Rama: Remember Don Sergio by emulating his life
CEBU CITY, Philippines–The celebration of the late president Sergio Osmeña Sr.’s 141st birth anniversary was kept very simple.
Members of the Osmeña clan including former mayor Tomas Osmeña and his son, Miguel, joined the floral opening that served as highlight of the hour-long activity, but the former did not stay long.
In his message, acting Mayor Michael Rama said that Cebuanos should never forget the relevance of the celebration.
“(A) celebration like this should be awaited. Celebration like this should be prepared for. There is no one like President Sergio,” he said.
He also expressed dismay on the failure of other city officials to attend the gathering while he chided City Hall employees, some of whom only came to sign their attendance.
“What celebration should it be when some of you came just for the attendance. I feel so sad,” Rama said.
Rama delivered the city government’s message on behalf of Mayor Edgardo Labella, who was on a foreign trip. Other city officials who were present were Councilors Alvin Dizon and Donaldo Hontiveros.
“Many are called. Only a few elected officials came over. I wish all of you will ponder (on the significance of the commemoration),” Rama added.
Members of the Osmeña clan, city officials and government employees gathered at the corner of Lapu-Lapu Street and Osmeña Boulevard where a marker that remind Cebuanos of the very same area where the grand old man was born, could be found. The celebration started with an early morning Mass that was followed by a short program and floral offering.
In a response which he delivered on behalf of the Osmeña family, Rogelio Osmeña Jr., spoke of Don Sergio’s efforts “in achieving the independence of our country.”
“In 1907, at the age of 29, he (the late president Osmeña) burst upon the Philippine national scene as the official leader and spokesman of the Philippines. I like to highlight his efforts He was soon acknowledged the best interpreter to his people of America’s presence and purpose in the Philippines,” he said.
“More than anyone else, American or Filipino, he wedded Filipino nationalism and American imperialism together into a movement that directly resulted in the world’s first negotiated and peaceful independence of a colony from a colonial power. Truly he has made a great impression of where our country stands now.”
Before he ended his message, Rogelio Osmeña Jr. mentioned a quote from the inaugural address which Don Sergio’s delivered in 1994 which says that “we shall as a free and nation fulfill our duties not only to ourselves but also to the entire freedom-loving world by participating in the establishment and preservation of a just peace for the benefit of mankind.”
Rama said that the life of the late president, who completed his law degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 1903 and placed 2nd in the Philippine Bar Examinations in the same year, is worth emulating.
Osmeña Sr. was elected the country’s fourth president. He served from 1944 to 1946. Before that he also served in various government posts from 1903 to April 1946 and held the position of municipal councilor of Cebu in 1903.
A year later, he was appointed fiscal of Cebu, a position held until 1905 when he became Cebu governor.
His other positions included Cebu 2nd district representative and Speaker of the House of Representatives (1907-1922); senator for 10th Senatorial district (1923-1935); Senate President pro tempore (1922-1933); vice president (Nov. 15, 1935-August 1944); secretary of public instruction, health and public welfare; and president until April 1946. | dcb
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