Boys Before Flower Episode 20
Servant of God Teofilo Camomot
The Faithful Son of Carcar
By Bernadette A. Parco and Cherry T. Lim
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
THE local church is taking a closer look into the life of a Cebuano priest who founded several congregations and was known for diligence in his pastoral duties, devotion to prayer as well as his numerous works of charity.
Archbishop Teofilo “Lolong” Camomot, who hailed from Cogon in Carcar City, is a candidate for beatification. An Archdiocesan Commission has been set up to formally investigate his life and virtues.
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The people close to Camomot speak not only of his good works, however, but also of his abilities of bilocation, or being in two places at one time, and levitation.
When he died in 1988, he was Coadjutor Archbishop Emeritus of Cagayan de Oro, but he had been serving in Cebu since 1970.
Known to many as “Msgr. Lolong,” this silent and mild-mannered priest readily gave away his shoes, and whatever else he could, to anyone who needed them.
Those who personally knew Camomot made it a point to check on his pectoral cross (the large cross worn over the breast) and his ring, the symbols of his title as archbishop which were usually made of gold and semi-precious stones.
Sr. Esterlita Lauros, DST said Camomot, founder of the congregation of Daughters of St. Teresa, was considered a “living saint” because of his generosity.
She said if Camomot did not have cash he would pawn his ring and pectoral cross and give the proceeds to those who asked him for financial assistance.
Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, Archdiocesan Commission on Worship Chairman, said he would receive phone calls from a pawnshop telling him, “Nia na pud ang singsing ni Msgr. Lolong (Msgr. Lolong’s ring is here again).”
Fr. Fulton Varga, now assigned in Santander town, was head of the altar boys in Carcar when Camomot was parish priest there in 1976.
Varga related an incident when Camomot and his driver were robbed on their way back to Cagayan de Oro City from Bukidnon after administering the sacrament of confirmation.
Believing that they were carrying with them the stipend of the Sacrament of Confirmation, a man boarded their vehicle and proceeded to rob them.
“The stipend is supposed to be remitted to the Chancery of the archdiocese, but (Camomot) did not bring it. He had left it with the parish priest,” Varga said.
And so the only things the robber could get from Camomot were his shoes and the P20 in his wallet. Then the robber got down from the vehicle.
The driver wanted to hightail it out of there, but Camomot instructed him to back up.
Camomot called the robber and gave the robber his Episcopal ring, saying, “Akong singsing, bulawan man ni, pwede na nimo i-baligya (My ring is made of gold. You can sell this).”
The cross and the ring were pawned by the robber in Cagayan de Oro. Pawnshop personnel recognized the items and returned them to Camomot.
Today, Sr. Esterlita said the ring is in the possession of the Archdiocese, but the cross is still missing.
Varga said the stipend was supposed to be shared three ways: among Camomot, the parish priest and the chancery. But several times, Camomot left his stipend with the parish priests.
“That was his usual practice, even here in Cebu,” Varga said.
Msgr. Achilles Dakay, media liaison officer of the Archdiocese of Cebu, confirmed that Camomot regularly gave away his stipends, the donations for religious services rendered by a priest.
“The problem is that there are no records whether he received them or gave them away,” he said.
Sr. Esterlita said accounts of the virtues Camomot exhibited, such as his complete trust in God, were numerous. And the little miracles his faith was rewarded with include the time when Camomot’s car was running low on gasoline.
Despite not having money, he remained calm.
“Larga lang kung asa kutob ang sakyanan,” Sr. Esterlita said he told the driver. (Just go as far as the gas will take us.)
Finally, the gas ran out—right in front of a gas station owned by a friend, who gave them a full tank of gas and even some cash.
Another occasion was when the convent did not have money to buy food because Camomot was always giving money away to whoever came to seek financial assistance. “Sige lang,” Camomot said. (Don’t worry.)
As dinnertime approached, a neighbor just showed up, bringing rice and cooked chicken.
Remedios Camomot-Baricuatro, 82, told Sun.Star Cebu that the legendary generosity of her older brother Lolong was inspired by the example of their father, Luis.
Luis, a clerk at the Carcar parish and a member of the choir, also readily gave away food and other things to the needy.
He was strict in observing daily evening prayers or the angelus with his children, eight with Angela Bastida and two others from a previous marriage.
“Nanay had her novenas to saints every day,” said Remedios, the younges
Episode 20: Innocents of Ryloth
To sabotage a powerful Separatist weapon, Obi-Wan and a small Clone force enter an occupied town, and discover that its residents are being used as a living shields.
Before entering the city, Obi Wan and Ghost Company must fight their way through squads of patrol droids.
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