The first and probably the most complete accounts of the life and times of Divine Master Ruben Ecleo, Senior was written by Antonio B. Acabal, an elementary grade school undergradute; through the instructions and guidance of Ruben himself just few years after he [Ruben] died. Antonio Acabal has no formal education in writings and never wrote a book in his entire life due to his being illiterate when it comes to higher skills and knowledge in literacy works besides being not his interest and of his low educational attainment. However, as he refuses to do the work, Divine Master Ruben told him, “Do! Do you believe that nothing is impossible with God?” And Tony answered, “Yes, Master, I believe.” Then Master Ruben added, “It is not man who will choose his God because there is only one God. Instead, it is God who will choose His people for Him to give power, knowledge and wisdom on all things, and He will bring them in His Kingdom and there to live with Him forever. If you believe that nothing is impossible with God; then believe, I will start, and I will finish the work.”
The Miracle of the South is the by-product book of Mr. Acabal’s undertakings, published in 1991, with Divine Master Ruben’s authorization to write his said life story written in his own handwritings. This book came out as a result of Mr. Acabal’s personal visits, interviews and records on the accounts of the many people who then gave their testimonies as to the days of the life and times of Master Ruben Ecleo, Senior. Mr. Acabal gathered all the necessary information for the said undertakings. He did go to the places and interviewed the people who, in different times and occasions, happened to mingle and lived with the young Ruben or Ubing. The Miracle of the South is now considered as one of the most important documents in the life history of the Supreme President and Founder of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, Incorporated.
Like Dr. Moncado, the life and times of Master Ruben, Sr. was also presented in two different personalities as observed in two different accounts portraying two different persons with similar personalities.
Records show that Ruben Ecleo was baptized in the Aglipayan Church as Robinson Ecleo in the Cabilan Island, Surigao del Norte in the northern most tip of mainland Mindanao. On one side Ruben was portrayed as an itinerant healer-missioner who can be seen in different parts of Mindanao and the Visayas on different names and appearances, healing the sick people he met along his way and teaching moral and spiritual values. He was known through different names and personalities as Ubing Osay Ngipin, Dr. Ruben, Dr. Laway and Freddie, among others. On the other hand, he can be seen in his humble place in Puyange as a healer and a teacher attending to his burgeoning patients and students coming from the neighboring towns and other far places in the country, that through which he was known as Divine Master Ruben Ecleo, the Supreme President of the PBMA and became the mayor of Dinagat for 20 consecutive years. All these personalities manifested similarities with each others as one and the same person yet of different names and personalities. This characteristic of being omnipresent is only possible for the Masters of Wisdom, the Arhats, Avatars and Heirophants, as in the case of Master Jesus who had been in the America’s, Egypt, India and in his native Judea, simultaneously aside from being in the monastery in the Essenean School, near Mount Serbal, overlooking the Black Sea. Each of his bodies was with different face, height, perhaps different nationality, performing a mission which only the Almighty God, the Father knows. Henceforth, Ruben Ecleo, as he went through these manifestations of simultaneous materialization is one that can be regarded as the Arhat, the Avatar, the Heirophant or the Master of Wisdom.
Ruben’s life can be categorized as one shrouded with mysteries, like the silent water of the sea that is seen only through its still surface, yet its deepness is unknown and uncertain unless fathomed and explored unto its deepest floor. Like the life and ministry of the Master Jesus, it can only be understood by those who followed the story down from the very source of the prophecy.
The Ecleos have no clear history of family origin but evidences available suggest they might have come from the Island of Samar. Some facts and information, such as family surnames, genealogies records and ancestral documents also suggest that the Ecleos are related with the Ecles, a family name that is widely spread in the island. The affixion of “o” in Ecle or the omission of “o” from Ecleo might have done during the Spanish era which was a common family practice during those days.
Both the surnames Ecleo and Ecle might have been taken from the word “ecclesia”, the English derivative form of the Greek word “ekklesia” which is commonly translated as “church” in the Christian Bible, which is derived from the Hebrew word “ekkleo” which means “one selected to serve”.
Two Ecleos first came to the Island of Dinagat around the end of the ninetenth century. They were Crispulo and Francisco Ecleo, two cousins who left their roots and properties and settled in this island far south of Samar Island in accordance with the directions and guidance of their spirit guides who led them to this forested isolated place. Crispulo and Francisco were the keepers of a prophecy. Crispulo married Pascuala and they were blessed with seven children, the youngest was Jose, Ruben’s father. Jose took over the responsibilities after his father in protecting and preparing the “promised land” they named after a tree called Puyange, which means “tree of life” which was so abundant in the place. Like his father Crispulo, Jose also had a power given to him by his spirit guides, the same power once entrusted to his father for the same purpose and responsibilities.
Jose married Justiniana Edera. Justiniana or Justi came from the island of Cabilan, a smaller island in the western side of Dinagat. Justi’s family was among the three earliest settlers in the island. Like the Ecleos, the Ederas were also directed by unexplained circumstances to settle in the island to prepare the place for a prophecy that is to come. Jose and Justi got married in 1920 and finally settled in Puyange. They were the first family to inhabit and occupy the place. Jose and Justi happily savoured the blessings of their marital life and the sanctity of the place as they were blessed with sixth children, the youngest was Ruben.
Like the birth of the coming Messiah in the olden days, Ruben’s birth was also prophesied years before the birth of his parents. Meaning, his foreparents were already aware that a child from their bloodline is prophesied to be born as foretold by their forefathers ahead of them. This coming birth of a son will change all the manners this family is traditionally doing, being the descendants of a family with power, harking from their forgotten ancestors of unknown origins. Whatever this prophecy was remained secret until it was finally revealed through the birth of Ruben.
Justi gave birth to their five children in ordinary ways. Jose was a healer whose gift of healing came from his father, who also had inherited the same from his father, and from the father of his father down from their oldest ancestors. When Justi got pregnant of Ruben everything changed. For the whole nine months of carrying in her womb the young Ruben she experienced pains and agony she never felt before. Even Jose can not explain why his power to heal slowly faded and the spirit guides who were always there to help him mysteriously disappeared and never told him what to do to help his wife. Yet, Justi carried this sacrifice with open heart for she knew it is the culmination of the prophecy they were preparing for.
One day, no more than a month before Justi will give birth to Ruben, she and Jose went fishing early in the morning. Jose was busy fishing until noon time while Justi was left in the banca enjoying with the seafoods for the lunch. They were both in that condition when they heard a deafening cry of a baby reverberating in the wilderness. Both of them stopped and wondered where the cry might be coming knowing that nobody is living in the place except their family, and none to their knowledge had yet given birth to a baby. To be sure, Jose checked the surroundings if a newly born baby was left unattended. He searched the bushes, between the big rocks, under the trees and yet he found none. All of a sudden, Justi called out for Jose. The baby in her womb was moving. Eventually, Justi got knew it was her unborn baby who was crying. They were both astounded but with certainty for they knew the prophecy is nearing to its fulfillment.
In a not-so-far place, three persons have also heard the crying. They were Enrique Ecle, Jose’s relative, Pascuala and one lady. They were also wondering as to whose child that crying must be. They saw Jose and Justi in the banca talking with each other and asked them of the crying they have heard. The couple was speechless. They don’t know what to do and did say nothing. They just waited for the next thing to happen. They can say the truth about their unborn baby who was crying but they were uncertain if they will believe them. In no time, once again, the baby in Justi’s womb cried. The three eyewitnesses were surprised and filled with the glory of the Lord. His crying is a sign; a sign of his coming. They were overwhelmed and fall down on their knees, and expressed with certainty, “We believe that you have the power harking from the heaven the most high, if (this) our belief is correct, (you please) stop crying.”
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Mark 1:3).
Ruben’s coming birth was the prophecy his foreparents were charged to prepare. The mysteries and obscurities that twinned in his personalities even during his conception were already manifestations of his extra-ordinary being; the culmination of a long-time preparation and the fulfillment of a prophecy his forefathers have kept.
The three eyewitnesses paid respect and praised him of the things they have heard and seen; and with reverence to the unborn child, they asked, “Are you the One prophesied for the Promised Land?” The crying kept on going as if it wanted to convey something; of his coming that they must be prepared for. Again, they asked, “Are you the One who will bring the power unto this world?” The crying became louder and louder as if it was corroborating with what they have said. And so and again, they asked him, “Are you prophesied to-be-King of all kings?” Suddenly, the crying stopped and there was a deafening silence in the wilderness of Puyange. It was a confirmation; a confirmation of all they have said and believe. At last, the eyewitnesses understood and accepted the message with open hearts.
Justi gave birth to Ruben on the morning of December 9, 1934. She started laboring the midnight of December 8 until early morning. Jose was already prepared for this. The hilot (local midwife) and some female relatives were also there to assist Justi and Jose. It was a very painful delivery that Justi almost lost her sanity because of the pain she felt. She lost her consciousness upon giving birth to Ruben. When she woke up, she was hestirical and screeming as if she was insane. She looked around but seems she was seeing nobody. She stood up and run down from the house and went to the sea shore running, laughing and screaming. Jose followed her but Justi suddenly was lost from his sight. She was lost in the wilderness for seven days.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” (Rev. 12:1-2)
“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” (Rev. 12:6).
Death of a Father:
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.” And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces." (2Kings 2:11-12).
Jose Ecleo, Ruben’s father took over the responsibilities of protecting and preparing the mystical place of Puyange for the coming birth of his son Ruben. Being the last among the keepers of this prophecy, Jose’s mission was likened to that of the Prophet Elijah and Prophet Isaiah who prepared the way of the coming Son of man. Jose was the last guardian of the Promised Land and given the charge to see to it be ready for the establishment of his kingdom in this portion of the earth. Yet, although Jose was the only one carrying this task he was not alone in protecting the forested land of Puyange. The unseen people living in the area were also there ready to supress and drive away whoever person trying to destroy the place. These unseen people were later revealed by Ruben as Members of the Spiritual Division.
Like any other human individuals, Jose’s mortal material life and body has its end. On the day he was about to die he called for his two sons: Moises and Ruben. Jose instructed them both for the responsibilities they are about to carry, being the recepient and the next custodians and protectors of the Promised Land. It was a tearful moment of separation when Jose told his family of his time to depart, for his mission in his material life was over. He then has to pass the same responsibilities to his children who will do the same as he did and be the care taker of Puyange. From his forefathers, he has to pass the same responsibility to his children. And before he finally left, Jose gave Moises and Ruben a piece of their inheritance with the responsibilities they are about to assume. He gave them a supot (paper bag) with something inside they need to keep as token of their responsibilities, then he blessed them both and charged them and bade goodbye.
In that same moment, Jose’s life ended there as his material body was lying in bed without a bit of life left. Yet, they saw another Jose who stood up from the same bed and walked down the house and went to the seashore. Momentarily, they heard the loud sound of horn coming from an on-going sea vessel. They saw the people on board waving their hands welcoming a new member of their team. Jose happily waved back his hand to the mourning family he left as he boarded the sea-vessel and joined the crew. Slowly, the sea vessel sailed away and faded on the sea horizon. Jose has finally gone with nothing left than his material remains and memories.
His Childhood Days and Schoolings:
"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke 2:46-52).
Young Ruben or Ubing, as he was commonly called, was raised and grew up like any ordinary child in his place in the islands of Cabilan and Dinagat. He can be seen playing around in ordinary days with his other siblings and doing the usual things they used to do. But what so mysterious was his being present on other far places healing the sick and teaching moral and spiritual values while at the same time playing and care-freely enjoying a young life in his native islands. On many occassions, his brother Moises would attest of the things they used to do everyday on their way to school, such that, for many occasions, they prefer playing along the way the whole day instead of attending their daily classes, yet on the contrary Ubing’s teacher would attest on his one hundred percent attendance in the class. These were all supported by the teacher’s class records and Ubing’s perfect scores in all their school examinations.
Ubing first enrolled in Grade I at Gomez Elementary School in Dinagat, Surigao del Norte in 1942. However, it was cut-short by the Second World War. He continued his Grade I after the war, in 1946, at Wilson Elementary School in Dinagat, while Moises enrolled in Grade II. Because of his excellent performance and high level of intellect, of which his teacher silently admired on him, Ubing was accelerated twice in one single school-year, from Grade I to Grade II and from Grade II to Grade III, while Moises was left in Grade II. This fact was all supported by the school records in the said school.
This Ubing’s extra-ordinary performance and dual identity (or the power of simultaneous materialization) again happened the next time he continued his schoolings. Year 1948 when Ubing enrolled in Grade IV at Surigao City Central School, Surigao City, a year after the death of his father Jose, in 1947. At the middle of the school-year, he was accelerated to Grade V. In that same year, another “Ubing” was adopted by a certain Mr. and Mrs. Sombrado in Pandan, Liloan, Leyte, who, according to Ignacio Sombrado, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sombrado, the Ubing he knew was 12 years old youngster with an above average height, of athletic physique, and an intelligence that is one considered of a “genius”.
The teachings of Divine Master Ruben Ecleo draw parallelisms and similarities with that of the wisdom of the Lord Christ written in the pages of the Bible. However, not even a single moment he was seen holding or reading the Bible or even encouraged his followers to read it. Instead, he revealed that his teachings all come from the akashic plane, from the spiritual world, where he spent sleepless nights studying and learning all these things through the instructions and guidance of the Members of the Spiritual Division who brought him into this realm. Accordingly, he started learning these things as early as the age of seven, the same age when he started his formal schooling and teaching-healing mission. His teachings are all now embodied in the teachings of PBMA, the organization he organized and founded. His teachings and miracles as well serve as the unifying forces which keep his followers intact and united under one fold and faith, even after his death. For the PBMA members, his organization is the totality of his person and them being his body, working together for the fulfillment of his missions. The mission of PBMA is therefore to continue the missions of Divine Master Ruben Ecleo, which are embodied in the Articles of Incorporation of the Association.
The Virtue of Charity:
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1Cor. 13:13).
“Let all your things be done with charity” for charity is the mother of all virtues.” (1Cor. 16:14).
The main purpose for which the PBMA was established is for the service of humanity through charitable works. Accordingly, the true meaning of love is not in the word “love” itself but on the ways it is being expressed through actions, as it was also said, “faith without action is dead”. And that same goes when it is said, “love is best expressed not in words but in action”. The Lord Jesus Christ told us of the two greatest commandments - the love of God and the love of fellowmen. He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 2:37), and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. 22:39). Henceforth, the best way to show one's love of God is not only by professing one’s devotion and faith to God but through service to others, for the Christ also said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40).
In so doing, the PBMA Incorporators have deviced ways in order to carry out this objective, which are:
1) by serving faithfully;
2) by helping benevolently, and;
3) by giving voluntarily.
By serving faithfully, a person is laying up for himself treasures in heaven. Serving with faith is likened to giving all help possible by all means probable and its up to the Lord in heaven for the rewards, in secret, like this common saying, “do all your best and God will do the rests.” By helping benevolently means by extending one’s effort in helping others solve their problems, either through material means, moral or spiritual. Benevolence means helping others without expecting pecuniary values, material rewards in one form or another. By giving voluntarily means to share, to donate or to give away one’s resources available freely from his own will, like Jesus said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” (Matt. 19:21)
The Crowning Glory of Humility:
“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.” (Prov. 15:33).
Divine Master Ruben Senior used to remind his followers to always observe humility. His favorite quote, “Matam-is kanunay ang magpa-ubos” (It is always a bliss to be humble) serves as food for thought by the members where they draw strength and inspiration whenever ridiculed by the non-members. The same reminder the Lord Christ had told His disciples, to love their enemies and never take any attempt to avenge but rather encouraged them to pray for those which despitefully use and persecute them. Like the wisdom of the Christ, in Matt. 5:44 as He said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:4).
Be Fishers of Men:
“Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt. 4:19).
Ruben Ecleo Sr. started his group with only 13 followers he called the “First Thirteen”. The First 13 were the first pillars of PBMA who first received his teachings and instructions. These first 13 members were the first who witness his miracles as they choose to closely live with and served him. In turn, they related their personal accounts to other members which spread like a forest fire that added momentum to the burgeoning of PBMA memberships. However difficult or easy the first few years of this group was, these first missioners shared the inspirations that catapulted the Association into what it is now. They were the first fishermen of PBMA members.
True to the aspirations of its founder, in the year 2002, PBMA had reported a phenomenal growth of 3.5 million memberships. This was made possible through the intensive teaching-healing missions carried out by the first members. An inkling that the members are really called to be fishers of men.
The Way to Salvation:
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:10).
“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28).
... PBMA teaches that “the salvation of a man comes from his own confessions” of sins directly to God. In this vein, the Divine Master Ruben taught his missionaries to do the general confession in nine consecutive dawns. This has consonance with the popular verse, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Here, to be totally re-born in the spiritual aspect, man has to accept that he is a sinner and has to confess all his sins to God, and promise to the best way he can to avoid the same mistakes or sins he has committed and live according to the will of the Father in Heaver. Then and only then a man can assert of his right as a “true son of God” and can claim of sure ticket for salvation through God’s Begotten Son.
Further to that, the Master Ruben also taught his followers that salvation is not only for the spirit but also for the material body as well. He said that there will be people who will not experience death and will be the living witnesses during the last days. (Matt. 16:28). Like in the times of the great flood, God spared Noah and his family to replenish the earth and start anew. Meaning, the next time the Lord will punish the earth for the evildoings of His creations He will again spare some to be the seeds for the next generations. However, it is not the same water He will send to judge but the fire for He promised not to send anymore (the same) deluge to the face of the earth. (Gen. 9:11).This also has reference to the verse, “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7).
In so doing, the Divine Master had instructed all PBMA members in every chapter in the Philippines to construct and complete their respective chapter buildings and complete the fence of 12 feet height. He gave details that each chapter building strongly constructed with complete fence of the precise height and specifications will be the counterpart of Noah’s Ark (Gen. 6:15) in this modern days and the members’ salvation center during the last days. No wonder, there is a common saying among members that runs, “build walls not bridges” which is the opposite of a more popular saying, “build bridges not walls”. The Divine Master added that the construction of a chapter building and its fence and facilities must be through the concerted efforts of the members through the spirit of bayanihan (cooperativism). In this way, all members regardless of economic status can claim of rights and privileges to enter the chapter, as one of its builders.
In His Name Shall They Cast Evils:
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.” (Mark 16: 17).
Divine Master Ruben Ecleo Sr. never asked his followers to call him Dr. Ruben or Divine Master. It was the people he helped and cured of their sicknesses who called him “doctor.” It was his followers who saw his miracles and power who gave him the title “Divine Master”. He never claimed he is god and never in any recorded account or in his recorded discourses that he will be addressed as such. Yet, what so mysterious is, his picture alone is enough to cast away bad spirits from the body of a possessed patient. In many recorded cases, Ruben’s followers who encountered patients with bad spirits were abled to drive or even disciplined the evil spirit inside the patient’s body by just merely showing his picture or by simply whispering his “secret name” unto the ear of the patient. Obviously, the bad spirits recognized the authority and power of Divine Master Ruben though they never have seen or heard him yet in person.
In addition to this, all PBMA members have in their personal possessions records of “special words” in a language almost forgotten by men, in the Aramaic langauge; the same language the Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples used during the Old Testament times. These special words the PBMA members are using in carrying out their humble missions for the service of humanity, i.e. healing the sick or casting unclean spirits.
The Father’s Prayer:
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” (Heb. 8: 10).
Every PBMA member is in secret covenant with the Divine Master Ruben Ecleo, Senior. Everyone has received and in his own possession the “Revised Prayer” written in the Aramaic language. This is now the unified prayer and true to all PBMA members. A true PBMA member, therefore, and a true follower of Ruben Ecleo, is one who prays this Revised Aramaic Prayer as a life-long devotion and as a covenant, and to pray this by heart for the rests of his life.
In like manner, the Lord Jesus Christ taught his followers the proper way to pray and gave them the “Father’s Prayer” (also known as The Prayer to the Father) which was originally in the Aramaic language. This Father’s Prayer is now considered by most Christians as the best prayer ever made for it was given by no other person than the Christ himself. Though, every Christian must knew this prayer.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son:
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:10).
Every PBMA member is also, by the Association’s rules, wearing a membership ring in his right hand. This ring, aside from the identification document (ID), serves as his obvious mark showing his affiliation being a member of the Association and a follower of Ruben. In this way, every PBMA member can easily recognize each others anywhere they meet regardless of nationality, creed or color. Divine Master Ruben once told his members that they may not be related with each others in anyway, either by blood or by law, but all members are brothers and sisters in spirit, and all are sons and daughters of God under the heaven.
Hence, every member is a typical example of the biblical parable, the prodigal son, who, by his personal choice has decided to return to his father’s fold and wears the ring in his right hand signifying his homecoming and solemn retreat from the wickedness of earthly living.
Follow Me unto My Father’s Kingdom:
“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit.” (Matt. 7:17).
The Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association may have started only as a small spiritual organization centered on the teachings and missions of its founder, Ruben Edera Ecleo, Sr. But as the Organization grew bigger and bigger, more biblical revelations are becoming clearly eminent as their fulfillments through the PBMA’s existence. It was able to establish a name and a fiefdom of its own; a small kingdom where it can exercise its constitutional rights as a legal organization founded on the very principles of the citizen’s right to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law. (Sec. 6, Art. IV, 1935 Constitution; Sec. 7, Art IV, 1975 Constitution; Sec. I, Art. I, Freedom Constitution; Sec. 8, Art. III, 1986 Constitution). The legality of its existence is anchored on the provisions of Republic Act 1459, otherwise known as the Corporation Code of the Philippines, as amended, pursuant to which it is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as an entity clothed with legal personality.
The PBMA is an organization of people, who are, from their simple life and humble origins have chosen to serve Ruben and dedicated their lives for the service of humanity. Most of them left their roots and settled in the shore of Dinagat Islands living closer to their Master. It is not the promise of wealth that they decided to settle in Dinagat Island but for the promise of salvation they have not seen in their respective churches or in any other religious organizations. For the members, Ruben Ecleo and his Association is the fulfillment of the verse, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God.” (Rev. 3:12).
Today, the PBMA is always associated with Dinagat Islands, the holy land and the pilgrime place of all the PBMA members. For them, Dinagat Islands is the fulfillment of the biblical Promised Land.
The Lord Jesus Christ never established a "church" but a congregation or a group called by the others as "ecclesia", a society centered primarily in propagating His' examples, missions and teachings. Let me rationalize this part for a moment. The word "church" used in the New Testament texts is the accepted and widely acknowledged translation of the original word "ecclesia", a transliteration of the Hebrew word "ekklesia" and was used 114 times in the New Testament. Ecclesia in its original word-form means convocation, congregation, gathering or meeting of all the people of God. It can be remembered that the LORD commanded the Israelites in Egypt through Moses to gather themselves in a convocation in preparation for the "pass-over". (Exo. 12). Likewise, the Israelites observed important dates and events in special gatherings called for the purpose by the LORD God Himself, not in the church but in the temple. The Hebrews neither used the word "church" nor as venue for their gatherings which is not even a Hebrew word.
The word “church” in its modern-day usage is oftentimes referred to a building structure for the practice of religious worships, and in most cases is interchangeably used to refer to specific Christian religious sect or denomination, i.e. Roman Catholic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Sainth or the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Yet, the word church is just a creation of man and in no way could represent the ideal concept of ecclesia and its purposes and objectives, for it (church) embodies the teachings and doctrines of its leaders and not of the Christ. A church in the real life situation promotes unity only among the faithfuls of that same fold but encourages secularization and division from among the entire Christian world.
In like manner, the Divine Master Ruben Edera Ecleo, Senior never established a church but a group, a society, for which its primary objective is to continue and complete the unfinished works and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. Divine Master Ruben had organized a brotherhood organization and introduced a new system of faith, and imparted his power to those who willingly accepted his instructions, for the service of humanity in the name of unity and brotherhood, under the name Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, Incorporated or simply PBMA.
If the Lord Jesus Christ established an ecclesia which was cut short by his transgressors, and if Master Ruben Ecleo had established an organization to complete this unfinished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is then and therefore the PBMA, the organization founded by Master Ruben is the same ecclesia established by the Lord Jesus Christ in another name and era yet of the same missions and operations. Let us not forget that the Lord Christ had promised to send the Holy Spirit who will remind us of the same things He said and done, meaning everything, and yet these can only be known by those who followed the words in the prophecies. Let us also remember that the Hebrew word “ekklesia” which was transliterated to ecclesia is derived from the Hebrew word “ekkleo” which means “I call out”, “the called out” or “one elected to serve”, and this (ekkleo) bears the proof of the sacred mission of the association PBMA and its founder Ruben “Ecleo”.
Again, we have to understand that the Lord Christ did not establish Christianity; nevertheless, He laid the foundation of a kind of teaching that eventually unites the faithfuls into one kind of firm system of belief or philosophy by the name Christianism, after His name. The Lord Christ did simply utter His teachings but personally did not call it by any name or system or a church’s name. It was only after then that it was called Christianism, the most appropriate word which became the universally accepted terminology by the scholars.
In like manner, Jose, Jesus Christ’s father, was also a leader of a small group of spirituals or devotees called the “Essene”. The Essene is neither a religion nor a church but rather a society of righteous people which aim is to prepare for the coming of the prophesied Messiah which was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. After the Christ’s death and resurrection, the same group, together with the Twelve Apostles continued and propagated the teachings of the Christ, for the salvation of individual’s soul. His teachings are, among others, the right way to salvation, and the true meaning and essence of love through service to others, as this epistle to the Corinthians says, “…but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Cor. 13:13). In line with this, all PBMA members, in their humble capacities and origins, are enjoined to carry out the same missions [like of the Essene], as embodied in PBMA missions and objectives, with open mind, heart and spirit.
THINGS IN OUR REMEMBRANCE:
Unlike the miracles done by the Lord Jesus Christ which were for many instances witnessed by a multitude, the Divine Master Ruben Ecleo, Senior did almost the same yet remained unknown to many until finally revealed by those who personally witnessed them. Every bit of account were imprinted in their subtle minds as the glory of the Lord they felt in their heart so overwhelming that tears of joy radiated from their eyes everytime they recount those testimonies, for the others to know; bringing remembrance of the things done by the Lord Jesus Christ in the person of the Divine Master Ruben Ecleo, Sr.
On this part of the book, I have consolidated with accuracy all those stories I have heard from other members about the miracles done by the Divine Master Ruben Ecleo, Sr., which in same ways, are internally imprinted in my subtle mind as I keep my faith with him. They might not be presented exactly as they were originally related but their essences and substance are inherent that cannot be altered just to suit them for their purposes. These are one hundred percent factual accounts that really happened proving the divinity of the Divine Master.
*Healing the Sick.
Young Ruben started his healing mission at the age of seven but manifestations of his healing power were already inherent since birth. There were times whenever a sick friend or a member of the family touched him, their sickness miraculously disappeared. Ubing was a kind-hearted lad nurtured with a good upbringing through his mother’s care and guidance. One day his spirit guides instructed him to prepare himself for a great mission. He then spent sleepless nights in the forest studying in the astral plane, in the akashic realm. With the mercy of deadly insects and pythons, he endured the coldness of the nights and prepared himself to heal the sickness of mankind.
During his early missions, his spirit guides did not allow him to bring extra clothing nor allowed him to wear slippers or protections on his feet. He travelled only by foot and never asked any form of payment for the healing services he had rendered. He just depended on whatever food available his patients can afford to give enough to tide his hunger. In most cases, he stayed in one house for a little while until no more patients left unattended before continuing his mission moving to other places his feet will bring him. Along the way, while taking a short rest, that’s the time he can wash the only cloth he is wearing and get ready for the next journey.
Like Jesus in the old Nazareth, young Ruben’s healing miracles became well-known, not only in his hometown but also in far places. He travelled as far as south, in the mountainous areas of Mindanao and in the Visayas region. He healed the sick, made the bedridden walk, restored the sights of the blinds, and gave hope to the hopeless. It was at that time when people started calling him by the names Dr. Ruben, Dr. Laway, Freddie, or Ubing Onsay Ngipon, a testimony of his gaining fame and the success of his healing mission. People from all walks of life begun to subscribe unto his reputation as a well-known healer and consulted him of their ailments and health conditions. One of them was Atty. Arsenio Nazareno from Calbayog City, Samar Province who had a very poor eyesight as to be virtually blind. When Dr. Ruben restored him his sight, Nazareno pledged to spend his life helping Dr. Ruben’s life mission.
Another person was known by the name “Mommy Darcy” who adopted young Ruben during the early days of his mission. “Mommy Darcy” was a rich but a childless woman and already suffering from a paralysis because of stroke when she met the young Ruben. She knew of the fame of Ruben as a healer but when she saw him, she pretended she doesn’t need the help of the young lad. Yet, Ruben knew it as he can read of her mind. Mommy Darcy welcomed Ruben in her house as a guest which she eventually adopted as her son after she was cured by him because the young itinerant Ruben has no known parents at that time. According to the account, young Ruben healed Mommy Darcy from her paralysis and restored her ability to walk. Mommy Darcy was just one of those who have claimed sonship of the young Ruben.
Teaching the Meaning of Love:
The mission of Dr. Ruben is not only to heal the sick but also to teach other people the meaning of love through service of others. Ruben shared to his followers his power to heal the sick. This power to heal is just one way of expressing this meaning of love by helping others, especially the poor who can’t afford to seek the help of professional doctors. Like the parable of the Good Samaritan spoken in the words of the Christ, loving thy neighbor is one of the greatest commandments, and is second to love of God. And this love can only be expressed to its fullest meaning through service to others. This virtue of service to others is greatly conversed many times by the Christ (Matt. 25:40). This is the vitue of charity. Charity is a free service that requires no certain amount of wealth but a humane heart dedicated to serve others; it is the mother of all virtues. The Lord Christ said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me”. (Matt. 19:21).
No wonder, despite of all the criticisms and issues masterminded to degrade and destroy the (already tainted) good name and mission of Ruben Ecleo and his congregation, still hundreds of people keep joining him in his astounding group, the PBMA. This only proves that Ruben’s missions had gained fame and success, and had endured the trials and tribulations of times. It is not the work of magic and illusions but the work of miracles, as the Christ had said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20).
The Power of Omniscient:
One of the strongest myths about Ruben Ecleo was that, as a medium, he had the capacity to know everything happening within the PBMA, even the misbehavior and well-kept secrets of his followers. Thus, PBMA members feared their Divine Master because they believed that suffering and punishment could come to their family should they betray their leader. “Fear of physical harm exerted a tremendous pressure on the members,” says Father Florio Falcon.
However, during those early years, as experienced and testified by some members, they attested that Divine Master Ruben Sen. can really be omniscient and thus he knew almost everything. For example, it is very common in PBMA to have a blank book for members to write every divine word they received, for safe-keeping and future use. One time, during their gatherings in Dinagat, Master Ruben took one blank book up the stage and called for a male and a female member in front of the stage. To the surprise of everyone, as he opened the blank book, he read “the two of you have done this [sin] on this specific time and date…” These two members cried out in shame for this proved that Ruben Ecleo knew what they have done secretly on that very particular moment.
Another member also testified to the strange yet mysterious personality of Master Ruben in the person of Domingo Doria who is from Maasin, Mangaldan, Pangasinan and the President of PBMA Provincial Chapter in Aguilar, Pangasinan. Bro. Domingo Doria, who is now on his mid-70’s became a member not because of his faith but because he was cured from an unknown illness. As a convert, he attended the NCR chapter meeting in 1974 for the first time. It is very common for new members to see personally the Divine Master and ask for blessings and advices if given the chance. Domingo prayed first before he approached the Divine Master. To his amazement, without him (Domingo) saying any word yet, the Divine Master told him not to worry of his fishpond, but a flood will come so he better not to put new fingerlings until the flood is over. He was also advised to just keep his faith and he and his family will be blessed. “I almost cried because I was overwhelmed”, says Domingo while relating his story, as he witnessed personally how the Divine Master knew what’s all in his mind and about his livelihood back in Mangaldan, Pangasinan.
Perhaps, the intention of the devil to interrupt or discredit the noble mission of Dr. Ruben is already inherent with him wherever he goes; for the wickedness is the work of the devil, and the devil knew more of him than the ordinary people. That, despite of his noble purpose to help and teach people of the new doctrines for the salvation of their individual soul, still the force of the wickedness is so observant that whenever he goes, the evil’s influence also gained control especially in the minds of the wicked people.
One account was related by Earvin Namacpacan, a PBMA member from Bayawan, Negros Oriental, as he narrated:
“During the times when DM was still on mission, he went to the Visayas, particularly in Zambuanguita, Negros Oriental. He did stay there in one house healing and attending to his huge number of patients before proceeding to his next destination. In a not so far corner of the street from the house he was healing, there were three individuals on their usual liquor-day session. Possibly, because of the influence of the spirit of liquor, it came to their minds to try and test the power of Dr. Ruben. So they decided to lay down one of them in a crib pretending to be sick. They covered him with a blanket and carried him to present to Dr. Ruben as a patient. Upon reaching the front street of the house, one of them shouted and asked, ‘Is the good healer there?’ In no time, one person from the house came out and said that he (Dr. Ruben) was still on healing session so they better wait (if they can). When Dr. Ruben finished, he came out from the house and said, ‘Do not bring a dead person whose body is already being devoured by ants because I am not doing healing (a dead person) like that.’ But one of them answered, “No, we did bring a live person. He is not dead!” Then Dr. Ruben answered, ‘You better check it first so you will believe (me).’ So, the two guys checked and truly their other companion was already dead and ants already devouring his corpse. Momentarily, the police came and arrested them.”
“Eventually, all the people there who witnessed Dr. Ruben’s miracle joined him in his congregation, the PBMA.”
Turning Water Into Gasoline:
The life and times of Divine Master Ruben Ecleo were also testimonies of his miracles. One time, as narrated by the early members, he and few of his followers went offshore of Dinagat Islands to attend an occasion. A small sea ferry known as banca (speed boat) was their (only) mode of transportation to and from Dinagat Islands. Because of the urgency of the occasion, the boat pilot did not bother to check the gasoline tank purporting that the fuel is enough to reach their destination. While at the middle of their sea voyage the motor stopped; the gasoline tank was empty. There was almost a commotion when some members put the blame to the boat pilot. Perhaps, noticing the fuss that was about to heat up, Divine Master Ruben told one member to fill the tank with sea water. This member did so without a second thought and filled the tank with sea water. Ruben lay over his hand on the tank for few seconds as if he blessed it and then told the pilot to re-start the engine. The sea water turned into gasoline and they continued on their trip.
An almost similar experience was related by a certain Berting Jamot from Dasmarinas, Cavite who is also a PBMA member and one among Ruben’s close buddy. Berting was a trusted aid and once the operator of Master Ruben’s old pumpboat, a small sea vessel with a double-engine. One day, he and Master Ruben took the pump boat and went on a joyride around the small island (they called Turtle Island) near San Jose Port in Dinagat Island. After the third time of going round the island, the engine stopped. Berting checked the gasoline tank and found it empty. Master Ruben took a tabo (a one-liter Caltex container). He blew the sea-water, took from it with the “tabo” and filled in the gasoline tank. Berting was doubtful and had the thought that the engine might get trouble for the water being salty. But Berting has faith in Master Ruben. He was then told to re-start the engine and presto! The sea-water turned into gasoline and they continued on their joyride.
Calming the Storm:
The story was related by Rodrigo Monforte, a PBMA member who is now residing San Jose, Dinagat Island. According to Rodrigo, on the day of December 31, 1986, the day before the New Year there was a typhoon devastating the Visayas-Mindanao area. It was raining hard in San Jose and trees were helplessly swaying with the harsh winds. As early as two o’clock in the afternoon, the patrol car was roaming around as instructed by Divine Master Ruben encouraging everyone to attend the night’s program in celebration of the coming New Year.
“It was around six o’clock yet I was already in the Admin (waiting for the program),” Rodrigo recalled. “We were caught in the rain and got wet, the wind was so strong and we were so cold,” he added. The Divine Master showed up in the program hall between nine to ten o’clock in the evening for the Master’s Message and gave his message. “Don’t be surprised if I asked you to attend our tonight’s program despite of the strong rain and wind because I want us to be happy welcoming the New Year”, the Divine Master said. “And don’t worry if there is a typhoon for I will ask my Father to give us peace in this New Year’s Eve”, he added. In no time, the strong wind stopped. “I saw with my own eyes the dark clouds above suddenly splitted up and dispersed out going to west direction until finally gone. The wind from the eastern direction also subsided. I saw the trees remained still peacefully until at last the cloudy night had turned into a clear sky with the moon and the stars brilliantly shining, and there was peace in the entire Dinagat Island that new year’s eve”, Rodrigo recalled.
Feeding the Multitude:
This account was related by the same Rodrigo Monforte, as it was related to him by an old PBMA member from San Juan. In 1970, according to the account, when there were only few members yet in San Jose, Master Ruben used to supervise the “bayanihan/pahina” in their project activities. One day, Master Ruben asked everyone in the bayanihan to bring with them one empty sock for each person. The members were then asked to go to the lalaking bukid island to fetch sand according to their ability and capacity to bring. When they came back to San Jose, Master Ruben told them to go home and bring with them their respective sock according to what thay have fetched. When they reached home and opened their sock they found the sand turned into rice. As related by Bro. Rodrigo, this particular member (who was relating the story) then had the thinking that a famine might be coming in no time so he decided not to consume the rice for few years. But because of nothing to eat at times, little by little, his family consummated the rice.
In an almost similar but different occasion, one time in 1986, as the members were busy doing the bayanihan constructing the seven mini-dams near the Comet House, some unwelcomed visitors from the main land Surigao del Norte came to Dinagat Island and have observed what the members were doing. According to the Divine Master, the seven mini-dams the members were making will be the source of water for all the people of Dinagat whenever the seven-year dry season will come. “It was a Thursday at that time because that’s the day of my schedule” said Rodrigo Monforte. That was during summer and the earth was dry yet the members were constructing the mini-dams on top of the mountain without even a little sign of spring or rain. Everyone (perhaps) has the second thought where the water must come from to fill the dams. To their dazement, the unwelcomed visitors expressed their sentiment and belittled them, as they said, “You PBMA members are fools! How can you expect water from the top of mountain without rain and spring? So, how will you fill the dams with water?” These words from the visitors reached to the information Divine Master as some members relayed it to him. “If I am not mistaken, it was Bro. Pagalan who relayed the words to Divine Master Ruben”, Monforte said. Yet, Divine Master Ruben just kiddingly said, “There is no problem on that, Do. We can put the heaven a funnel so we can fill in the dams with water.”
“It was a Sunday and again I have no works to do so I decided to join the bayanihan”, Monforte added. “Divine Master Ruben was also there supervising the bayanihan. As I reached the place, to my surprise, the four dams (because there were only four dams finished yet), were already filled with water.” I even asked myself, where did the water come from?” Rodrigo Monforte expressed with gladdness and elation. Obviously, Master Ruben has the power to do the impossible possible. Like the Israelites who were fed by the God of Moses with the heavenly manna and water from the rocks during their exodus in the desert, what did happen was just a repetition of history. An event or occurrence that is only possible with the intervention of the divine.
Raising the Dead:
In 1995, the author of this book and some members went to PBMA Main Office in Dinagat Island to fulfill their annual pilgrimage to the place. In a very casual conversation with certain Domingo Abrea in Barangay Mabini, San Jose, Domingo or Mang Doming as they called him, who was already on his mid-80’s related that he already died before. He recalled that just the moment he dies, he (his spirit or thought) went underground of the PBMA Administration Building in San Jose and there Divine Master Ruben met him at the entrance. Accordingly, Master Ruben told Mang Doming that his services to the Association are still needed so he must to return to life. Mang Doming personally testified that it was Divine Master Ruben who brought him to life again. Noticeably, at his age, Mang Doming is still strong and serving the Association as a member of the Master’s General Services (MGS) and joining with the group as a security personnel on scheduled basis.
Foretelling His Death:
Before his demise, Master Ruben, in the event of their program in San Jose, asked the members if, in case they are going to buy a helicopter, which they want to have, an old or a brand new one. Obviously, the members unanimously did bid for a new one with glee. Suddenly, Master Ruben cried. Members were puzzled why. What actually their master referring was not a real helicopter but his material body. In less than a year since that occasion Master Ruben died and his son Ruben, Junior became the new Supreme Master in lieu of his father. It was only that moment when they realized what Master Ruben had said ahead of time.
Returned Three Days After His Death:
On the evening of December 24, 1987, three days after Ruben Senior died, a hair-raising moment happened. During the wake members conducted programs to keep the vigils last until the morning. At that night, Ruben Junior was given the “Master’s Message, a part in the program which usually for his father Ruben, Sen. Being not so exposed in public speaking Ruben Junior almost refused because he was so shy. Without the knowledge of everyone, his father was talking to him inside his room. Master Ruben, Sen. was actually instructing his son to wear his usual attire. In no time, Ruben Junior went out from his room exactly as his father looked like and gave his message. In his speech, Ruben Senior disclosed that it is he who is speaking and not his son, and that he left his material body because of urgency that requires his 100% spiritual presence. He then enjoined the members to give the usual support to his son and added that by them seeing his son is like seeing him the usual way. He also rendered his favorites songs and embraced his immediate family members and some close friends. All these were tape-recorded with pictures which proved it really happened. These documents are now kept as important documents at the Ruben Edera Ecleo, Sr. Foundation, Inc. (REESFI) archive in memory and honor of the late Ruben Edera Ecleo, Sr. and his legacies.
How do you call a man despite of his humble origin and low level of material education had abled to gather millions of people from all walks of life? And, how do you call a man whose charisma and leadership is so mysteries that even the intellectuals and professionals cannot fathom its source? Further to that, how do you call a man who can transfer and share his powers to millions of people even after his death? And lastly, how do you call a man whose picture or name alone can cast away unclean spirits?
To summarize all these, almost all the similarities in the personality and stories of the Christ were all seen in the person of Ruben, Senior. The mysteries and obscurities intertwined in his life and times are all manifestations of the Comforter promised by the Lord Christ, reminding us of the same things He will do when He comes. For example, what is puzzling to the ordinary mind or thinkers is Ruben’s presence in many places at the same time which power of omnipresence is only possible for the Masters of Wisdom, the Arhats, Avatars and Heirophants, as in the case of Master Jesus who had been in the America’s, Egypt, India and in his native Judea, simultaneously aside from being in the monastery in the Essenean School, near Mount Serbal, overlooking the Black Sea. Each of his bodies was with different face, height, perhaps different nationality, performing a mission which only the Almighty God, the Father knows.
In conclusion, it is therefore fitting to claim and declare that the Divine Master Ruben Edera Ecleo, Senior is the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ in our times.
(End of the Chapter)
“It is not a man who chooses his God because God is only one, but it is God who chooses his people according to his will and be recognize as members of his family.”
"Tell the world about Divine Master Ruben E. Ecleo Sr."
"A mystical website of the book to ponder titled, The Miracle of the South – The Life and Times of Divine Master Ruben Edera Ecleo, Sr., a phenominal character, a public figure somewhere in the far east, south of the Philippines, Dinagat Islands, whose life is clothed with mysteries and miracles"