Legacy of good governance cited as Tingting laid to rest
For his family and friends, his body shall perish but the legacy of good governance instilled by former Cebu Gov. Vicente Ramon Jose Maria “Tingting” de la Serna shall remain.
De la Serna was laid to rest on Sunday morning, September 2, just a day after he succumbed to lung cancer shortly past midnight on Saturday.
He died only 12 days before he would turn 67 on September 13.
The former governor who was known as the “Champion of the Masses” was buried on top of his parents’ tomb in the family’s mausoleum at the Cebu Memorial Park in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City.
Salesian priest, Fr. Jhun Paradiang, who presided over the Requiem Mass for the De la Serna burial, encouraged his family to surrender the pain in prayers.
“I pray for his eternal repose and for his family because it is always difficult for the family who lost a loved one; in fact, the anchor of the family,” said Paradiang.
“As I know of him. It was very timely of the Responsorial Psalm, which says, ‘The just man will leave in the presence of the Lord’. We know that Tingting is a good man and at the end of the day, He (God) will be the one to judge us,” the priest added.
Paradiang also encouraged those who are in public service to emulate the examples of De La Serna in the process of their governance.
“Kanang maayo niyang hiyas, mao man na iyang legacy gyod. Ang tawo mamatay man, the good deeds will be their legacy,” Paradiang said.
The burial rites was an intimate one attended only by family members and close friends of the family.
Among the personalities present were Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera and former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
Rama was among those who carried De la Serna’s casket in placing his remains in the tomb.
“I have lost an authentic political adviser, and I have lost a real friend,” said Rama.
Rama said he knew the former governor way back in their college days and recalled that they used to let time pass under the shade of a tamarind tree inside the school campus.
He said that Tingting was a Velezian and one of the Sambag Boys, and that he was the only one riding a Mustang motorcycle at that time.
Rama said that he was praying for more of people in government service to be like De la Serna.
“Yes. Definitely. The 93-1 (land swap) deal, the father was Tingting. The concept of land to the landless was that of Tingting,” Rama said.
De la Serna was also among the prominent Cebuano activists and street parliamentarians who fought the dictator, then President Ferdinand Marcos, in the 1980s.
De la Serna was appointed as acting vice mayor of Mandaue City after the People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos regime in 1986.
He later served as congressman of the Cebu’s sixth district before he was elected Cebu governor in 1992.
Some colleagues remember him as a simple man who used to personally drive his motorcycle from his home in Mandaue City in going to the Cebu Provincial Capitol and back.
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