About Fr. Josemaria Salutan Luengo

By Atoy Cosap

Relatives and friends of the late Rev. Fr. Josemaria Salutan Luengo can bid their last farewell on Tuesday before he will be laid to rest at the Tubigon Catholic Cemetery after a requiem mass at 9 a.m. at the St. Isidore Parich Church in Tubigon, Bohol .

Fr. Luengo, who had been an inspiration to many, passed away last August 29, due to complications following a stroke in 2004.  It maybe recalled that sometime in 2000, Fr. Luengo undergone a heart by-pass operation in the United States.

Some of his greatest legacies of being a priest, educator, and philanthropist were the establishments of Mater Dei College and Salus Institute of Technology in Cabulijan, Tubigon, Bohol.  He also supported the studies of some deserving youth who later became priests, CPAs, mentors, engineers and other professionals.

Oyong as he fondly called by his relatives and friends, Fr. Luengo founded Mater Dei College in 1983 and Salus institute of Technology in 1998.  Now, the schools have expanded as the enrollment keeps on increasing every semester or school year.

Fr. Luengo was a historian.  He authored several books urging the Boholanos to preserve cultural heritage.  In fact, he wrote book claiming that the first treaty of friendship between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi was done in Loay, Bohol and not at Bool District, Tagbilaran City .

He was a linguist, can speak and write in Visayan, Tagalog, English, French, Latin, Greek, and Italian; and has comprehension in German, Portuguese, Niponggo, Chinese and Arabic.

Fr. Luengo was ordained priest at the age of 26 by Francis Cardinal Speliman of New York during the National Eucharistic Congress in Manila on November 30, 1956.  His first assignment was at the Diocese of Tagbilaran.

Luengo finished his masteral and doctoral degrees in the famous universities in America and Europe.
Fr. Luengo's deeds serve as an inspirations to the poor who hunger for knowledge in this commercialized system of education.