‘AwiTeofilo’ commemorates Camomot's 110th birth anniversary
Photo by Kaiser Jan Fuentes

‘AwiTeofilo’ commemorates Camomot's 110th birth anniversary

TO PAY tribute to the life and legacy of Venerable Archbishop Teofilo "Lolong" Camomot on his 110th birth anniversary, AwiTeofilo, a songwriting contest, was held on March 3, 2024 at the Camomot Shrine, which is located inside the DST Compound in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City, Cebu.

The competition featured 12 finalists from different parts of the country who performed their original compositions to banner Camomot's unwavering faith, philanthropic works, and humble beginnings.

Camomot, born in Carcar City on March 3, 1914, actively served as a priest, renowned for his piety, charitable deeds, and dedication to helping others. He died in a car accident on September 27, 1989, in San Fernando town, at the age of 74.

The cause for his canonization began during the tenure of Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal on December 27, 2010. In 2022, Pope Francis declared him Venerable, advancing his path toward sainthood.

Hundreds of believers and followers of Camomot witnessed the finals night where each entry's interpreters showed the best of their singing prowess, pulling the heartstrings of the spectators.

The finalists' amazing display of talent, creativity, and passion treated the audience to a heartwarming performance. Each song was unique and reflected the personal devotion and perspectives of the composers.

Clarck Neil Alcontin, 24, from Barangay Guadalupe, shared his experience of witnessing the competition, saying that it made him more aware of the religious icon's early life.

He added that during his years living in Carcar City, he only knew about Camomot as someone who healed the sickly but did not know much about his deeds and how he left a mark on the Carcaranons.

"I was enlightened and at the same time proud to know that there is a Carcaranon in the person of Venerable Camomot, who dedicated his lifetime to emulate God's love and kindness through these songs," he said.

Jay-Arr Librando's entry, "Clay in the Potter's Hands," clinched the grand prize, bagging P100,000 and a plaque and trophy. The song was interpreted by Jhesidy Thea Alberca, Dainsel Tara Lopez, and Jane Niña Quijano.

Angelo Morales placed second with his composition "Paragon of Virtue," receiving P70,000 and a plaque and trophy.

Riel Tabasa and Baby Tabasa-Suan secured the third spot with "Ang Diyos Anaa sa Atong Kasing-kasing," taking home P50,000 along with a plaque and trophy.

Their interpreters, Roy Tabasa, Riel Tabasa, Norman Tura, Sherwin Orehuela, and Rommel Manlosa, also received the Best Interpreters special award, bagging P10,000.

During the program, Archbishop Jose Palma, in his speech, said that the celebration is an opportunity to honor Camomot's life and legacy and inspire generations, as well as celebrate local talents.

Palma also expressed hope that when the time comes that the Vatican City will approve the beautification of Camomot, some of the AwiTeofilo songs will be performed during the holy rites at the St. Peter's Basilica.

"I would like to believe that some of the songs will be sung during that event," he said.

Meanwhile, Rev. Mo. Ma. Louella Grace Buscato, mother general of Daughters of St. Teresa (DST), announced that the proceeds of the event would be used for the construction of the Archbishop Teofilo B. Camomot Center of Spirituality Building within the DST compound, aiming to establish it as a sanctuary for reflection and spiritual guidance.

Camomot founded the DST. (KJF)

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