CEBU City Councilor Antonio Cuenco hopes that the Cebu City Charter Day celebration will continue to symbolize unity for the Cebuanos.
“I hope the Charter Day unites Cebuanos more than ever despite the problems we have, like heavy traffic, illegal drugs, mass assassination,” said Cuenco, now 83 years old. He was was born on the year the Municipality of Cebu was changed into Cebu City.
On Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, Cebu City celebrated its 83rd Charter Day at Plaza Sugbo.
On March 24, 1992, Republic Act 7287 declared Feb. 24 of every year as a special nonworking holiday in Cebu City to celebrate its founding anniversary.
Since its original founding as a Spanish colony in 1565, Cebu remained a town until it was inaugurated as a chartered city on Feb. 24, 1937 under the presidency of Manuel L. Quezon. The author of the Cebu City Charter was Don Vicente Rama.
For his part, Vice Mayor Michael Rama, Don Vicente’s grandson, vowed to uphold the name of his grandfather “who single-handedly fought for Cebu City Hall.” “While I am alive and in the government, up to the last drop of my blood, I will never allow anyone to desecrate the memory of Don Vicente Rama,” he said.
On that note, he said, “A Rama will always be emotional every Cebu City Charter Day celebration.” At the commemoration, Mayor Edgardo Labella assured that the efforts of Don Vicente will not be in vain by making sure that Cebu City Hall employees under his administration will uphold accountability in public service.
The Cebu City Government during the celebration also acknowledged outstanding Cebuanos.
Plaques of recognition were given to nine topnotchers from Cebu City who excelled in licensure examinations.
Five centenarians were honored and given P100,000 in cash.
The City awarded a Plaque of Appreciation to Teofila Castino for her 45-year service in the Cebu City Hall.
Finally, through the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (Chac), the City’s highest recognition, the Order of Rajah Humabon Award went to multi-awarded writer and national artist for literature Dr. Resil Mojares.
Other awardees: Cebuano rock band Missing Filemon was cited as Oustanding Institution, while Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) executive director Crisologo Caparoso and the first Filipino marathoner to conquer the World Marathon Challenge Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III were Outstanding Individuals.
Business tycoons Jon Ramon Aboitiz, John Lim Gokongwei Jr. and Henry Sy Sr.; veteran radio personality and politician Julian “Teban” Daan and Genaro Baisac Jr. were given posthumous awards.
Mayor’s Special Awards were presented to Police Major Chuck Barandog, multi-awarded industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue, shipping magnate Chester Cokaliong, Chong Hua hopsital administrator Dean Decal, former Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 director Police Brigadier General Valeriano de Leon, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino, Monorealty Inc. chairman Manuel Mendoza, Visayan Electric Company chief operating officer Anton Mari Perdices, Cebuano designer Cary Santiago, former PRO 7 director Police Major Gen. Debold Sinas, Cebu City Police Office Director Police Col. Engelbert Soriano, Benjamin Sun Sr., Sinulog Foundation Inc., Councilors Dave Tumulak and Phillip Zafra, and the University of San Carlos. (JJL)