Msgr. Cirilo Dumagan Darunday Jr. passed away quietly on April 18, 2019, cradled in the loving arms of family on a Holy Thursday, at the time of Last Supper, fully at peace with God and everyone. He is now in the presence of the Lord, whom he faithfully served, with joy and gladness, all his priestly life. We deeply mourn his passing, for the unique and special ways he had touched our lives.
Who was Msgr. Siloy; Ingco Siloy; Silex;“Goobie-goobie”; “Areglado” (the many names given by family and friends)? The following is a heartwarming tribute to one commanding figure, a fine, honest, humble, truly dedicated servant of the Lord. Here is his life’s story as a priest, and all his humble achievements:
He was born in Tagbilaran City, to parents Cirilo Darunday Sr. and Abundia Dumagan, on February 9, 1936. After graduating as valedictorian at the Saint Joseph Academy (now Holy Spirit School), he took his secondary course at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, where he also graduated on top of his class. Not many know that he finished BSE (Bachelor of Arts in Education), major in English and Spanish, at Divine Word College (now Holy Name University). What most have knowledge of was his studies at the San Carlos Major Seminary in Cebu City, where he finished his philosophy and theology. He was ordained priest at the St. Joseph Cathedral in Tagbilaran City, on April 20, 1960.
Msgr. Darunday’s first assignment after ordination was in Bacolod City, as professor at the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary. He came back to Tagbilaran in 1961, where he was assigned Assistant Parish Priest of St. Joseph Cathedral until 1965. Simultaneously, he acted as School Director of SVI in Maribojoc (1964-65), and was also later designated School Director of Holy Child Academy in Ubay (1965-68). He became the Parish Priest of Dauis (1968-71), and then in Taloto Parish (1978-83). From 1969-1990 Msgr. Darunday was Superintendent of the Bohol Association of Catholic Schools (BACS). During these years, he was also National President of PRISAA (1971), and was appointed Dean of Studies, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (1971-75).
Needing more exposure for a vocation, he wanted to be adept at, he went to the United States in 1983, and was designated Associate Pastor of Saint Brigid’s Parish and Epiphany Parish of San Francisco, USA, until 1988. Coming back to Bohol, he was again appointed BACS Superintendent until 1993. From 1988 to 2003, he was the chairman of the Diocesan Commission on Education. Also in 1988, a new challenge was accorded to him when he was elected Manager of Boheco II based in Jagna.
From 1989 to 1992, he served as Rector of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, and Vicar General of the Cathedral (1992-97). As chairman of the Diocesan Formator’s team, he spearheaded the renovation of the Cathedral, especially the wings of the Church, the construction of which, many believed, buttressed the strength of the Cathedral, making it withstand the devastating earthquake which struck Bohol in 2013. He also renovated the front doors and façade of the Cathedral, the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, landscaped its vicinity, and added a third floor to the Rectory. From 1997 to 2001, he was assigned as Parish Priest of Loboc, while serving as Honorary Prelate and Vicar General of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, at the same time, board member of Feed the Children and Bohol Light Utilities, Inc. He also served as Parish Priest of Dao, Santa Cruz Church, starting year 2002.
In culture and the arts, Msgr. Darunday had consistently exhibited competence. He was one of the organizers of the original Singing Priests of San Francisco, and with his able help, the groupsuccesfullyrecorded two albums. The group’s singing tour of the USA, grossed more than a million pesosgate receipts, the proceeds of which were donated to the Diocesan Seminary of Taloto (1985-88). He was also the founding president of Toastmasters International, Bohol Chapter, initiated and constructed the Loboc Museum, which opened on May 24, 1998. He was also instrumental in the proclamation of Loboc Church and Rectory as National Historical Site. He was a key person in the successful celebration of “Loboc 400”.
He was involved in the cooperative movement and served as chairman of the Bohol Diocesan Multipurpose Cooperative (BDMPC). He made this insignificant coop a multi-enterprise, receiving two national recognitions for this in 1992, which are — Most Outstanding Coop (Manila), “Tulong sa Tao Award of DBP” (DILG-Pangasinan). Msgr. Siloy was the founder of the BDMPC Funeral Homes, which brought to the City and Province cheaper funeral costs. He established the Loboc Federation Cooperatives, composed at that time of 27 fledgling barangay coops. For these achievements in cooperative development, he was awarded “Outstanding Coop Leader” of the year 1999.
A believer that social action is one of the best expressions of a true Christian, he always had time for local, national and international concerns. He was the chairman of the Bohol Alliance of Concerned Citizens and Preserve the Constitution Movement of Bohol. As member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine National Red Cross, he was a recipient of the Dona Aurora Quezon National Red Cross Award. As chairman of Life Philippines Foundation, he spearheaded several free clinics and medical services in several barangays in the province from 1990 to 2003. He also successfully coordinated the medical mission of Northern California in 1999, serving 11,500 patients. Even in sports, his brand of service was extensive. He revived enthusiasm in tennis at the town of Loboc, bringing the youth and inviting them to athletics. He was the able Spiritual Director of the San Francisco USA Pilgrims to the Holy Land, Rome, and Lourdes, Francein 1999. Three years later, he led another pilgrimage to Central Europe and Italy.
Msgr. Darunday had been accorded several awards. In August 2001, he was awarded as One of the Outstanding Alumni of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary. But he treasured most the award given by Pope Paul II, Protonotary Apostolic Sopranumeray (P.A.) on November 30, 2000.
He is survived by his brother, Fr. Val Darunday, SVD; four sisters, Romie, Sally, Prud and Macy; in-laws, nephews and nieces.
Yes, we deeply mourn the passing of this iconic servant of God. Today, we mourn and grieve and cry because he is leaving us, but in our hearts and minds, Msgr. Siloy’s memory will remain alive. His candle may have burnt out, but he had lit a thousand candles that will go on spreading the light through his incredible legacy as a humble servant of God, which will continue to live on.