“Una kong ginawa, binigyan ko sya ng makakagat, tapos hinugasan ko yung sugat para matanggal yung asin,” he says. “Then, pinasok ko yung bituka tapos tinahi ko. After ko tahiin, pinahatid ko sa Tabako, Albay, which was around three hours away kasi dun may hospital.”
For a brief moment as he played doctor, Father Borromeo forgot that he was a priest. Just before the man was whisked away he called him back to hear his confession before finally sending him off.
The man survived and often acted as Father Borromeo’s bodyguard after he recovered, to protect him from the “crazies.”
“’E ikaw ang number one loko-loko-dito e,’” Father Borromeo told him.
The priest has several other stories about the intersection of medicine and spirituality in his vocation. There was a time when he blessed a mixture of coconut water, salt, and regular water to give to a patient who was clearly dehydrated. During his next mass people brought bottles of their own water for him to bless, believing it to be a kind of “magic cure-all.” Then there was another time he was awakened in the middle of the night by a man who said his wife was sick. Father Borromeo hurriedly got dressed and went with the man. They had been walking for almost 30 minutes when the priest asked the man what was wrong with his wife. It turns out she was pregnant and her water just broke.
“Sabi ko, ‘Bakit ako ang tinawag mo?! Tumawag ka ng midwife o komadrona. Pag pinanganak na, saka mo ko tawagan para binyagan ko.’”
But the most memorable incident that established Father Borromeo’s reputation as a healer was when he was asked to perform last rites to a man who was on his deathbed. When he got to the house, he saw people working on the man’s coffin. The priest was told that the man had just been waiting for him before he finally succumbed to his illness and died.
He was invited to merienda before he left the house. But about halfway through his journey back home, someone caught up to him breathless and excited—the man father Borromeo had just blessed and who they all watched die, had apparently come back to life.
“Kaya kapag dumadaan ako dun, I would say, ‘O, Mang Eliong, kamusta po kayo?’ Sagot nya, ‘Mabuti naman, Father. Sabi ko, ‘Asan na yung kabaong mo? Sabi niya, ‘Andiyan Father. Gusto mo sa ‘yo na?’”
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'Momoy Resonance Imagine'
After his near-death experience in Sariaya, Father Borromeo’s abilities became even more pronounced. People would approach him after mass and oftentimes, he could “see” inside their bodies and could usually tell them what was wrong with them. The priest could not explain exactly how he was able to do what he does, but because he had a lot of questions, it led him to study further and pursue a doctorate degree on Applied Cosmic Anthroplogy.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“Ewan ko,” he laughs. “It’s anthropology, but on a cosmic perspective.”
Father Borromeo familiarized himself with medical terms and learned basic anatomy, being able to identify body parts and learning to tell if an internal organ isn’t quite working as it’s supposed to using what he calls his own version of MRI: Momoy’s Resonance Imaging. Unlike an X-Ray which is in black and white and two-dimensional, his “gift” allows him to see inside a person in color.
“Kaya yung mga walang masyadong pambayad sa MRI, pinapatingnan sa ‘kin,” he says. “Nakikita ko naman.”
I ask him how accurate his Momoy-R.I. is compared to the actual MRI.
“Sometimes, it’s more accurate than the actual MRI. Most of the time, it’s more accurate than a biopsy,” he says. “Bakit more accurate? Kasi, yung biopsy, ‘pag kukuha ka ng tissue sa organ, iba na kasi yung situation ng tissue sa loob ng katawan mo kesa sa labas. Kasi pag sa loob ng katawan, dinadaluyan yan ng dugo, oxygen, ng electrical impulses. Kapag nilabas na yan, nilagay sa dish, tapos titingnan mo sa miscroscope, iba na ang sitwasyon.
“Ang tawag ko dito cognosis, not diagnosis,” he adds. “It’s like, consciousness, plus -gnosis, or knowing. So compassionate knowing.”
The priest asks me about Deal or No Deal, the old TV game show where a contestant needs to guess what’s inside a set of briefcases in order to find the one carrying the grand prize, which was often in the millions of pesos. Watching the show on TV, he says he could actually “see” inside the briefcases and could guess, every time, where the jackpot money was hidden.
He says he was actually invited to play the game one time as a contestant by then-ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez, before he realized he didn’t want the burden of winning all that money, which would probably be gone quickly anyway after he gives everyone their “balato” or a piece of the winnings.
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“Di ba success is relative,” he says. “The more success you have, the more relatives you have.”
On a more serious note, Father Borromeo says he’s established relationships with actual doctors and medical professionals, who often refer their patients to him, just as he refers his “healees” to them.
During the pandemic, his face-to-face consultations were considerably lessened, but he said he worked around it through virtual conferencing like Zoom.
“Monday and Wednesday usually ginagawa ko,” he says. “Naghe-healing ako. General muna, and then we go into breakout rooms, one by one, or family by family.”
He says there has been plenty of testimonies from the people he claims to have healed.
“There was one from New York, may cancer. Na-heal siya after several sessions,” he says. “Ganun din yung isa sa L.A. There’s one from Japan, matagal nang walang anak, nagka-anak. Those are just some of the cases.”
What exactly does he do to “heal” people?
“Wala naman. I just pray over them,” he says. “After the mass, magpe-pray over ako. Hindi ko naman nalalaman kung paano sila naghe-heal, kasi hindi naman ako ang naghe-heal. Nire-refer ko lang naman sa Kanya.” He points up.