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Minor Seminary’s history revisited

FORUM. Students of Bicol history converge at the Savage Mind, a bookshop and private library in Naga City.

NAGA CITY---”As time goes by, the people must understand that history must be reviewed in view of new studies and data,” according to Jethro Calacday, a young Bicolano historian in an interview with Bicol Mail.

Calacday, 22, of Legazpi City, a former Editorial Assistant of the Philippine Studies, Historical, and Ethnographic View Points of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), discussed his new discoveries about the history of the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, in relation to the alleged existence of the Casa de Clerigos and the street called “Padi-an” in Barangay Dinaga, this city, which seems to run contrary to what had earlier been written in other Bicol history books.

Calacday was guest at a forum, Savage Mind: Arts, Books, and Cinema along Peninsula St., in Brgy. Tinago here last Monday evening, August 5, before a crowd of Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU) students, particularly under the class of Prof. Kristian Sendon Cordero, writer and film maker.

Calacday claims that the Casa de Clerigos, which has been documented as a mini seminary in Nueva Caceres (now Naga City), was founded and existed in 1685-1709 before the establishment of the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, according to Fr. Agapito Sacristan, a Vincentian priest, and former rector of the seminary in the 1940s.

Calacday elaborated that Sacristan in his written article in 1939 mentioned the Casa as the first seminary in Nueva Caceres, located in what is now Brgy. Dinaga in a street called “Padi-an” (which has since been renamed as Caceres Street.

Calacday further explained that Sacristan’s article is included as a reference of the previous studies about the church history in Bicol.

He said that there was a bishop who claimed that the so-called Casa de Clerigos was a miniature seminary but this was not supported by any evidence to prove that it was indeed a seminary.

He pointed out that according to Sacristan, there are natives between 1685-1709 who were ordained as priests in Nueva Caceres but according to another historian, Luciano Santiago, the natives of Nueva Caceres entered priesthood only in 1796 and they were trained in Manila.

Before that time (1796),, Luciano pointed out that no seminary existed in Nueva Caceres.

In 1841, a surector and Capampangan priest named Francisco Duyagui claimed that the seminary was probably founded in 1751, but Calacday said that the claim was not enough as a basis or reliable reference because Duyagui’s statement was based only in probability.

He also concluded that the place called “Padi-an” in Dinaga was not a place where priests are housed. It was, he said, more of a district where a number of Chinese merchants resided.

The Holy Rosary Minor Seminary was founded by Bishop Juan Antonio Gallego de Obrigo in May 11, 1785, according to Calacday’s study, contrary to the marker of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) which placed its foundation date at March 7, 1793 in the time of the same bishop.

He clarified that his paper about the seminary was already recognized by the commission (NHCP) and would pursue more about the Casa de Clerigos in another study.

Calacday said documents supporting the existence of the Casa might have been lost due to past calamities.

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