LUBAO -- Government officials led by Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab placed flowers before the monument of former president Diosdado Macapagal, whose 105th birthday was commemorated on Monday.

The event was attended by Macapagal's children, former Vice Governor Cielo Macapagal-Salgado and Diosdado Macapagal, Jr., and National Historical Commission Vice President Carminda Arevalo.

Cayabyab said that the event calls into memory the legacy of the late president.

She added that the legacy of the former President had prompted the Municipal Government of Lubao to rename the Most Outstanding Lubaoeño into the the Diosdado Macapagal Awards. Cayabyab said that the late President has shown an example of good leadership that could serve as model for current government officials.

Macapagal won the presidency in 1961 over then incumbent Carlos Garcia.

He ran for re-election in 1965 but lost to then Senator Ferdinand Marcos. It took nearly four decades for another Macapagal to occupy Malacanang, in the person of his daughter, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in January 2001.

Macapagal Jr. said that he is thankful for the honor accorded to his father every year.

He added that keeping alive the memory of former leaders could help in educating the younger generation of their local history.

Macapagal-Salgado, meanwhile, narrated the story of the late president and the challenge of then Don Honorio Ventura, the philanthropist who helped that former president get an education.

She added that the challenge of Ventura was for the late president to be among honest politicians of the country.

She added that the track record of the former president could serve as an example for aspiring politicians.

She said that people should base their standards of selection of candidates on the good qualities of the former President.

She said that people should look at the programs and character of candidates and not sell their votes for money.

Macapagal-Salgado that the late president has achieved a lot during his term.

She added that politicians today should be inspired to do more and learn from the achievements of former officials who have done well for the country.

She said Apung Dadong was responsible for numerous laws including the Rural Act, which established Rural Health Centers all over the country, and Minimum Wage Law for workers and laborers. (With reports from Chris Navarro/Sun.Star Pampanga)