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THE JOURNEY (Mommy Glenda’s Diamond Birthday Celebration)

by Tony Acabal

Diamonds are forever. The journey of Mommy Glenda’s Diamond Birthday Celebration has come to her final walk to stardom. Against all odds, moved by the wind, carried by the sea, and even scary thunder pounded her, Mommy Glenda walks steadfast towards the journey to fulfillment.

The prophecy of the Spiritual Division was a remarkable cornerstone on the life of Mommy Glenda ever since she was conceived by her mother. She was destined to be the wife of Divine Master Ruben Edera Ecleo, Sr. and whose fate is destined to serve humanity and fulfill the plans and programs of the Spiritual Division.

The Prophecy

Mommy Glenda was born on May 10, 1937 at Gitagum, Misamis Oriental, and the eldest daughter of the family. Her parents, Roberto Buray and Rufina Oliveros, were god-loving and god-fearing persons who oftentimes inculcated into the hearts and minds of their siblings the essence of love and righteousness. They were avid members of Rizalian Association of Mercy, an association founded by Rafael Mondejar, During her youthful days, she always witnessed a white dove on the shoulder of his father when conducted a spiritual healing to his patients. And moreover, she saw a strange old man appeared every time her father did the healing process while she always confronted with the old man and tell about her journey and destiny in life.

The Marriage Life

Her parents sent her in school with noble contention and ambition for a teaching career someday. Mommy Glenda had abreast the impetus of such noble dream of her parents and showed her prowess in her studies that she will be a teacher in the near future.

But her destiny was not engraved only by her own imagination and desire, it was written in the Book of Life by a mighty and unseen hand in the World Spiritual Division to tread the journey for a great mission. She was meant to meet Ruben Ecleo in 1954 after a tedious and painstaking missionary works in highlands of Mirayon Mountains in Bukidnon and Davao.

Then and there, they get married in 1955 with some manipulation from Ruben’s spiritual comrades, Dr. Hugh Tovar and Gen. Adriano dela Concepcion, and with Olive, Glenda’s best friend. The couple lived in an ordinary and simple life in Gitagum. Ruben engaged in tobacco peddling to sustain their needs for a living.

In 1957, Ruben accepted the offer of Datu Santiago Ecleo as Chief Doctor of the Caballeros de Rizal Agricultural Endeavor with a condition that he will be receiving Php 700.00 and a sack of rice monthly. The couple lived in Maguinda with their son, Rico.

Mommy Glenda experienced great havoc in Maguinda while Ruben doing his mission as a Doctor with the caballeros in some places of Mindanao, Visayas and in some part of Luzon. In 1958, Rico died by a stomach ache.

With too much pain and frustration in the hands of the caballeros, the couple promised not to go back again in Maguinda. Ruben established his own divine healing in Cab-ilan where he cured thousands of patients every day. In 1959, the couple decided to transfer in Puyange and build a hospital which made of round posts and nipa shingles.

On April 17, 1960, Ruben, Jr. was born at the kamalig which is also serves as hospital of patients coming in Puyange. Mommy Glen showed intimate services by assisting patients and supporting Master in his plan to establish a legitimate association for missionaries.

The PBMA was founded on October 19, 1965 with great love. The couple inspires the people for peace and unity, through the essence of righteousness to follow the law of God, the law of the government and of the association.

Divine Master entered on politics in 1968 as Municipal Mayor in Dinagat to expand services not only to the members of PBMA but to all Dinagatnons and non-members of the association. He pushed Mommy Glen to enter in politics in 1984 and garnered votes as senior board member of Surigao del Norte.

Mommy Glenda started to plow the unravel woes of the Dinagatnons as stranger in their own homeland to give land and title of their own. She pushed measures to segregate alienable and disposable lands from the mineral reserved areas, appropriating funds from her own accord and finally fought in the House of Representatives.

Divine Master, before he passed away on December 20, 1987, bequeathed Mommy Glenda a great mission for a Province hood of Dinagat Islands. Master Ruben B. Ecleo, Jr. assumed the Office of the PBMA Supreme President, and assumed the responsibility the supreme authority to continue the great mission implanted by the Spiritual Division.

She strongly supported the new supreme president in governing the once wilting aspiration of the association, to stand firm and rekindle the way towards the fulfillment of Divine Master’s dream. She made her first home run enacting Republic Act No. 6769 “An Act Creating the Municipality of San Jose” on November 15, 1989.

Mommy Glen doesn’t wait the sun to set, and wanted to change everything to life. Sleepless nights and restless days are just companions of her ruthless endeavors akin to the supreme mission bequeathed to her by Divine Master.

The issuance of presidential proclamations segregating alienable and disposable lands from the mineral reserved areas by then presidents Corazon C. Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo marked the inception of total development in Dinagat Islands. Over Php 300 Million worth of projects and programs through the Department Agrarian Reform was distributed for farmers’ beneficiaries: land titles distribution, trainings and seminars, livelihood projects, farm to market roads, and other infrastructure projects.

She gained respect from her contemporaries, government dignitaries and other civil societies. Numerous recognitions, awards and citations have been received tantamount to her unselfish and untiring services she rendered to the government and to her constituents.

The journey continued. Mommy Glen proposes house bill creating the Province of Dinagat Islands. On October 2, 2006 President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Republic Act No. 9355 “An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands”. The quest for Province hood was jointly and strongly supported by League of Municipalities spearheaded by Mayor Benglen B. Ecleo, association of Barangay captains, PBMA officials and members and all Dinagatnons.

Dinagat Islands took its independence as separate province from the mother Province of Surigao del Norte. But the passage of such law and the question of constitutionality were raised before the Supreme Court through a petition for certiorari filed by Rudolfo Navarro,

The province was shaken with great confusion when Supreme Court favored its decision against petitioners and declared Dinagat Islands as defunct province notwithstanding with the termination of IRA releases.

Mommy Glen became Governor and personally fights the plight for Dinagat Islands’ independence. Provincial employees strongly supported her ideals and the PBMA as well. She exhausted all her personal financial resources to cope up financial obligations in legal battle just to regain juridical identity as a province.

She might have encountered huge and gigantic turbulence and tribulation being a mother of her immediate family, being a mother of the PBMA, and being a mother of the province. Mommy Glenda spreads her mighty wings around her children to protect and guard them against enemies and predators, and against harm and destruction. She even gives love, inspiration and bounty.

Now, MOMMY GLENDA, on your 75th Diamond Birthday, you give NEW LIGHT, NEW HOPE of the people of Dinagat Islands. We won the battle as a PROVINCE.

Tonight, on her ULTIMATE STEPS to the JOURNEY of DIAMOND JUBILEE of her Life, MOMMY GLEN you are mighty enough to open for another PORTAL of your JOURNEY…