Q. What is PBMA, Inc.?
A. PBMA, Inc. stands for the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, Incorporated.
Q. Is it a legal organization?
A. Yes! PBMA is a legitimate organization in the Philippines which was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Reg. No. 28042 on October 19, 1965.
Q. What kind of organization is PBMA?
A. PBMA is a non-sectarian, non-profit, humanitarian, and a brotherhood organization. It has its Constitution and By-Laws, and all its operations are under the management and supervision of the Board of Directors.
Q. What are the aims or objectives of PBMA?
A. PBMA has three (3) top objecives: 1. to perform charitable actions, a) to serve faithfully, b) to help benevolently, and c) to give voluntarily; 2) to promote brotherhood among people regardless of religion, race and age, and; 3) to promote international peace and unity among nations.
Q. What are the modes of its operations?
A. Members of PBMA are called “Missioners” or “Missionaries” and are obliged to do missionary works, either as a “transient” or a “resident” missioner. Transient missioners are those who travel from place to place in carrying out the objectives of the organization. Resident missioners are those who stay home yet still perform their missions.
Q. How are PBMA members classified?
A. There are three (3) major classifications of the members: 1) Missionary - those who passed the screening as mandated by its Constitution and By-Laws; 2) Stationary - those married individuals who passed the screening, like the Missionary, and; 3) Ordinary Member - those who are still under the provisionary period of three (3) months and still have to undergo the screening.
Q. Are PBMA teachings not against the Christian or other religious doctrines?
A. PBMA teachings are mixtures of Christian, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Akashic doctrines. Members are not forced to leave their religion but rather advised to take the teachings of PBMA as additional source of spiritual learning, nourishment and enlightenment. Christian members still observe their Sunday masses and read the Bible, Muslim members still observe their traditional Muslim religious practices. In fact most of the teachings of PBMA can be traced in the Bible and in the Jewish teachings.
Q. Do the PBMA members follow the Ten Commandments of God?
A. Yes! Every member should follow not only the Ten Commandments but also the “laws” of the government where they belong, and other laws made for the perpetuation of a desciplined society free from any vices, violence and other form of lawlessness.
Q. Does it mean that PBMA members have no vices?
A. All members should free themselves from all kinds of vices. Every member must denouce smoking, gambling, the use of illegal drugs and drinking of any kind of liquor. It is one of the major requirements and it is obligatory. Every member should also observe the highest level of moral standard and descipline. Any violation of these, aside from those stated on Section 1, Article XI, Expulsion of the PBMA Constitution & By Laws, is a serious ground for termination of one's membership.
Q. Why PBMA members consider Ruben Ecleo as god?
A. There are two (2) Ruben Ecleo’s in PBMA. The first is the father, Ruben Ecleo, Sr. and other one is his son Ruben Ecleo, Jr. Ruben Sr. was the Founder and the first Supreme President of the Association. The Constitution and By Laws of PBMA, Inc. designates the title Supreme President as the highest position in the Association. We usually call Ruben Sr. as the Supreme President and Founder or Divine Master, and Ruben Jr. as the present Supreme Master but we are not addressing them as gods.
Q. Why do you call Ruben Sr. as Divine Master?
A. The word “divine” refers to something that is “sacred” or “holy” or something that is in connection or association with God. Ruben Sr. possessed the qualifications to be called as such because of his teachings and of the miracles he had done to over millions of people, both PBMA members and non-members alike. He happened to be present in many places at the same time, cured many people even without seeing and touching them, and he taught and transferred his healing power to millions of his followers, which is a quality of a “god.” Three (3) days after he died, he manifested himself to over thousands of his followers. He discoursed and sung some of his favorite songs. All these were tape recorded and documented.
The word “master” or “maestro” refers to a “teacher” or someone who teaches a certain specialization or specialized in a certain field, like the Chess Grandmaster or those who finished their masters’ degree. And since Ruben Sr. originated and taught these “divine teachings” of PBMA, he is therefore entitled to the title of Divine Master.
Q. Why do you call Ruben Jr. as Master?
A. Ruben Sr. handled down the leadership to his son Ruben Jr., and since the son is continuing the legacies of his father, he is therefore entitled to the title of master, which means he is the teacher or the caretaker of the members in the absence of his father. The son is the representation of his father.
Q. But why some PBMA members call your Divine Master or Master as god?
A. Every member perhaps had experienced many different kids of miracles or found something extra-ordinary in the Association, which they believe, are attributes to the divine power of God. Generally, we have our personal reasons why we are considering them as such. The more we accept and understand the teachings of the Association, the more we find reasons why we (members) kept on calling them Divine Master and Master. However, these titles are only within the sphere of the Association.
Q. What are the teachings of Ruben Sr. that you consider as divine?
A. As a member the first thing we learned from the Association is the “prayer” which is the unified prayer and true to all PBMA members. We call this the Revised Latin Rosary, which consists of 12 Aramaic Latin words. These Aramaic words are considered sacred or holy and we call these “Divine Words”. And so, if these words are divine, who is this person who can recite and teach them without any book or manuscripts as his references?
Q. What is Aramaic language?
A. Aramaic is a Semitic language and became the official language of the Arameans. It was also the same language used by Lord Jesus Christ aside from Hebrew which was the official language of his race during his time. Accordingly, the original text of the Old Testament (Torah and Talmud) was a originally written in Aramaic. Aramic languange is the language closest to the language of God as it was used as the language of administration of empires and the language of divine worship.
Q. Are these Aramaic words really divine words?
A. These words are like ordinary words written of letters found in the alphabet but the words themselves can not be found in any published book I’ve even read. They cannot be found in either the encyclopedia or the internet. Like a precious stone that cannot be found everywhere; like a diamond or gold. We believe these words are to be kept secret and sacred thus must not be displayed or uttered without valid reasons. And these are the very words the PBMA members are using while performing their missionary works, e.g. healing the sick.
Q. The PBMA members must be misguided people who believe in the power of amulets or talismans?
A. That is another misinterpreted side of the Association. Our Divine Master never told us to believe in amulets or talismans. But there are members who kept on integrating the old Filipino tradition, i.e. agimat or anting-anting. And, history reveals that the Philippines was once an island of people who believed in the supernatural powers and the like, and these powers can be obtained from the forests or mountains. And believe it or not this tradition is still part of our modern-day culture.
I remember my father once related to us the story of his grand uncle who possessed a talisman from a coconut tree who can able to drink a drum of water with the use of his “babato” or “birtud”. My brother-in-law also possesses a talisman from an eel. This talisman gave him the ability of instant-escape, like the famous Houdini.
There are lots of recorded proofs of the existence of talisman especially in the Philippines but these practices are not encouraged and denounced as part of PBMA teachings.
Q. What are the benefits in joining your Organization?
A. There are more benefits a member can receive than his eyes meet. A member will learn three (3) important things: to heal the sick, to protect one's self, and to ask graces or blessings from God.
Healing the sick is one of the things performed by the Twelve Apostles as taught to them by the Lord Jesus Christ. Protecting one's self covers protection from any form of harm, danger, accident, bad spirits or elements, diseases and sicknesses. But most important of all, a member will learn to do the “general confession” of all his sins misdeeds directly to God in order to be clean and worthy in His eyes and graces.
PBMA also aims to develop an individual spiritually, morally, socially, culturally and emotionally through involvement in the Organization's activities designed and carried for the said purposes. Hence, the ultimate objective is to develop an individual on both material and spiritual aspects, and perchance for him to be worthy and qualified for an everlasting life.
Q. Why a PBMA member is wearing a ring on his/her right hand?
A. The ring simply signifies one's affiliation to the Association aside form the identification document (ID) issued to him/her mainly for the said purpose. Like in any other organizations or fraternities, members wear such identification(s) for the very obvious reason.
However, digging unto its deeper significance, the ring symbolizes one's personal decesion of surrender or return to the Father in Heaven. This concept drew inspirations from the “parable of the prodigal son” (Luke 15:32), and this is the real meaning or essence of being “born again”, of totally being reformed in both spirit and flesh.
Q. Now that your Master Ruber Jr. is charged and sentenced for 30 years imprisonment for graft, do you still consider him as your role model in your Association?
A. Every member is on trial of his own fate which is true to all individuals. Our Supreme President is also a member and it is his own trial or test in this life that will measure his “being”. On the other hand, what is happening to him is not a reason to lost our faith in him, in his father or in the Association. If you understand the parable of the Lord's second coming which is likened to a “night thief” then you will understand all these things in him. Besides, the Lord Christ was also sentenced by no other than the people themselves because they were ignorant of the real scheme on the strategem in the plan of God. We believe what is happening to our Supreme President are just thin curtains to complicate the minds of those who have not seen his hidden persona.
Q. Does it mean that you still consider him as your Master or Supreme President?
A. Absolutely yes! Our Master (as well as our Divine Master) did not in any way teach us to follow or emulate what he is doing. Instead, he always reminds us to follow the Laws of God, the laws of the government (wherever we are under with), and the laws of PBMA. Besides, it is not the members who are directly suffering from the consequences of his acts because salvation comes from one's own sacrifice and through God's grace. If we follow not what he is doing but follow what he said then perhaps we can proudly say we are qualified for salvation.
Q. Is it true that your Master killed his wife Alona?
A. We were warned/reminded by no other than the Lord Christ Himself not to judge others so the Lord God will not judge upon us.
Legally speaking, no individual can be convicted or pronounced guilty for any crime or wrong doings unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubts. Our Master was and is a victim of circumstances and “trial-by-publicity”. There is no hard or strong evidence so far has been presented to the court to justify such accusation.
Q. But the lone witness in the murder of Alona, who was her own brother, was shot and killed by no other than a follower of your Master?
A. We don’t want to justify the acts of our fellow members because we were told according to the “Ten Commandments of God” not to kill. But the Apostle Simon Peter did almost the same in defense of his master (John 18:10). Hence, there is this strong feeling of love, concern or affection in these individuals toward their respective master; a love that portrays willingness to sacrifice one's life for the sake of a love one. And this is the most common plot of most movies we love to watch - when the hero of the story is ready to sacrifice his/her life - which is happening in real life.
Q. Hence, you (PBMA) consider yourselves fanatics?
A. It depends how you will define the word fanatics. There are actors’ or actresses’ guilds where members are called fanatics or “die-hard” supporters. There are also those movement advocates who are willing to do anything for a cause, or those who are willing to sacrifice travelling for hundreds of miles in a so-called “pilgrimage” to sacred places, such as Mt. Banahaw, Mt. Tibet or the like. These people are fanatics in their own respective rights and belief.
In like manner, the PBMA members also called fanatics in their own rights as far as belief is concerned especially when it comes to their beliefs in the doctrines and teachings of the Association, and much more when it comes to the hidden persona of our Divine Master. There are more the members have seen on them suffice to galvanize their faith and belief.
Q. Is it true that most members are not educated and belong to the poverty level?
A. Perhaps there is truth on the matter. However, we have to define what the word “educated” means. We may confine our definition to those who have finished two or four-year higher education courses and called professionals, but we can also extend our definitions to those who are literate (can write, read and comprehend) and have acquired the basic rudiments of a morally upright, socially equipped and spiritually enlightened citizens. Besides, there are those claiming themselves “professionals” but behaved indifferently and treated others immorally and inhumanely.
In this vein, the Association had organized the professional members into a working unit called the “Professionals’ League” which is dominated mainly of professionals in their own respective fields, not to mention those who are registered in the Professionals Regulation Commission or members of professionals’ guilds in the Philippines, such as: the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Philippine Nurses Association, Inc.; Association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines; and other professionals like CPAs, architects, doctors of education, doctors of medicine, dentists, educators, technologists, chemists and others.
The Philippines is a third world country whether we accept it or not. Hence, majority of its populace belong to the poverty level. However, the Lord Christ once told, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter unto the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25)
Q. But, is it true that most members were promised of “wealthy life” once became a member?
A. That is absolutely “not true” and “without basis”. We have no reasons to deny and nothing to be ashamed of if most members are poor. It is our personal decisions that made us join the Organization in our own volitions.
PBMA had gone so many trials and tribulations so far since its establishment in 1965 but its history portrays signs of hope for the fulfillment of the promises long time been postponed. Puyange (now San Jose) which is the cradle of the Association is now a municipality, and Dinagat Islands which is considered as the “modern day” Promised Land for the PBMA members is now a separate province from Surigao del Norte and run by no other than the PBMA members themselves. According to researches, Dinagat Islands has one of the richest deposits of minerals, such as chromite, nickel, silver and gold.
Our Divine Master once had a vision to transform the entire islands (now a province) into an industrialized state, like Hong Kong or Singapore, which is now a dream almost a reality.
Q. What will happen to PBMA if your Master will be put to jail because of graft and corruption?
A. It has been foretold that there is no other name to run the Association than “Ruben Ecleo”. Our Master’s eldest son is “Ruben Ecleo I” and he is the next to manage/lead the flock after his father.
Q. Some people, especially the media believed that PBMA is all about Satanism?
A. Again, there is the danger of jumping to conclusion without further examining such accusations. In the first place, we (PBMA members) submit ourselves to our known God which is the same God (Jehovah or Yahweh) mentioned in the Bible, and to our Lord Jesus Christ whom we considered the “Begotten Son of God” and mankind’s mediator between God and His people. We always mentione them in our daily prayers and devotions. We also follow and adhere to the teachings of our respective religion which are mostly “Christianism” in nature. Besides, we never heard from our leaders or lecturers to subscribe to whatever form of satanic doctrines and rituals. And where in the three laws mentioned earlier that we are told to follow and encourages “satanic rituals and doctrines”? None!
Q. How do you pray then?
A. Our prayer, which is in the Aramaic language and true to all members, is called the Revised Prayer and a “mystery” in itself. It has a dedication on the first part which can be changed depending on purpose, such as for healing, protection and others. Generally, the dedication or request for help or graces is addressed to the Holy Trinity (God Father, Son and Holy Spirit), to all the saints in heaven and to our respective guardian angel or angels.
If the Roman Catholic Church prays the mysteries, then PBMA members pray their own version of these mysteries in a language only they and whoever taught them knew it.
In my research as a member, it appears wiyhout a doubt that this “Aramaic Prayer” is very similar to the “Father’s Prayer” (in its original Aramaic version) taught by the Lord Jesus Christ to His desciples. If that is so, who is our Divine Master then if his teachings are almost similar to that of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Q. What is the present status of PBMA and its members now that your Supreme Master Ruben Jr. is convicted of three counts of graft and corruption and the murder of his wife Alona, and now a wanted man?
A. These are legal matters beyond our control and conviction but we still believe in the twist of faith and the innocence of our Supreme Master. His convictions in these two cases are purely technicalities in nature. Let the law and time decide on these matters.
Our Association is continuous and operational as it was before despite of our Master’s convictions. We admit it is a big blow in the entire organization as more members are greatly affected by this event and left the Association, but the foundation has already been established and there’s no way this association will be disintegrated or dismantled.
Q. But why is your Master evading arrest and hiding from the law and continuously opposing his conviction if he is innocent?
A. It is very logical for every person to do everything he can to not to subject himself from the punishment of the law by serving his sentence if he himself believes in his innocence. We also want his cases to be over but serving a sentence of conviction not due is simply illogical.
Q. Does it mean he will be hiding and be a wanted man for the rest of his life?
A. It is not the intention and it will never be. As a citizen of this country our Supreme Master knows and respects the law and he is not or will not be that kind of person. Hiding to evade arrest is one thing and serving a sentence not due is another. How could he accept his conviction and serve a sentence if he believes he is innocent?
Q. Who is managing your organization now that your Master is hiding?
A. Our Master is still the Supreme President of the organization and the management is still under the administration of the national officials through the supervision of the Board of Directors. Nothing changes in the Association. Only that our Supreme President is physically unavailable.
Under Section 5, Article VIII, Duties of the Officers of the PBMA Constitution states that the Executive Vice President “(He) shall perform the duties of the Supreme in the latter’s absence, inability, and illness. He shall discharge the duties of the Supreme President until such time a new President shall have been elected and qualified.” In this case, however, our Supreme President is absent only due to his physical inavailability and the Executive Vice President is acting in his behalf from time to time, or as the case requires. Nevertheless, this position is never been vacated as our Supreme President is only physically absent.