Chapter 60: Preparation for the Launching of the Revised Itawes Bible

When we finished the typesetting of the Revised Itawes Bible, we left it at SIL, and they took it from there to have it printed. Several months later, the printer sent the finished books back to the SIL compound. During that time, we decided to go to the States for a mini-vacation, leaving on May 21st, 2009. On October 9th, the printed books were delivered to SIL. It was now our turn to tend to them. We checked to see if all the pages were there and that they were in good order. We did not check every one, but we did a certain number from each carton. We had not yet made arrangements for the date of the launching, at which time the books would be dedicated to the Lord. In fact, we had made no preparations at all, and this was the most important launching of all. We were concerned because it was getting close to Christmas, and people would be busy with other things and not have time for the launching. We needed to get together with the preachers and others who would help make plans. November 3rd was the first day we could get together with these folks. It would be almost impossible to come up with a dedication program that would do justice to the occasion.

Our meeting was held at the CARM studio in Tuguegarao. Several big decisions were made that day. The venue of the launching would be Cagayan Colleges of Tuguegarao (CCT) in Tuguegarao on a Saturday morning. Domingo Tallud would be our main speaker. We would contact Monsignor Singayan and Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church. We would contact groups from different places to bring the special music. The question came up about snacks to be served. We would serve snacks about midway in the program and lunch when the program was over. The matter of how much would be charged for the Bibles came up. We decided to have a promo and charge one hundred pesos the day of the dedication and one hundred fifty pesos afterwards. (The cost of the printing was six times that much.)

The planning committee wanted the Tuguegarao Church to use their combo group at the dedication and their power point for the song service. That way, we could put the songs on a screen for congregational singing. We would hold the meeting in the gymnasium, using CCT’s loud speaker system, and have 1,500 chairs set up for use. From the CARM studio, Chuck and I went to CCT to the gym. It was quite large and would be a good place for our launching. At the school office we found the cost for the gym would be P7,000, the speaker system would be P8,000, the seating would be P7,500, making a total of P22,500. Tentatively, we set the date for the dedication on Saturday, November 28th. Aparri Bible Seminary was providing most of the special numbers, so we called them to see if that date would be all right. On November 5th, we heard that date was good with Grace Alvarez, the director of music there, so we started sending people invitations to the dedication on November 28th, 2009.

About that time, our computer stopped working, so we took it to SIL in Manila. While in Manila, we sent more invitations to the dedication. The computer was ready on November 11th, so we went home. November 12th, we had another meeting with the Itawes preachers and worked with them on planning a tentative program. We talked about them inviting preachers of all churches to the dedication. Each one was to invite the churches around their areas. Then we went to CCT and paid for the venue and turned in the papers we had prepared for them regarding arrangements for their facilities. We also went to the Golden Press, the printer, to order invitations (150), to be delivered as soon as possible.

We had hoped to have Archbishop Talamayan be one of our speakers, but he was ill and unable to come. We were sorry to hear that, but were thankful to have Bishop Ricardo L. Baccay able to come Preparation for the Launching of the Revised Itawes Bible instead. We went to the seminary to talk to Henry Singayan to see if he would be one of our speakers. He said he would come and bring Bishop Baccay and the other priest, Joseph P. Aggabao. Joseph was the young boy who used to come to listen to me and his grandmother when she was helping me do naïve checks on these same scriptures many years before. He was now a professor at San Jacinto Seminary, teaching young men who wanted to enter the priesthood.

Because of the late date and previous commitments, it was not possible for us to have the Enrile High School choral group or the Teachers’ Choral Group, both of which we would like to have had on our program. Even Joseph Aggabao was not able to come, but we were very happy that both Henry Singayan and Bishop Ricardo Baccay were able to be there and speak. It was time to enter the program for the launching into a document for later printing.

Domingo and Neneng Tallud said they knew a good family who would do a good job of preparing our lunch for us, so we turned that responsibility over to them, giving them the funds to pay for it. The Talluds would also be responsible for other things on the program. Neneng would be responsible for decorating the stage and placing the title of the book on the backdrop. They said we needed to have a streamer made to place at the front of CCT to announce the launching, so we had that made and taken there. To announce the launching, we got posters made which would be placed on the pulpits at the front of the platform of each church.

Ten days before the launching, we had more invitations made that several preachers gave out. We personally took invitations to churches in several towns. We went to Piat, gave them invitations and invited them to bring their choir to the dedication. We also asked the priest there if he wanted a carton of Bibles to sell in their church book store. Our good friends, the Jose Purisimas lived in Piat, so we visited them and invited them personally to the dedication.

Next we went to Tuao to see Teddy Flojo, preacher of the Church of Christ, and left an invitation for him with his office mates and at his home. We also went to visit the priest in Tuao. He needed invitations to pass out to his members. We left some Bibles with him to sell, too, because he was very interested in them.

When we got to Rizal, we went to Jonas Ruma’s home where we had Bibles stored. We had lived there when we stayed in Rizal when we were working on the Malaweg Bible translation. We were really sorry to learn that anay (termites) had gotten to some of them, so we went to Nording Lumelay’s to ask him to help us put plastic bags around the Malaweg Bibles to keep the anay from getting to them. (Later we returned and put the books into solid plastic storage containers, sealed with tight-fitting lids.) We also went to see the priest at the simban (church), but he wasn’t there. He was at the convent instead. There we talked with him about the dedication of the Revised Itawes Bibles to be held on November the 28th. We also discussed the price of the Malaweg Bibles, since the preachers in Rizal had suggested very strongly that we lower the price. People were not able to afford the books at the original price. At last, we went to see Christian De la Cruz, but he wasn’t home, so we talked to his sister, Raquel, and gave her several invitations to give out.

The next day, we took about twenty Enrile church members to the CARM hangar where we had stored the new Itawes Bibles. It took all of us working together with the men at the hangar to put them into plastic bags to keep them clean and new. We had our usual merienda at 10:30 AM, and after we completed the bagging, we had a great time at MacDonald’s, having spaghetti and coke floats (Chuck and me) and rice, chicken and coke floats (all the rest). After taking everybody back to the jeepney stop for their trip home, we went around to take care of other things. Before going home, we stopped at the Tallud’s to go over the many things involved, but especially we wanted to talk about the plaques and certificates that were to be given out at the dedication.

Just a few days before the program, we E-mailed dedication programs to Jeannie Hoffman, the Hukabas, Esmelito Acson, Felipe Catolos and his brother, Alejandro. We went to the Tallud’s, looked at the program and list for plaques and certificates, and added the Agta choir to the program. We agreed to pay a certain amount for a video to be made of the dedication. We ordered 1,000 copies of the program at the Golden Press, and they made the changes that needed to be made. It was a good idea for Chuck to go to the bank, too, to get P100 bills for change when selling books at the dedication service. We put people we trusted implicitly in charge of the book selling.

We decided to have a lady in Enrile make cupcakes for the snack time. Lita had just bought some equipment for making large cupcakes, so we thought we would give her the job. On the 25th, she came for the money to purchase everything she needed to do the job. In the end, it turned out she had to make a lot of small cupcakes since the large ones were too large for her oven and she couldn’t make enough.

The day before the dedication was a busy day. We went to the hangar and got two loads of books. We took these to the CCT gym and stored them in the computer room. We made arrangements with Junior Mabazza, the owner of the jeepneys, to take members of the Enrile Church who wanted to go to the dedication on the 28th. That evening, we met guests at the bus station in Tuguegarao and took them to MacDonald’s for supper. Several people came from Manila Bible Seminary as well as the Huckabas from Philippine College of Ministry in Baguio City. We all enjoyed Big Macs and coke floats. Afterwards, Carl took the Huckabas to his house for the night, and we took the folks from Manila Bible Seminary home with us to Enrile.

5 thoughts on “Chapter 60: Preparation for the Launching of the Revised Itawes Bible

  1. Good day,

    I have a question. I am looking for my 3rd grade teacher, whose name is Joseph P Aggabao. My Google search led me here. I have been looking for him for the past twenty five years, and all I remember was that he was from the Ilocos region, or at least somewhere north of Manila. I also knew he was wanting to enter the priesthood.

    Can you help me locate one of the men you described in this blog? I would deeply appreciate it.


    • Mickey answers:

      Dear Sir/Ma’am,
      Joseph P. Aggabao. I believe that Joseph was the grandson of a lady, Juana Maddatu, who I worked with in Enrile, Cagayan 3501 years ago that I mentioned in my book, A Joyful Life in God’s Hands. My husband and I were doing a Bible translation into the Itawes language of the New Testament at that time, and we lived in Enrile where Joseph lived. He used to come in to listen when I was checking scriptures in Itawes with her. The next time I met him was years later when he was a professor at the San Jacinto Seminary, a Catholic school in Tuguegarao, working with Monsignor Henry Singayan, both from the town of Enrile, Cagayan. He and Monsignor Singayan were the Itawes priests who checked our Itawes Bible for the Catholic Church so that when we printed the Bible in Itawes, the Catholics could say that they allowed their members to read this Bible. They called this the imprimatur for our Itawes New Testament as well as the final version of the Bible that was printed later on.
      When I visited the Philippines this past March, I learned that Joseph is now a priest in the town of Penablanca, Cagayan. Our Itawes pastor, Domingo Tallud, knew Joseph, and he told me of this at that time. If someone would wish to contact him, he/she could contact the Archbishop of Tuguegarao who would be able to give him/her the address. Either that, or he could just mail a letter to Joseph at the Palacio in Tuguegarao, and they would see that he got it. I think the zip code for Tuguegarao is 3505.
      Thank you for reading my book, and I hope you will be able to contact Joseph soon. Please tell him hello for me. My husband, Dr. Charles M. Richards, passed away this past November 14th, so you can let him know that also if you wish.
      May God bless you richly.
      In Jesus’ most Precious Name,
      Ma’am Mickey Richards

      PS. If you would like to read the Itawes New Testament, you can get the Gideon Bible App on your iPhone and look up the Itawit New Testament that is printed there. You will know that Joseph had a part in making this possible for you to do. The Lord is so good! Praise the Lord!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mickey,

    I’m sorry to hear about Dr. Richards passing on, I’m sure he is in a better place now, free from pain and mortal suffering.

    Thank you for your leads on my search. I searched Google but I cannot find Mr. Domingo Tallud. However, I believe I can find the address for the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. I apologize it took so long to get back to this thread as I have been very inactive on WordPress as of recent months, and had been very busy looking for a job after I lost my previous one.

    I will share back on this thread should I finally be able to find Mr Joseph Agabbao or Kuya Joseph as he let us call him back in the day.


      • Mickey,

        Yes, thankfully I found a job after a few months. Thanks for the information about Domingo Tallud’s email address – I think he may be key to finding Mr. Aggabao. I’d been longing to get in touch with him, but as kid back in the 90’s, I didn’t have much on me to begin finding him. Two decades on, I think I may be able to close the circle.

        I live in Mandaluyong, the same city where he used to teach in. We went to Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, and he was my third grade homeroom teacher. I saw him then and now as a great influence in my life, and I wanted to get into contact with him to see how he is doing. I managed to find some of my other teachers, yet he proves to be the most elusive thus far.



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