On December 1, events dedicated to the beginning of the construction of the church in honor of St. John of Shanghai were held on Tubabao Island. With the blessing of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), performed the rite of consecration of the foundation stone, together with concelebrants from the clergy of the diocese, Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), Priests Moses Kahilig and Ambrose Sumagaysay.
On the same day, a civil ceremony was held to lay a wreath in memory of the Russian refugees. The events were attended by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Marat Pavlov, his wife, and Russian officials; the Mayor of Guiuan Annalisa Gonzalez Kwan, Vice-Mayor Veronica Kabakaba-Ramirez and employees of the mayor’s office, and residents and guests of Tubabao Island.
In 1949-1951, approximately 6000 Russian refugees found temporary shelter on this island. Their spiritual leader was St. John of Shanghai. Filipinos gave a warm welcome to them and Russians have made a great cultural contribution to the life of the local people whom they taught piano, ballet etc.
Saint John of Shanghai is very revered by the locals, because miracles happen through prayers to him. In particular, people have miraculously escaped during typhoons, and even typhoons often bypassed the island, as it was in 1949-1951. The same miracle happened in Manila on Sunday, November 1, 2020, when the Super Typhoon Goni, which was approaching Metro Manila, suddenly lost its strength and turned away from the city immediately after the prayer service to St. John at the Iveron Parish in Manila.
And Priest Dorofei Urusau writes:
St. John is not forgotten on Tubabao, and he takes care of the islanders – he sends them parcels. Just before Christmas!