Diocese of Tagum
The Diocese of Tagum is situated in the southeastern part
of the island of Mindanao and comprises the entire civil province of Davao del Norte except that portion south of the Lasang River and Samal Island. Davao del Norte is
surrounded by its sister provinces: Davao Oriental to the east, and Davao del Sur to the west and south. To its north is Agusan del Sur, and to its extreme south is the Davao
Gulf. Tagum is the capital of Davao del Norte.
Once upon a time these three provinces were just one, the province of Davao, which dates back 1914. Political
subdivision of Davao into three provinces took place only in 1967. Several tribal groups occupied the Davao Gulf area during pre-Spanish times. These tribes belonged to the general Muslim group of Maguindanao
. In the 19th century seven tribal groups occupied the area later called Davao. These tribes were mostly the Manobos and the Bagobos, but it was the Manobos that occupied most of what is
now known as Davao del Norte.
Land area is about 8,000 square kilometers with a population of 1,300,000 of which 70 per cent are Catholics. People come from diverse origins and languages, but Cebuano
is the most widely spoken dialect. Since the province has a short coastline, fishing is not so prevalent. But grazing lands and climate have been
favorable to livestock production. Manufacturing ranges from the biggest marble plant, the Philippine Marbel Corporation, to a pearl farm on Samal Island. A major
highway which connects with Davao del Sur through Davao del Norte to the uppermost point of Mindanao, to connect by ferry with the island of Leyte.
The Diocese of Tagum is a suffragan diocese of Davao Metropolitan. It was canonically erected as Prelature Nullius on February 25, 1962 by Pope John XXIII, with Reverend Joseph William Regan, MM as its
local ordinary. It was elevated to the status of a diocese on October 11, 1980 by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who appointed the Most Reverend Pedro R. Dean as its first Filipino bishop
ordinary, and the Reverend Ramon Villena as the auxiliary bishop.
Except for a few Spanish priest who came with soldiers in the sixteenth century,
the Maryknoll Fathers were the pioneering missionaries in the area. Arriving in 1958, they settled down to the work of evangelization and introduction of the sacraments to the natives and the migrants.
Today the Diocese of Tagum is served by 56 priests, 6 deacons, 5 religious brothers and 87 religious sisters in more than 25 parishes. Basic Ecclesial
Communities now number 1,643 covering some 750,000 parishioners. Among the Catholic institutions are 14 Catholic schools, 1 college seminary, 1 hospital, 1 clinic, and 1 orphanage.
On the pastoral aspect, there are twelve lay apostolates: catechesis, family life, youth, catholic education, relief and rehabilitation, social action, justice and peace,
farmers, health, tribal filipinos, vocation promotion, charismatics, biblical and apologetics.
Following the directives of the Second Vatican Council, the Second Plenary
Council of the Philippines, and the Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Assembly in June 6-10, 1994, to examine itself and reflect along the lines of its pastoral thrusts, in order to respond properly to changing pastoral demands.
The participation of the laity has always been one of the priorities of the diocese. In line with this priority the diocese has built the John Paul II Lay Formation and
Training Center to attend to the needs of the laity. Also among its priorities is the creation of the Clergyhouse Development Complex, in answer to the clergy's needs
.Most Rev. Wilfredo D.Manlapaz, D.D., STD
Ordained priest: December 6, 1964
Ordained bishop: February 7, 1981
Appointed Bishop of Tagum: January 31, 1986