tied to one of the pillars in St James the Apostle Church, Paete, Laguna, after realizing that he was a priest. She was speaking in Tagalog but I noticed the interpreter missed this line and didn’t translate it for the pilgrims who were listening intently to the accounts of two witnesses – the other was Mrs Aurelia Cadapan – to events in the church in July 1943. It was an important line, I thought. They spoke to us after a lunch hosted by the parishioners at Lunal Paradiso Resort in an off-road garden setting.