Jabola, Florentino L. (1894–)

By Mary Grace Ladion-De Guzman

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Mary Grace Ladion-De Guzman taught at Lipa Adventist Academy for eleven years, the first established academy within the territory of South Central Luzon Conference. She is a licensed science teacher and holds a master's degree in Science Education. She is particularly interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and staff development. Her husband, Marlon De Guzman, is a senior auditor for the South Central Luzon Conference. They have two children. Guzman is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies.

First Published: January 12, 2021

Florentino L. Jabola was a colporteur, evangelist, and mission president in the Philippines. He was born September 16, 1894. No record is available of his younger days.

Education and Marriage

There is no data available about his education and first marriage. The record shows that he had three children. Loreto, a daughter born December 10, 1921, became a Biology, English, and History teacher at Mountain View College after her graduation from Philippine Union College.1 Oseas, a son, was born November 5, 1928. After he graduated from Philippine Union College, he was called to serve as a teacher at an Adventist junior academy in Dededo, Guam.2 Reuben was born July 1, 1930. He became a doctor and resided in the United States of America. He actively supported Philippine mission activities.3

On August 18, 1948, two years before his denominational service ended, he married Herminigilda Roque. Together they adopted a child.4

Ministry

Pastor Florentino Jabola’s ministry started in 1918, serving as a colporteur at Central Luzon Mission until 1919. In 1921 he served the mission as an evangelist. His ministry as an evangelist allowed him to travel with Brother Jackson and Brother Breitigam to visit Lopez, Quezon, one of the territories of Philippine Union Mission. The journey to this part of the vast territory of the Central Luzon Mission was challenging due to the limited means of transportation. This visit was a call to dedicate a semi-native chapel, since most of the buildings in this era were made with thatched roofs.5

The year 1926 was marked by a strong support for literature ministry in the mission, thanks to union leaders such as H. H. Hall, M. F. Wiedemann, and Eugene Woesner. A convention was held that called for mission leaders to encourage and call for literature workers to help expand the ministry. As Central Luzon Mission representative, Brother Jabola was assured that the gospel work of the territory could be hastened through the committed efforts of the membership and the literature evangelists.6 He left Central Luzon Mission in 1929 to answer a call in Southern Luzon Mission.7

Serving Southern Luzon Mission from 1929 to 1934 as an evangelist and assistant director brought wonderful memories of God’s protection. On one occasion, while attending a prayer meeting with other mission leaders in front of the municipal building at Labo, Camarines Norte, Jabola was almost hit by a stone that was intentionally thrown in the meeting area.8 Although the Philippines is a predominantly Christian country, the diverse beliefs among the various Christian sects brought prejudice against each other.

In 1934 Jabola was called to serve South-Central Luzon Mission as a mission director9 or the second mission president.10 Leading a newly instituted mission, he found the lay workers, colporteurs, and local church members passionate for sharing the gospel.11 The work became progressive as 50 faithful workers labored in soul-winning.12 One-third of the soul-winning efforts were done by local church members. The effort was also assisted by a health worker, a nurse, who reported during the biennial period to have treated 2,141 patients.13 Behind the active participation of the colporteurs in the gospel work was the commissioning of the colporteur institute for this territory.

Pastor Jabola desired for more workers in the vast vineyard of this territory, and many responded. During the colporteurs’ training on June 11 to 20, 1934 at Isabang, Tayabas, Quezon, 25 dedicated men and women committed to be guided in the “principles of gospel salesmanship.”14 As a supportive leader, Jabola led the devotional studies every morning until the training culminated.15

Other significant activities to inspire and encourage the church members under his leadership included the Home Commission Convention held at San Pablo, Laguna, December 3-5, 1937. This was the first convention attended by the parents’ council, which was part of the delegation. Many home lessons were instructed, such as proper child care, teaching children, true parental love based on the fatherhood of God, proper care for the body, and many others.16 The valuable efforts of all the workers through Jabola’s leadership garnered various achievements, such as reaching the harvest ingathering goal for the first time since South-Central Luzon Mission was established.17

Jabola was also “a sought-after debater” who influenced Reuben Ballesteros, a young ministerial student who turned to be an exemplary debater in the 1950s.18 Debate was among the effective ways in winning souls for Christ during this era in South-Central Luzon Mission. In 1939 Jabola returned to Central Luzon Mission to serve as an evangelist until 1941.19

Japanese troops attacked Manila on December 8, 1941, ten hours after bombing Pearl Harbor.20 Pastor Jabola was commissioned to return to Southern Luzon Mission as an evangelist from 1941 to 1943.21 These years were characterized by hardship and instability, yet many blessings and the assurance that God was in control.

Pastor Jabola was called to serve as Central Luzon Mission president from 1943 to 1947.22, 23 These were tough years for the mission. Many church buildings had been destroyed by war.24 As a leader, Jabola need to steer the wheel of leadership despite the uncertainties. When Pastor Gil de Guzman was elected as the new Central Luzon Mission president after Jabola's term ended, Jabola continued serving the mission as an evangelist.25 In July 1949 he was sent to Mindanao Mission to conduct evangelism through September 1949. Upon his return to Luzon island, he was called to serve Southern Luzon Mission again as an evangelist from 1949 to 1950.26 This culminated Pastor Florentino Jabola’s denominational services under Philippine Union Mission. He served the denomination for 30 productive years.

Later Life

Florentino Jabola’s retirement years were spent at Camarines Norte, where Southern Luzon Mission was located. Although he suffered from hypertension that kept him from active labor, still he continued to encourage the church members. His strong conviction of the Seventh-day Adventist faith influenced ministerial students of his time to shine for Jesus in their appointed time. His support and mentoring activities helped church members and mission workers to carry out their task with enthusiasm.

Sources

“A Notable Convention.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, June 1926.

Armstrong, V. T. “Philippine Union Council.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, March 1946.

Bradley, W. P. “Philippine Union Biennial Session.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, February 1939.

Campbell, G. A. “Evangelizing the Philippines.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, February 15, 1938.

De Chavez, D., A. A. Cordero, T. V. Racasa, and F. E. Yulip, In God’s Hands Through the Years. Celebrating 75 Years of God’s Blessings and Guidance, South-Central Luzon Conference Yearbook 2006. San Pablo, Laguna, Philippines: South-Central Luzon Conference, 2006.

“From Here and There.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1952.

Jabola, F. L. “Home Commission Convention.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, January 1938.

Jabola, F. L. “South-Central Luzon Mission.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, May 1935.

Jackson, S. E. “A Chapel Dedicated at Lopez, Luzon.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 15, 1922.

“Philippine VOP Crusade Brings Big Yield.” Pacific Union Recorder, July 21, 1975.

Service Record of Florentino Jabola. Southern Asia-Pacific Division Archives, Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

“The Midsummer Week of Prayer in The Philippines.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1930.

Wakeham, I. “Mountain View College Today.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1956.

Wiedemann, M. F. “Two Important Institutes in the Philippines.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1934.

Notes

  1. I. Wakeham, “Mountain View College Today,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1956, 9-11.

  2. “From Here and There,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1952, 10.

  3. “Philippine VOP Crusade Brings Big Yield,” Pacific Union Recorder, July 21, 1975.

  4. Service Record of Florentino Jabola, Southern Asia-Pacific Division Archives, retrieved on October 17, 2019.

  5. S. E. Jackson, “A Chapel Dedicated at Lopez, Luzon,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 15, 1922, 4-5.

  6. “A Notable Convention,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, June 1926, 7.

  7. Service Record of Florentino Jabola, Southern Asia-Pacific Division Archives.

  8. “The Midsummer Week of Prayer in The Philippines,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1930, 4.

  9. “South-Central Luzon Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1939), 139.

  10. D. De Chavez, A. A. Cordero, T. V. Racasa, and F. E. Yulip, In God’s Hands Through the Years. Celebrating 75 Years of God’s Blessings and Guidance, South-Central Luzon Conference Yearbook 2006, 9-14.

  11. F. L. Jabola, “South-Central Luzon Mission,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, May 1935, 6.

  12. De Chavez et al., In God’s Hands Through the Years, 9-14.

  13. W. P. Bradley, “Philippine Union Biennial Session,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, February 1939, 4-7.

  14. M. F. Wiedemann, “Two Important Institutes in the Philippines,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1934, 4.

  15. Ibid.

  16. F. L. Jabola, “Home Commission Convention,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, January 1938, 4.

  17. G. A. Campbell, “Evangelizing the Philippines,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, February 15, 1938, 2-3.

  18. De Chavez et al., In God’s Hands Through the Years, 9.

  19. “Central Luzon Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1940), 137.

  20. S. McGowan. Japanese Attack on the Philippines: The “Other” Pearl Harbor. Retrieved on May 14, 2020 from https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2018/12/29/japanese-attack-on-the-philippines-the-other-pearl-harbor/

  21. Service Record of Florentino Jabola, Southern-Asia Pacific Division Archives.

  22. “Central Luzon Conference,” retrieved on May 14, 2020 from https://clc.adventist.ph/about-clc/.

  23. “Central Luzon Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1946), 114.

  24. V. T. Armstrong, “Philippine Union Council,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, March 1946, 2.

  25. “Central Luzon Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1949), 119-120.

  26. Service Record of Florentino Jabola, Southern-Asia Pacific Division Archives.

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Guzman, Mary Grace Ladion-De. "Jabola, Florentino L. (1894–)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 12, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CJ6.

Guzman, Mary Grace Ladion-De. "Jabola, Florentino L. (1894–)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 12, 2021. Date of access November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CJ6.

Guzman, Mary Grace Ladion-De (2021, January 12). Jabola, Florentino L. (1894–). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CJ6.