I first saw Jaen bleed during the 1998 election when I was assigned there as a PPCRV volunteer. Guns bristled and the air smelled of fear and uncertainty.
It was like that in 2001 and 2004, and in between elections.
Profile: The Church of San Pablo, Laguna
San Pablo delos Montes or formerly Sampaloc was accepted by the Augustinians as a mission in 1586. Fr. Mateo Mendoza (OSA) probably supervised the building of a makeshift church made of light materials during that time. Fr. Hernando Cabrera (OSA) supervised the construction of the first stone church probably around 1618 to 1629. This was probably destroyed because Fr. Juan Labao (OSA) initiated building the present church in 1680 that was completed during the term of Fr. Francisco Eloriaga (OSA) in 1714. Don Juan delos Santos carved the magnificent retablo. The church became known as being the richest and most ornamented in the whole Philippines from 1737 until 1794 when it was handed over to the Franciscans. Fr. Peregrin Prosper (OFM) supervised restoration work and improvements to the church from 1839 until 1858. It was damaged during World War II and was reconstructed from 1948 until 1954 under the supervisions of Fr. Juan Coronel and Fr. Nicomedes Rosal.
PHOTOS EXPLAINED (from top to bottom): (1) My 1998 PPCRV ID, (2) Meg Manubay’s photo of the guns and money recovered by the police after a shooting incident in Jaen a day before the election, and (3) the church of San Pablo, Laguna.