87th Charter Day: Commemorating Cebu City’s founding anniversary

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 13,2024 - 01:30 PM

Charter Day Cebu City

A statue of Vicente Rama, considered the father of Cebu City.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — This coming February 24, 2024 marks the 87th Charter Day of the City of Cebu.

It was in 1937 that the city received its charter after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama’s grandfather and legislator, Vicente Rama, authored a bill that led to its cityhood.

Cebu City Charter Day overview

To trace back, in the book entitled, “The Vicente Rama Reader: An Introduction for Modern Readers,” Vicente presented to the National Assembly the Bill No. 1428 in August 1936.

Vicente Rama said that he authored the bill with the aim “to create the city of Cebu and to abolish the long-standing municipal government.”

READ MORE: Charter Day bonus: City Hall workers may get P25,000 incentive

During that time, he served as an assemblyman of the fourth district of Cebu, which was made up of Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, and Alcoy after he won the 1935 elections.

Vicente said that he had ‘no hidden agenda’ in presenting that bill.

“All I wanted was for Cebu to take her place alongside Manila and Baguio, which already had their own charters and were moving along progressively,” he wrote.

He added that his optimism to present the bill before the National Assembly stemmed after his fellow assemblymen asked him when the Cebuano representatives would submit the proposal making Cebu a chartered city.

At that time, the assembly already approved the charter for Zamboanga, Davao, and Iloilo.

“There was no apparent reason—Cebu was already a municipality at the time and quite a large one, comparatively rich and progressive. Hence my wonderful optimism in presenting the bill before the National Assembly that August,” he penned.

Vicente narrated that then Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon signed his bill into law on October 20, 1936 ‘which may now be found in every book of the nation’s laws under Commonwealth Act No. 58.’

On February 24, 1937, the City of Cebu was inaugurated.

From then, Vicente has been hailed as the Father of Cebu City.

Cebu Charter day, a local holiday

To honor the founding anniversary of the Queen City of the South, every 24th of February is declared as a Special Non-working Holiday by virtue of Republic Act 7287.

The late Corazon Aquino approved the holiday on March 24, 1992.

The Cebu City Government held the Charter Day’s opening salvo last Feb. 1 at the Plaza sa Katawhan in the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City.

In his speech, the chair of Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC) and Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said that the Charter Day celebration is not complete without ‘remembering and honoring’ Vicente.

On February 24,  Cultural and Historical Affairs Office (CHAO) told CDN Digital that there will be a mass, wreath-laying ceremony. While the testimonial dinner for private individuals who have made great contributions to the city is set on the 22nd.

There will also be an awarding ceremony for Cebu City’s Outstanding Institutions and Individuals. As of Feb. 2, the CHAC has started accepting nominations for the said awards.

Moreover, some of the events that the public can look forward to are the oratorical contest and a free concert by ‘Yukbo: The Revival’ on Feb. 25.

On Monday, Feb. 12, the CHAO also conducted the ‘on-the-spot’ poster-making contest where students in Cebu City showcased their artistry to the theme: Embracing the City of Delights, Sights, and Lights.

The poster-making event took place at the Sinulog Hall of Rizal Memorial Library & Museum Building.

With reference from:

Rama, V., & Madrid, R. E. (2003). The Vicente Rama Reader: An Introduction for modern readers. Ateneo de Manila University Press.




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TAGS: Cebu City, Charter Day

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