By J. Jala | 12:32 PM March 30, 2021
Fr. Valentino Dumagan Darunday passed away on Monday in Quezon City. He was 88.
The Catholic’s priest’s death was disclosed by the official Facebook page of Society of the Divine Word, where Darunday served as a priest for 63 years.
“The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) announces with great sorrow the demise of Fr. Valentino Darunday, SVD at 1:59 am today, March 29, Holy Monday,” read the post.
“Fr. Val would have been 89 in July this year. He was born in Alburquerque, Bohol and has been a priest for 63 years, having served in USC, Cebu, Legazpi, Los Banos and Catholic Trade Manila,” it added.
The Darunday family also asked their family and friends to pray for the eternal repose of his soul.
“In the kindness of your hearts, please pray for the eternal repose of his soul,” former Tagbilaran City Councilor Romie Darunday-Bullecer posted in Facebook.
Darunday-Bullecer also wrote about her brother whom she fondly called “Manoy Val”:
Manoy VAL, as what our family fondly called Fr. VAL Darunday, left this world on covid time, making void his plan of making us, his family attend his funeral at Christ The King Cemetery. This is where he intended to be laid to rest beside his SVD brother priests. Manoy was never afraid of death and he kept reminding his siblings about the place where he would be buried. And now his wish is fulfilled.
But who was Manoy VAL? The eldest of eight children in our family, we, his siblings looked up to him as our real, big brother, who was good-humored and mischievous. It would always show as we huddled around him in intimate chitchat, that we would burst into laughter with his incredibly funny stories. Oh, how we loved those fun times with our Manoy Val! He was one of a kind, with boundless joy and mirth, warmth and love.
Serving as an SVD priest for the past 63 years, sent him to the University of San Carlos in Cebu; Divine Word College of Legaspi; St. Therese of The Child Jesus Parish of UP Los Baños; Catholic Trade School in Manila, in some parishes in Metro Mla, humbly serving these mission assignments in various capacities. Some years back, he began to minister to The Lord’s Flock, ( TLF ) a Catholic Charismatic Community as Spiritual Adviser, and Mass- Presider, never absent, inspite of some health constraints. He ministered to this group with so much dedication and fervor as befits a true disciple of Christ.
There was in him this idealism, a consuming need to humbly serve his brethren that he became so endeared to this TLF Community, touching their lives in so many ways. Loads of thanks to their leaders and members for all their love, prayers and support for Manoy Val.
Fr. Val is remembered as a generous and attentive shepherd who kept in touch with his friends, their spouses, their children, nephews and nieces, who valued the friendships of so many, like his well- loved friends Roland and wife Limay, deeply grieving Fr. Val’s passing like orphans and feeling like they have lost a father. They have found in him a real true and humble friend, with his love, understanding and care.
Manoy Val, we realize we have gained much from your life which resonates beyond words. You are really a priest after God’s heart. Your life was lived in the light of the gospel – forgetting your own-it was a life for others. The outpouring of sentiments thru social media, within a few hours of your passing, shows how much loved you are by so many, whose lives you have touched! We all love you, Manoy. You will be dearly missed.
From the Darunday Family, we wish to thank all our brothers and sisters, our relatives, even friends from afar off, for your expressions of sympathy; words of condolence; for sharing family stories of how Fr. Val’s simple words and acts of kindness had changed your lives, gestures of assistance and ripples of personal remembrances – all these providing relief from our sense of loss. We would like to thank profusely the SVD Superiors for facilitating everything on behalf of my family who couldn’t be beside our dear Manoy even at his last moments. Thank you to the SVD Community for the love and care for Fr. Val all these years and taking him as your own.
Thank you also to the Doctors and medical staff of Lourdes Hospital for doing all their best to help Manoy. Also my family’s million thanks to Manoy’s very dependable caregiver, Toto (Lito) Manalo.
And above all, our biggest thanks to God Almighty for the precious gift that Fr. Val was to all of us, and for giving our dearest Manoy Val, a peaceful and happy death. Lord, thank You for giving Fr. VAL, the best rest in the Light of Your love… “
“Well done, good and faithful servant;… enter into the joy of your Lord.” -Matt. 25:21.