By Msgr. Regie Pamposa
Monsignor Joad comes from the town of Dumalag, Capiz, a deeply religious town that has also produced another revered local church leader, Archbishop Antonio Frondosa, the first archbishop of Capiz, who ordained another cardinal, the well-loved Jaime Cardinal Sin, former archbishop of Manila.
Dumalag can now rightly claim its historical importance in the local history of Capiz and the nation as well, for it has now produced a cardinal of the Church, famously called “prince of the Church.”
Cardinal Joad was born on March 30, 1952. His parents were the late Jose “Toting” Firmalino Advincula and Carmen “Inday” Falsis Fuerte.
Blessed with 12 children, six boys and six girls, the Dumalagnon couple, through hard work and diligence, managed to provide all 12 children with more than modest education.
Two daughters have become doctors of medicine, namely, Dr. Anafe Lustre and Dr. Consolacion Feca; and one, a doctor of dentistry, Dr. Fatima Fajardo; Carmela, the fourth daughter, is an architect; two sisters became respected teachers: Josefa Dimalanta, formerly affiliated with St. Paul’s University, Manila, and Coronacion Grant, now in Canada.
The Advincula boys are equally successful in their chosen fields: the late Felixberto was a mechanical engineer; the late Antonio, a chemical engineer; and Candelario, an electronics technician.
But what truly makes the Advincula family of Toting and Inday astonishingly remarkable is the fact that three of the 12 siblings became priests, namely, the older brother, the late Monsignor Benjamin called “Manong Ben,” Rev. Fr. Neil Peter or “Petbong,” the youngest among the 12 siblings, presently the parish priest of Cuartero, Capiz, and Fr. Jose Jr., also known as “Teting,” the cardinal-elect.
The vocation to the priesthood is always a rare gift from God to a family, but the family of Toting and Inday Advincula seems to have gotten a better portion of such gift, for two of Monsignor Joe’s maternal uncles were also distinguished priests of the Archdiocese of Capiz.
They were: the late Monsignor Sinforiano Fuerte, his mother’s only brother, who became the longest-serving rector of Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion in Roxas City, and the late Monsignor Edmundo Fuerte, his mother’s first cousin, the longest-serving rector of the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City.
Another maternal first cousin is a priest, the Rev. Fr. Antonio Fuerte Arinquin, now a team minister member of the parish of Dumarao, Capiz.
Father Teting finished his elementary studies at Dumalag Elementary School and completed his high school studies as salutatorian in 1968 and a college degree in 1972 at the venerable St. Pius X Seminary in Roxas City, the same institution once headed by the legendary Cardinal Sin, its first rector in 1957.
The young Father Teting was a Latin student of then Father Jaime L. Sin. Literally, Father Teting sat at the feet of a cardinal of the Church who himself was considered a local missionary of Capiz prior to his appointment as rector.
Decades later, Cardinal Sin, born in Aklan but ordained for the Diocese of Capiz, was the rightful choice to deliver the homily during the episcopal ordination of Bishop Joe on September 8, 2001 at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral in Roxas City, Capiz.
If he was alive today, the ever-ebullient Cardinal Jaime Sin would be beaming with pride as his former high-school Latin student now joins the ranks of cardinals. Maybe Cardinal Sin could have said it better: “arriba, Joe!”*