It is hereby a declared policy of the provincial government of Dinagat Islands to promote culture and the arts, coordinate with government agencies and non-governmental organizations, and subject to the availability of funds, appropriate funds for the support and development of the same. It is also a policy of the province to recognize and honour the Local Hero by giving importance to the historical annals of places that have significance/relevance to his life.
Giving importance to the historical annals of places that have significance/relevance to the life of the local hero, it is our utmost respect and reverence by giving emphasis to his hometown of Dinagat - with a visit to his residence thereat, his birthplace- Barangay Cab-ilan and places known as Mystical Dinagat Wonders.
Divine Master's Shrine
Divine Master's Shrine is a Mausoleum at the top of a hill in Aurelio, San Jose, Dinagat Islands. The shrine was built by the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA) members in honor of the founder, Ruben Edera Ecleo Sr.. This shrine symbolizes his lasting legacies.
Babayeng Bukid and Lalaking Bukid – a dialect referring to the mystical landmarks, symbolizing Princess Dina and Datu Gat, respectively, where the name of the Province of Dinagat Islands originates. Babayeng Bukid is the female looking mountain found in the Municipality of Tubajon which is known also as Mount Palhi; and Lalaking Bukid is a male-looking mountain situated in Municipality of Basilisa and known also as Mount Unib.
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there existed two different tribes that lived in fierce rivalry. The chieftain of each tribe was known to be fearless and proud. The chieftain of the first tribe had a handsome son named Prinsipe Gat, a pure and strong warrior while the rival chief had a beautiful daughter named Prinsesa Dina, an admirable virtuous lady, so unceasingly gorgeous to behold. In spite of their tribe’s feud, Dina and Gat fell in love with each other. Because of their father’s rivalry, they chose to keep their affair in secret. But rumors spread around the two tribes. Soon, both chieftains learned about their secret affair and forbid them to see each other. And like other romantic stories, their enduring love would conquer all obstacles. Dina and Gat chose to fight for their perpetual love and decided to escape from their own tribes. They fled far across the miles and sailed the oceans until they reached a secluded Island Paradise. Here, Dina and Gat lived as husband and wife and together built the family of their own.
The Island had been a good provider to the couple. It gave them shelter. It gave them food. In returned, Dina and Gat nurtured and fostered the Island as their own. They nourished and cultivated the Island they considered a paradise and vowed to protect it for their children and their children’s children.
One day, a fleet of foreign ships carrying armies of hundred intruders were seen coming to the Islands. Seeing the multitude of intruders, Dina and Gat were frightened they cannot fight such huge armies of enemies. They were scared they cannot protect the Island they considered their home paradise. But because of their love for their children and the Islands, they ran to the seas and dove and swam the deep blue waters of the Island. They dove deeper and deeper until both disappeared. Few days passed by, a separate bulge of two Islets sprouted in the middle of the waters where the couple was last seen. The two islets appeared so mystical it formed like giant humans laying down to rest. It became incredibly visible that it was believed to be the remnants of Dina and Gat, the protectors of the Islands and its children.
The first islet was called Lalakeng Bukid and the other was called Babaeng Bukid. And from then on, the whole Island was called DINAGAT, named after the Prinsesa Dina and Prinsipe Gat. Today, people of Dinagat Islands believed that the couple are still guiding and protecting them through presence of the Lalakeng Bukid and Babaeng Bukid. That is the reason why the people of Dinagat Islands manage to survive and endure the tests of time.
The Presidential House
The name Presidential House derived from the Word “President”, the House of the President. In recognition and honor to the Great Divine Master Ruben EderaEcleo, Sr., the people of Barangay Baltazar through the leadership of Brgy. Capt. Oscar Baltazar built this house through self-help and self-reliance in 1977.
Divine Master cited some spiritual revelations about this place. During the construction, the first whole wooden “magkono” posts erected swallowed easily by the ground. The workers shouted, and Divine mentally controlled the post not to be buried completely. He told Oscar “Oka” Baltazar those twelve (12) feet below the ground is the portal to the UNDERWORLD.
The Presidential House and its compound reminisces the Garden of Eden which river runs at the center of the paradise. Divine Master disclosed the place where Adam and Eve made their first disobedience to God – to eat the fruit of the Forbidden Tree, the Tree of Knowledge.
Divine Master also revealed the Story of the First Civilization of Dinagat Islands where the word DINAGAT got its name. At the presidential compound, an artifact was found twelve (12) feet beneath the ground. According to Divine Master the said artifact was caused by a great turbulence which devastated the place.
He said that before the PEOPLE of the first civilization in the Island of Dinagat were vanished into the LIMBO because they were punished by God due to their wickedness and disobedience to His commandments, this place was full of bounties and merriment. This place is the haven of DATU GAT and PRINCESS DINA and there they live happily with their people with love supreme to God and righteousness enshrined in every heart.
This place became the trade center of the islands; and sadly the price of bounties and glories was the change of people’s belief, character and attitude towards humanity. Datu Gat, their Spiritual Leader, was religiously reminded his people to pray and righteousness will prevail in their hearts; but instead they worship and idolized animal-like statue made of gold and forgot their love and commitment to God.
God saw the wickedness of the people: lusts, greediness, madness, murder, sorcerer, corruption, robbery, and evil spirits domain in their heart and mind. A great RAPTURE occurred. Earthquake, strong winds, torrential rain, and then followed by flood and landslides struck and devastated the place.
God’s anger was so intense and supreme. He was not satisfied to the awful situation of the sinners who wanted to survive. God’s wrath was enormous and forgiveness has no room in His godly heart. Thousands of people died of such fiercely catastrophe. Some were buried live by mud and some were drown by big waves and flood.
Rapture was over and dead bodies scattered over the land where ruined community and remains are evidences of that great havoc. But there were blessed who survived from the anger of nature. God saw survivors creeping at the ground, and He wanted to clean this place through a SKIN DESEASE known as “ODOK” (see Atlas map), a deadliest contiguous skin disease that kills victim gradually until all skin and flesh will be rotten because of its itchy. The story of ODOK OUTBREAK was handed down to generation, and this place reminisces the WRATH OF GOD to those who break God’s Law. In this place sightings of SPIRITUAL BEINGS are oftentimes visit during the times of Divine Master.
The Mystical Puyange Rocks
The birth of the Local Hero of the Province of Dinagat Islands, Divine Master Ruben EderaEcleo, Sr. on December 9, 1934 in Cab-ilan Island, part of the Municipality of Dinagat, was so painful and quite mystical for Jose Ecleo and JustinianaEdera. Mother Justiniana was lost for seven (7) days and seven (7) nights at Cab-ilan after she gave birth to his youngest son, Ubing, at 7:00 o’clock in the house of his younger brother, Bencio where she lost her consciousness and later she was insane and run to the “pangpang” beside the sea where the stone bell was located, and there she suddenly disappeared.
On the seventh day of searching on Mother Justiniana’s disappearance, Jose, with his newly born son, Ubing, went to his farm at Puyange, and there atop of the big Puyange Rocks he find his wife. Jose knew about the situation of his wife through the Member of the Spiritual Division, Gen. Lolo Adriano dela Concepcion, who disclosed that they (SD) brought Justiniana in Puyange for seven (7) days and seven (7) nights for recuperation.
The Mystical Puyange Rocks is located at the back of the Ruben Edera, Ecleo, Sr. Administrator’s Building and San Jose Parish Church. According to Divine Master this mystical rock is the inner sanctum of the MEMBERS OF THE SPIRITUAL DIVISION.
Any person is prohibited to tread this place because ‘till now sightings of SPIRITUAL BEINGS are visible and anytime they will punish to those who trespasses this place.
Bugtong Lubi is situated approximately three (3) kilometers from the heart of Barangay Cuarinta where the provincial capitol building of Dinagat Islands is located. The name of the Legendary BugtongLubi was taken from a coconut tree that grows alone at the jungle.
Dinagat Heritage House
In 1968, Divine Master Ruben EderaEcleo, Sr. became the town mayor of Dinagat.The Dinagat Heritage House was built through the effort of the PBMA members who showed their unexceptional love to the Divine Master. This house is dedicated to his family. It is located at Barangay White Beach, Dinagat, Dinagat Islands.
PBMA Main Office
On October 19, 1965 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the registration of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, Incorporated (PBMA, Inc.), a non-stock, non-profit association founded by Divine Master Ruben Edera Ecleo, Sr. The Main Office of the Association is placed in San Jose, Dinagat Islands, formerly Surigao del Norte.
The missioners coming from different parts of the country and abroad gather in San Jose during the PBMA General Annual Conference which will fall on Holy Week and later it was change to the month of May. The Main Office Building served as the meeting place of the missioners wherein trainings and seminars were conducted, and there were nightly programs conducted to hear messages from Divine Master and the Members of the Four Corners of the World. There were testimonies which can be heard from members about mysteries and miracles that happened in their lives.
The Main Office Building is also the place of the Spiritual Division which oftentimes present during the height of the conference. In an open public during nightly program, Dr. Hugh Tovar, one of the members of the Spiritual Division, released spiritual babies to interested poster parents.
Originally, the PBMA main office building was the three (3) houses owned by brothers Moises Ecleo, Nicolas Ecleo and Ruben Ecleo.
White Castle (San Jose) - Islander's Castle is situated at Barangay Mayahayhay, San Jose, Dinaga Islands owned by Glenda B. Ecleo.