At the peak of the battle between the Barracuda and the Ilaga in 1972, a story about St. Michael the Archangel’s intercession lived until today after being passed from one generation to another here in this part of the world – Municipality of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay (which was then part of Zamboanga del Sur).
According to the witnesses who are still alive until today, when the rebels already penetrated at the Poblacion, one of the principal targets of attack was the newborn parish of Parokya San Miguel. There were only 6 soldiers at the Xavier High School who guarded both the parish and the parochial school. The people already ran for their lives. One survivor told me that her aunt just delivered her baby when they heard gunshots. They then brought their boiling and half-cooked rice in a kettle and hid in the bushes.
But the seemingly triumph of evil was short-lived. The throng of rebels suddenly retreated when they saw a legion of armies coming from the parish church. The whole area was filled with bright light, making them ran in fear. The legion of armies also disappeared when the rebels already left. As to who the soldiers were, nobody knew. Certainly, they were not the 6 soldiers stationed at the school.
The parishioners believed that it was St. Michael leading the celestial armies against the invaders. One of the rebels who renewed his life after the war, also testified to the truth of the story. Almer (not his real name) said, “nakakita mig dakong tawo nga hayag kaayo ang panagway kauban ang daghan kaayong nag-gilak-gilak nga sundalo. Mao nga nangahadlok mi ug nanagan.” (We saw a man with a very bright face together with a band of armies dazzling in white. So, we ran with fear and trembling.)
Year after year, the parishioners of Parokya San Miguel continue to tell the story.