Tulio, Juanito Laag (1912–2000)

By Israel Haluber Bacdayan

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Israel Haluber Bacdayan, M.Min., M.B.A., is the president of Cavite Mission of Seventh-day Adventists. He enjoys reading, driving, walking, traveling, and collecting books on stewardship, leadership, administration, and prosperity. He is married to Aurea Custodio-Bacdayan, Shepherdess International coordinator of Cavite Mission. They have two sons.

Juanito Tulio’s leadership was instrumental in conducting evangelism campaigns, building numerous churches, and developing denominational workers in the Philippines.

Early Life

Juanito Laag Tulio was born in Olongapo, Zambales on June 23, 1912.1 His father, Luciano P. Tulio, was a retired U.S. Navy Civilian Employee of Subic Naval Base, in Olongapo, Philippines, and his mother was Catalina Laag.2 Luciano and Catalina were both members of Philippine Independent Church, also known as the Aglipayan Church. Philippine Independent Church is a breakaway of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. 3

Education and Marriage

Juanito spent his elementary years at Olongapo Primary School, Kalalake Barrio School, and Olongapo Elementary School. He studied high school at Olongapo Academy.4 He was impressed by the preaching of Pastor V. T. Santos, assisted by the members of Olongapo Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was baptized an Adventist on March 26, 1931 at Olongapo, Zambales by Pastor Santos. 5

Tulio met Juana Guinto who assisted the evangelism of Pastor Santos. In May 1931 they married in Samal, Bataan, Juana’s hometown.6 The couple was blessed by two daughters and a son, Erlinda, Norma, and Juanito, Jr. 7

Ministry

A month after Juanito and Juana married, the Central Luzon Mission (CLM) recruited them to become literature evangelists. 8 This marked the beginning of Tulio’s service to the Adventist denomination.

The couple was assigned to different provinces of the mission as literature evangelists, but Juanito concentrated his canvassing work in Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan provinces.9 Central Luzon Mission leadership found his canvassing ministry fruitful and impressive, and later found that he was a skilled preacher.

In May 1939, CLM recommended Tulio to become a fulltime Bible instructor, and joined with his wife Juana continued their faithful and energetic ministry. 10 He successfully conducted many evangelistic campaigns in many different areas of the territory. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines he trained at Philippine Union College.11 He also attended the Seminary Extension School by Washington Theological Seminary for one summer and the Seminary Extension School by Andrews University, both at PUC campus.12 In January 1946 CLM granted him a ministerial license.13 Because of his zeal and commitment to the ministry, the leadership found him fit for ordination. On August 20, 1949, he was ordained to the ministry. 14

Tulio was assigned in the different areas of CLM as a district pastor. 15 In February 1958 the North Philippine Union Mission called him to become an evangelist in South Central Luzon Mission. 16 Because of his fruitful ministry, he was appointed Departmental Secretary of Sabbath School and Lay Activities.17 Then, in January 1969, he was elected president of the South Central Luzon Mission, a position he held until 1973.18

Juanito Tulio was president of the South Central Luzon Mission when Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared martial law. The church faced many challenges, but Tulio faithfully led the work, as marked by numerous evangelisms and church building constructions.

In January 1974, the North Philippine Union Mission commissioned Tulio to go back to the Central Luzon Mission as its president.19 There he led many successful evangelistic campaigns, built many churches, and developed many workers during his presidency. He was known for his personal witness and dynamic and Spirit-filled preaching. He inspired many literature evangelists to serve God with dedication.

Juanito Tulio retired from the ministry on January 20, 1976, and resided in San Diego, California. He died October 31, 2000 at 88 years old.20

Sources

ARH, August 14, 1969.

Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1958; March, 1963; December, 1968.

“Juanito L Tulio (1912-2000),” ancientfacts. Accessed March 18, 2020. https://www.ancientfaces.com/person/juanito-l-tulio-birth-1912-death-2000/87826827.

Personal Service Record, Juanito Laag Tulio, North Philippine Union Mission. North Philippine Union Conference Archives, Pasay City, Philippines.

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

Notes

  1. Personal Service Record of Juanito Laag Tulio, North Philippine Union Mission Service Record, North Philippine Union Conference Archives, Pasay City, Philippines.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Ibid.

  7. Ibid.

  8. Ibid

  9. Ibid.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Ibid.

  12. Ibid.

  13. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1947), 111.

  14. Personal Service Record of Juanito Laag Tulio.

  15. Ibid.

  16. Far Eastern Division Outlook, November 1958, 15; cf. Far Eastern Division Outlook, March 1963, 10.

  17. Far Eastern Division Outlook, December 1968, 15; cf. ARH, August 14, 1969, 17.

  18. Personal Service Record of Juanito Laag Tulio; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1970), 140, and (1973), 166.

  19. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1975), 167.

  20. “Juanito L Tulio (1912-2000),” ancientfacts, accessed March 18, 2020, https://www.ancientfaces.com/person/juanito-l-tulio-birth-1912-death-2000/87826827.

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Bacdayan, Israel Haluber. "Tulio, Juanito Laag (1912–2000)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 22, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FI9R.

Bacdayan, Israel Haluber. "Tulio, Juanito Laag (1912–2000)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 22, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FI9R.

Bacdayan, Israel Haluber (2021, April 28). Tulio, Juanito Laag (1912–2000). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 22, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=FI9R.