Understanding what’s happening
The Cebu provincial government honored Resil B. Mojares with a very meaningful and warm testimonial dinner. The various speakers who gave testimonials helped us to know Resil B. Mojares better and made the young present realize what a treasure we have in this man and his work.
The chairperson of the USC Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and History, Ms. Delilah R. Labajo, shared what a wise and serene mentor he had been. She mentioned how awed she was at the beginning but how she grew to learn from sessions with him because of his simplicity and patience.
Dr. Hope S. Yu, while providing a very comprehensive presentation of the work of Resil B. Mojares, revealed what a principled and humble person he is. She narrated that this was her third attempt to nominate Mojares. His first and second refusal was due to his opposition to the National Artist Award. Finally, he left it up to Hope.
I was thrilled to hear that “House of Memory” was a favorite of Hope because I had bought four copies upon its launching, one of which I had given to Agape, Tony Lim and Kiddie Vasquez’s daughter. From this book I gathered and often share that the position of females in the early Asian Period was better than the period of colonization. Males at the time took the trouble of giving pleasure to the women.
Hope also mentioned “Brains of the Nation”. As a history teacher I valued this book because it brought Isabelo de los Reyes and Pedro Paterno closer, more real figures of our past.
Vice Governor Agnes A. Magpale talked about working with Resil B. Mojares for the more than 50 volumes of town histories.
That was of course a very big challenge with the many writers involved. With deadlines that kept on being moved and many other trials, but the town histories are there and we are the only province with such a collection. I rejoiced upon its completion because it is very much needed by our pupils. In the intermediate years, Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) deals with local history. Mayumi Villacastin-Maghuyop used the volume on Bantayan for our lesson on dynasty in Contemporary Issues Class in
Our Lady of Joy Learning Center. Having a brunch-meeting with Lani Echaves, Fe Reyes, and Madz de la Cerna in Philosophia, we’re glad to find out from Jojo Bersales that we could buy individual volumes there. In fact, Lani bought the volume on her father’s hometown.
As the Sangguniang Panlungsod presiding officer, Hon. Agnes A. Magpale read the resolution congratulating Dr. Resil B. Mojares for having been conferred the distinction of “National Artist for Literature.”
His response was totally fresh and beautiful. He narrated his life journey — from being a child born in Mindanao to parents who were teachers in Mindanao to his becoming a teacher in the University of San Carlos and then founding director of the Cebuano Studies Center. In the course of telling us about becoming of Cebu, he was also narrating the story of the Filipino. I loved his story of the family making what was then a complicated trip from Dipolog to Ginatilan, his mother’s home town for the fiesta of San Gregorio. His amusement over an uncle’s suggestions of the banquets to visit was a reminder of the fun families he had as they circulated among relatives in such homecomings. From Silliman University he moved to the University of San Carlos because some had opposed his being in a Protestant school. Such a pre-Vatican II perspective reminded me of being told not to study in UP because I might lose my vocation.
Resil B. Mojares declared: “I found myself deeply involved in studies pertaining to Cebu and Cebuanos.” Without him, what would have happened to our search for understanding of the Cebuano, their past and the present?
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