The name Mrs. Tugot, even without the first name, will I am sure conjure some unforgettable memories for many of the people and families I interacted with in the mid-60’s.
Mrs. Tugot was almost an iconic figure during those times, speaking about religious fervor and devotion. A very kindly lady of considerable girth, who always exhibited such amiable disposition and boundless generosity, leaving many of us with no tinge of hesitation about visiting her place without prior notice in Kawayanon, Manolo Fortich, and pleading and praying for spiritual guidance and assistance, while at the same time partaking of the very filling food offerings served us during those visits.
Why my most easily recalled memory is that a late afternoon drive from Cagayan with some lady schoolmates and finding Mrs. Tugot at her house, where we were immediately ushered in and served the nicest beef sandwiches I had ever tasted wrapped up in those very delectable slices of bread that to this day continue to bring visitors to the Del Monte Clubhouse.
I digress a bit, so meanwhile back to the ranch. Yes, she was noted as having such personal piety and blessedness that she could intercede for assistance from her two most favorite devotional personalities, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Sr. Sto. Nino. And many devotees trooped and flocked to her place for their own special and personal needs. Others driven simply by the heavy alluring pull exerted by such devotional fervor and needing to be in that enviable presence of spiritual awe.
As I recall she had always dreamt of having a church built especially for her favorite spiritual patrons.
The ensuing years and their own special cares put all these into the back of my mind. Until I came back almost 50 years later.
My regular trips to Dahilayan allow me to pass by Kawayanon in San Miguel and no trip is made without having visual contact of a very impressive church building in an almost unlikely place. It is almost across the road from the access road leading to the famed Del Monte Clubhouse and its equally noted golf course. Of course, I had asked about it and was told it was built largely by the efforts of Mrs. Tugot.
BTW, Mrs. Tugot, in another vein, was also famous as the spouse of Celestino “Tinong” Tugot unrivaled golf pro of yesteryears from the Del Monte stable.
Anyway, I had never stopped at the church after countless trips to Dahilayan till this Saturday. I and the wife felt we had to. So we did and brought home some pictures.