BISHOP EMERITUS TOMAS A. CAMACHO BIOGRAPHY
Tomas Aguon Camacho came into this world on September 18, 1933. He was literally home-born in Garapan as well as home grown. With his arrival, his parents were thoroughly overjoyed. Not only because the long-awaited nine months of anticipation had finally arrived, but also because of the excitement blended with almost uncontrollable curiosity to discover their newborn’s gender!
Unlike today where we have the sophistication of modern technology to already know what a child’s gender is way even before delivery, the new and budding Camacho family of Tun Bidat and Tan Maria were all eyes and ears to find out just what their new ‘bundle of joy’ might be – is it a boy? Is it a girl?
Of Baby Tomas’ arrival, nothing else of any spectacular proportions happened that day. And, even if there were, it is doubtful that it would overshadow today’s event anyhow.
It could probably be safely guessed that Tun Bidat and Tan Maria considered themselves richly blessed to see their family increase and multiply. Apparently their generation and those before them truly take to heart God’s commandment in the Book of Genesis of the Old Testament to “be fruitful and multiply.” To such generations, children are seen primarily as blessings from God rather than obstacles or even hindrances as perceived by some in today’s world.
For now though, with the entrance of Tomas, their fourth child, into the family, the score has evened out between the Camacho couple – two boys and two girls to their name. Eventually, Tun Bidat and Tan Maria were to be blessed with a total of eight children, products of their matrimonial love together.
As in most situations of parents, one can only dream of and dream for their offspring. They can only project and visualize what is to become of each of their children. That is only as far as they can go.
Being good and wonderful parents that they were, it is safe to assume that they prayed for each child. Only Tun Bidat probably never imagined that the child born today was not meant to perpetuate his family name as he had probably dreamed of. Rather, this particular child responded to a much higher calling - that from the Lord Himself - to forsake all others for the sake of the Kingdom, and be consecrated to become the first and the highest ranking prelate and servant of the Catholic Church here in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa. Rather than perpetuate his own family name, he was called upon instead to perpetuate the name of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom on earth.
On September 22, 1933, a short four days after his birth, as was the general practice in those days due to frequent unavailability of a bishop’s presence at times, Tomas was baptized and confirmed on the same day. In his baptism, he was made an adopted child of God and an official member of the Church, as well as the erasure of original sin from his soul.
The infant Tomas was baptized by Palé Jose Maria Tardio, a very well-known and well-liked Spanish Jesuit priest and pastor. As his baptism fell on the feast day of St. Tomas Villanueva, a Spanish bishop, he was given the same name of “Tomas.”