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Parish History

Before the coming of the Spaniards, Malayan migrants from the South came and drove away the Aetas who were the first inhabitants of the region. The newcomers settled along the shores of Lake Bonbon (Later called Taal) in the old towns of Bauan, Taal, Lipa & Tanauan. The Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo brought this area under Spanish brought this are under Spanish control. Spanish towns emerged with houses built of strong materials. 


Bauan was administered by Spanish friars of the Order of St. Augustine. Originally at the foot of Mt. Makulot, it was submerged by the rising waters of the lake due to periodic eruptions of the volcano and relocated at least three times until 1692 when, after the volcano's big eruption of 1690, it moved to its present site. 




Many Bauan's inhabitants dispersed inland and settled in the place called Malaquing Tubig. Named after the river of clear water passing through it, this place was high enough to ensure a pleasant climate the whole year round. At first, forested, slash-and-burn families farmers cultivated the area and transformed it into a quilt of rice and corn fields as well as orchards. It is rolling land, topped by two prominent features: Mt. Makulot and Bigain Hill. 


The area of Malaquing Tubig included, besides its present one, the Town of Cuenca, and therefore Mt. Makulot and stretch of Taal Lake shore. Cuenca separated from San Jose on April 7, 1877. 


San Jose celebrates April 26, 1765, written on the historical marker in the church's facade, as its foundation date. Most probably it is date when the residents of sitio Malaquing Tubig signed a petition for its partition from Bauan and its establishment as a separate parish and town. 


When the petition, now worm-eaten and illegible, eventually reached the office of the Governor General, an assistant commented: "Regarding the petitioned dismemberment of the town of Bauan (sic, it is necessary to consult the Fr. Minister so that we may not be deprived of part of the parish he is administering. Your Excellency could request and urge with your superior discretion said Fr. To report on the plea of the petitioners. Manila, November 15, 1766. Don Veyra." 


Governor GeneralDiego de Salcedo's letter to Fr Jose Victoria, parish priest of Bauan, has been eaten by bookworms. However, Fr. Victoria's reply handwritten at the end of the letter on the same sheet of paper, fortunately for us is well preserved: "Very illustrious Sir. In virtue of the Superior Decree of request and demand of Your Lordship for a report on the petition od some natives of the Town of Bauan, to break away from the parish of the said town and form separate Town in the sitio of Malaquing Tubig; I have to say that said petition is very just and in order, firstly because of the great distance in which they are from the church of said Town, and also because of the increased number of the said Town's taxpayers. Therefore no damage whatever will result to my said parish; wherefore defer to the superior discretion of Your Lordship to decide what in justice you think most convenient. Conventode San Augustin of Manila on December 1, 1766. Fr. Joseph Victoria." 

The parish and town of San Jose were inaugurated on April 26, 1767, with a mass said Fr. Jose Victoria. We read this same month another petition from "Gobernadorcillo [Mayorl, Cavezas de Barangay, Principales, and other resident who constitute the new Town of St. Joseph, established with the permission of Your Lordship in the Sitio of Malaquing Tubig, Province of Balayan. The residents this time were petitioning the Governor General for a grant of money to buy the sacred vessels, ornaments and bell, as decreed by the Spanish Monarch for new parishes in the Islands. It appears that the provincial treasurer in Balayan was requiring as a condition for the grant, the finished construction of the church, convent, and municipal building. 


The resident alleged that they could not finish construction because of "the destruction of their crops, lost because of severe storms and the attack of locusts" and other circumstances related to a new town, such as building houses while planting new crops. The new Town's Gobernadorcillo Ygnaciode los Santos and other principal resident signed this petition.



Fr. Jose Victoria who figures in the town's establishment was the parish priest of Bauan, where he built the church in 1762. To honor his patron saint, the town was named San Jose de Malaquing Tubig.The Augustinian Chapter, May 9, 1767, named Fr Agustin Horbegozo as the town's parish priest. He was in Tiaong so it was some time before he could take possession of San Jose. In the meantime, Fr. Victoria serviced the parish from Bauan. 


In the early years, the church was a temporary structure of cogon and bamboo, Fr. Tomas Cañon replaced it with one made of lime and pebbles. In 1812, Fr. Manuel Blanco, the famous botanist became the parish priest. While studying local plants and flowers and writing his monumental Flora de Filipinas, he built a new church made of masonry. 


The cogon-covered roof of the church burned down in 1847. Fr. Roman Sanchez continued the restoration work on the church, built the belfry, and finished the convent. Fr. Bruno Laredo built schools and a beautiful stone bridge over the Malaquing Tubig. brought the huge bell that fell during an earthquake and is no longer in use. Fr. Vicente Maril He roofed the church with galvanized iron. Fr. Victorino Perez restored the convent and completed works on the church, including that on the transepts and the dome. 


The 1898 revolution expelled the Spanish friars from the Philippines. A page in a Book of Baptisms preserved in the parish archives, bears the last entry signed by the Spanish parish priest, Fray Manuel de Arostegui of the Order of St. Augustine. Its date was May 28, 1898. On the same page, an entry dated June 1, 1898 bears the signature of the Filipino secular priest Fr. Vicente Romero, with the title of the Parish Priest of San Jose. 


On April 1, 1899, the Filipino secular priest Juan Geronimo Luna, a native of the town, was appointed parish priest. Padre Imo is now remembered for the town's waterworks and the site of the elementary school (Padre Imo Luna Memorial Elementary School PILMES) for which his heirs contributed a substantial amount to the town in his memory. 


By 1911, there was no more Filipino priest available to the people. A Capuchin Friar was called to administer the parish. Then, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, from the Netherlands, came to the Philippines. The Italian bishop of Lipa, Mons. Guiseppe Petrelli persuaded them to take charge of some parish in the diocese. They stayed in San Jose from July 1911 to 1915. Besides administering the parish, they set up a small major seminary consisting of one who was reviewing for ordination; another in his third year of theology, two in the first year theology and the rest, philosophers. These seminarians had studied in Manila. The seminary was short-lived for the MSH left the diocese in 1915.


In 1915, Bishop Petrelli found a religious congregation willing to send missionaries to the Philippines on a more permanent basis. This was the Oblates of St. Joseph, founded by the St. Joseph Marello along the Spirituality of St. Joseph, the protector of the Holy Family. The Oblates of Joseph were the first Italian Congregation to send missionaries to the Philippines. San Jose became their first foreign mission. 


The First five Oblates of St. Joseph missionaries are Fr. Eugenio Gherlone, Fr. Ernesto Fornaca, Bro. Guiseppe Anfossi, Fr. Guiseppe Maccagno and Bro. Giovanni Camera, arrived in Manila by ship on August 25, 1915. That same night they took the train to San Jose where they were welcomed with prolonged ringing of bells. Since they have been in charge of the parish, they’re superior, Fr. Giuseppe Anfossi, became the parish priest of San Jose, with responsibility also for Cuenca, until his death in August, 1921. 


Fr. Eugenio Gherlone succeeded Fr. Giuseppe Anfossi and immediately began reconstruction of the church. He finished the dome. His successor, Fr. Luis Mortera, finished the reconstruction of the church, which was beautified by paintings of St. Joseph, "Guardian of Virgins", "Patron of the dying", Model of Laborers", and Protector of the Holy Church", with an altar in which has carved the death of St. Joseph in the arms of the Virgin and Jesus. Fr. Luis was also responsible for setting up with the iron communion rails and lowering the window for better light and ventilation. 


After the expulsion of the Spanish friars, the people miraculously preserved the Catholic faith, keeping the traditional external practices of processions, novenas, May floral offerings to the Virgins, home visits of the statue of St. Joseph, Christmas, Holy week, March 19 festivities. However, during the rest of the rear, Sunday Mass was attended mostly by women and children. The few men who attended developed the habit of leaving the church during sermons to smoke and gossip, returning inside for more gossips after the sermons. The Second World War revived the religiosity of the people, who endured untold suffering and death.


In 1968 Fr. Lucio Aguilar and his parochial vicar Fr. Raymundo G. de la Cruz began a major reconstruction, concluded by its blessing on 26 April 1970. The leaking proof was repaired, the windows lowered for more ventilation, the altar area and communion rails redecorated, and new murals were painted.


In 2000, the parish has retaken possession of the convent, which had long been used by the Cursillo movement as venue for its retreats. Fr. Ronnie Alkonga, OSJ began the much needed repair on the roof and ceiling as well as a redesigning of the area to accommodate, among others, a parish museum. The church was beautified. The adoration chapel and jubilee stage were constructed. The altars were restored and additional murals painted.


From the very beginning of the parish, the people of San Jose have contributed personal labor, expertise and money for the building and beautification of their churchand convent.Testimonies of our elders narrate how barangays took turns carrying stones, sand, wood, mortar, and other material to the site and fashioning out of them the beautiful church, convent and patio that we have today. Their simple faith inspires us to contribute whatever we can so that our church and convent will be worthy of the Lord and our Patron St. Joseph. 


More valuable than the church is the Christian faith and the devotion to St. Joseph bequeathed to us by our ancestors. According to the testimony of our elders, every March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, hundreds of pilgrims from neighboring towns journeyed on foot or on horseback to San Jose to pay homage to the foster father of Jesus. Townspeople traditionally gave them shelter for the night. Modern means of transportation have done away with the tradition of "panuluyan", but due to the number of vehicles during the fiesta, the streets are barely passable in the morning when masses and confirmations are being celebrated. 


In 1992, Brgy. Tampoy and Brgy. Banay-Banay 2.0 was transferred to the Parish of San Vicente, Lipa City and Brgy. Pinagtungulan was transferred to the Parish of Sto. Niño, Lipa City, due to geographic reason The said transfer took place during the term of Rev. Fr. Deody Dawis, OSJ as parish priest.


On 19 March 2001, during the term of Rev. Fr. Joey Apin, OSJ as parish priest, the church of San Jose, one of the Jubilee 2000 pilgrimage sites for the Archdiocese of Lipa, was proclaimed by Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales as an Archdiocesan Shrine. At the instigation of Fr. Alkonga, some parishioners have formed an association called "Knights of St. Joseph with the aim of spreading knowledge of and devotion to St. Joseph.




Rev. Fr. Edwin V. Tolentino OSJ

Parish Priest

Rev. Fr. Rolan C. Indicio OSJ

Asst. Parish Priest

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Rev. Fr. Servando L. Sentales OSJ

Parish Economo




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Sis. Normelina F. Aguila

PPC Coordinator

Sis. Corazon M. Flores


Sis. Remedios R. Vilela


Bro. Emmanuel A. Munda

Parish Information Officer

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Sis. Rosalinda L. Flores    
Bro. Rolando D. Areta
Bro. Ruel F. Ilao

Parish Finance Council Coordinator

Ministry for Clergy, Religious & Seminarians



Ministry on Faith Formation



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Sis. Amelia V. Makalintal
Bro. Igmedio B. Isana Jr.

Ministry on Prayer and Popular Devotions



Ministry for Family



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Bro. Julius B. Flores

Ministry on Stewardship



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Sis. Ludilyn I. Bejasa

Ministry on Liturgy



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Sis. Maria Remedios M. Andal

Ministry on Social Services



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Sis. Jennifer M. Clemino

Ministry for the Youth 



Parish Staff
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Kristine Joy Aguila

Parish Clerk

Rosy A. Flores

Parish Clerk

Ernie J. Silva

Parish Clerk

Leonida R. Aguila

Parish Clerk

Rossel M. De Torres

Cemetery Secretary

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