Cebu Celebrates Don Sergio Osmeña’s 141st Birthday

Acting Mayor, Michael Rama on Monday enjoined Cebuanos to remember the best examples of the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr. to instill good manners and right conduct on the youth, as the province celebrates the 141st birth anniversary of the “Grand Old Man of Cebu”.

Rama led the officials and employees of the city government, the military, police, and other government agencies in commemorating Don Sergio Osmeña’s birth anniversary starting with a Holy Mass followed by a short program along the corner of Osmeña Boulevard and Lapu-Lapu Street in the downtown area here.

“I will remind all of you with my advocacy, gising Pilipinas! I will repeat, gising Pilipinas! Let’s bring back good manners and right conduct in the manners of Don Sergio,” Rama said in his speech delivered on behalf of Mayor Edgardo Labella who is on an official trip to Xiamen, China.

Rama cited Don Sergio’s example in bringing good stories about Cebu, rather than sad stories about drugs.

“Stop counting dead people in the name of Don Sergio. Stop bringing to the newspaper (stories about) thousands, from millions to billions of shabu. But rather bring stories of success, stories of recognition, stories of rehabilitation, in the name of Don Sergio,” he pointed out.

Since 1990, September 9 of every year has been a special non-working holiday in the Province of Cebu by virtue of Republic Act 6953 signed by the late President Corazon Aquino, to commemorate the birth of Don Sergio.

The law amending Batas Pambansa 937, however, declared a special working public holiday in the rest of the country on the same day.

Rama, along with the Osmeña clan, soldiers from the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and officials from the Philippine National Police led a floral offering on the bust of the late former president.

Margarita Matheu, commissioner of the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC), recalled in her message during the program how the Grand Old Man expressed to the Cebuanos his vision for Cebu.

She narrated how Don Sergio answered the questions from many of his friends why he built his house with a very wide setback off the main road, saying that Cebu would need wider roads in the future to cater to more cars due to advancement and modernization.

Don Sergio’s grandson, former Mayor Tomas Osmeña, and son, Ramon Miguel, attended the program but did not stay long.

Tomas is the son of the late Mayor Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr., son of Don Sergio. He is the brother of former Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III. His other siblings are Maria Victoria, Esteban and Georgia.

Don Sergio was born on Sept. 9, 1878 in what is now known as the “Osmeña Marker” along the corner of Lapu-Lapu Street and Osmeña Boulevard. He served as the fourth President of the Philippines from 1944, succeeding Manuel L. Quezon who died during the height of World War II.

Prior to his accession to the presidency, Don Sergio served as governor of Cebu from 1906 to 1907, member and first Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1907 to 1922, and senator from the 10th Senatorial District for thirteen years during which he served as Senate president pro tempore.

He has other grandsons who became prominent politicians other than Serge and Tomas. They were former Cebu Governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña and former Senator John Henry Osmeña who won the mayorship of Toledo City in the 2013 election, but lost in the May 2019 election.

Tomas sought re-election in the last mid-term elections but he was defeated by his former political ally, now Mayor Edgardo Labella. (PNA)

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