LATE Senator Sotero Baluyut’s memory lives on, as the City of San Fernando unveiled a bust monument in honor of the former statesman near the city hall.
Outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Mayor Edwin Santiago led the unveiling of the Bust Monument of Sotero Baluyut in a bridge named after the late leader in Barangay Sto. Rosario.
Baluyut was born in the city in 1889 and was known for his career in public service. He was an assistant engineer of Pampanga and Cavite in 1911 under the then Bureau of Public Works, and served as secretary of both Interior and Public Works.
He also held several positions in the provincial Capitol and neighboring towns. He was a governor of Pampanga and senator of the third senatorial district covering the provinces of Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Bulacan.
According to Santiago, Baluyut is one of the pillars of infrastructure in the country and the City Government continues to be inspired by his works.
“Malaki ang imprastraktura sa isang lugar in terms of economic development. Ito yung nagbibigay ng ‘drive’ sa isang lugar. Ipinapaalala sa atin ni Sotero Baluyut, bilang isang inhinyero, kung gaano natin kailangan ang infrastructure, na ngayon, ginagawa natin sa Syudad San Fernando,” he said.
Arroyo, for her part, shared some of Baluyut’s prominent works in the province and the country that benefited the Kapampangans and Filipinos.
“Si Sotero Baluyut ang unang nagpasulong ng kauna-unahang concrete road dito sa bansa -- ang Apalit-Mabalacat, na naging parte ng MacArthur Highway. Siya rin ang nag-design ng tulay na ito (Baluyut Bridge), at nanguna sa pagpapagawa ng Dalton Pass (San Jose-Sta. Fe road),” she said.
The House Speaker also shared that Baluyut and his father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal, worked together in the Public Works. Baluyut then became one of Arroyo’s godfathers and both shared good memories in the past.
One of Sotero’s descendants, Engr. Prospero Baluyut, extended his gratitude to the City Government for remembering the legacies of the late leader and for making him part of the history of San Fernando.
Prior to the activity, the City Government also held a thanksgiving mass for the success of Pyestang Fernandino at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando, through San Fernando Archbishop Most. Rev. Florentino Lavarias as the main celebrant.
Also gracing the activity were Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, City of San Fernando-LGU heads of offices, Pyesta Executive Committee members, City of San Fernando Arts and Culture Council members, Pampanga masons, and other Baluyut family members.