Wednesday, January 11, 2017

419. REV. FR. SIXTO M. MANALOTO: A Story of a Generous Soul

THE BENEVOLENT REVEREND. Rev. Fr. Sixto M. Manaloto, long-time cura parocco of San Bartolome Parish, Magalang, Pampanga. Signed photo given to Fr. Maximino Manuguid of Mabalacat. 1915.

The big-hearted Kapampangan religious with a reputation for his boundless generosity and his enduring passion to serve God and people was born Sixto Malino Manaloto on  6 July 1891 in Capas, Tarlac. Though Tarlac-born, Fr. Manaloto would make a lasting impression on Magaleños, serving their parish for an unprecedented period of nearly 30 years.

The young Sixto found God’s calling early in life, and at the age of 14, entered the Seminario de San Francisco Javier (the name given by the Jesuits, upon their return to the Philippines, to Colegio de San José) in 1905. In the beginning of the school year 1911-1912, Manaloto, along with seminarians Pedro Guevara, Felix Martin, Emilio de la Cruz and  Santiago Talavera, were admitted to San Carlos Seminary on Arzobispado Street beside the San Ignacio Church.

Hardly had he settled for a month in San Carlos when he and his fellow Carlistas were ordered to move back to San Francisco Javier as the Jesuit administration of San Carlos lapsed on 17 August 1911.  San Carlos would later be merged with San Francisco Javier Seminary on Padre Faura St., until the latter’s closure in 1913.

That same year, San Carlos Seminary was transferred by Manila Archbishop Jeremiah James Harty to a building in Mandaluyong, and would be put in the charge of the Paules (Vincentians) . It was here that Manaloto finished his studies in Sacred Theology and Philosophy. On 8 December 1915, feast of the Immaculate Conception, Sixto Manaloto was ordained into priesthood by Archbishop Harty himself.

Fresh from his ordination, the young prelate was sent off to Pangasinan to undertake his first assignments in the municipalities of Agno and Bani. Then , he hied off to his home province to minister in Victoria, Tarlac, and then secured assignments in Pampanga—first in Sta. Ana, and then, in 1923, in Magalang, succeeding Fr. Felipe Romero. There,  he would remain until his death.

As cura parocco of the San Bartolome Parish, Fr. Manaloto, he is known for his major restoration works on the ancient church, including the replacement of the supporting wooden columns of the lateral aisles with sturdier concrete cement posts.

He also opened a parochial school that served the youths of Magalang. Likewise, the good father sent poor, but deserving students to Manila, many of whom eventually returned as professionals and became leaders of the community. Fr. Manaloto also took  to raising foster children, a few of whom were his own nephews.  He lived to celebrate his sacerdotal silver jubilee of his ordination, with a big “boda de plata” party held in Magalang on 18 December 1940.

He died on 30 March 1952 at age 61, after serving his beloved adopted town for 29 years and 7 days. A commemorative plaque can be found in the church, which pays tribute to this magnanimous man of God and his selfless contribution to the spiritual upliftment of Magalang and its people.


Lance Eli Silva said...

I supposed it is now the right time for his virtues and holiness mase known to all Filipinos especially Kapampangans whom he serve. I guess, why not have his cause for beatification be considered by the Archdiocese of San Fernando?

Louie Aldrin Bartolo said...

Among Sixto was supposed to be executed by the Japanese during the war. But miraculous intervention of our patron saint, San Bartolome, he was able to escape from the brutality of Japanese.