Fr. Javier Olazabal y Mendoza came to Culion at the age of 60, not to retire but to fulfill a cherished dream of serving the island’s leprosy patients.
Born to a Spanish family on January 07, 1909, Javier’s first home was in St. Jean de Luz, a border town between Spain and France. He was a Spanish citizen by birth.
He was said to have dreamed of serving in Culion ever since he was ordained a Jesuit in 1946. Finally, in 1971, Father Olazabal got assigned to the island of his dreams. His friends were afraid for him, but it was a mission he welcomed and embraced. This was the priest who once said: "My God, I want to go to the very end with this suffering people, whatever may happen to me.” He showed no qualms about touching, holding or hugging the sick, showed no fear of contracting the disease himself, perhaps even prayed for this to be so. The years of work and service had taken their toll on his health, and he died on September 10, 1988.
DON JOSE MA. SORIANO, SR.
A pioneer in institutionalizing welfare assistance to the Hansenites of Culion, Don Jose Ma. Soriano y Montemar was very much influenced by his father, the late Don Andres Soriano Y Roxas who was an altruist and humanitarian.
Mr. Soriano is Spanish by birth but American by naturalization. He studied in England and the United States of America and after graduation he was enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943 and was honorably discharged on May 9, 1946. As a scion of the renowned Soriano family, he was once the Vice President, Treasurer and Director of the San Miguel Corporation; President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Atlas Consolidated Mining & Development Corporation; President and Director of Atlas Fertilizer Corporation; President and Director of Anscor Corporation, New York; President of Soriamont Development Company,Ltd. (Vancouver, B.C.); and Director of Hongkong Breweries, Ltd. These are only some of his numerous business affiliations.