AFTER the killing of Presidente Municipal Benito Ceniza and the return to relative normalcy under the American rule in the country, another progeny of the Perezes became head of the Municipal Government of Mandaue (with the title of Capitan Municipal) in the person of Felix Ceniza.
It was not a surprise that the family of Felix Ceniza and his forebears became Catholics, as did all the Mandauehanons. For the Roman Catholic Church made Mandaue a bulwark to spread Catholicism to northern Cebu starting with Consolacion and Liloan.
Again, to the credit of the Perez clan, very few are aware that Capitan Felix Ceniza donated tracts of land for the building of a new church and public market for Mandaue. In fact, to honor his generosity, the Roman Catholic Church ordered his remains buried beneath the altar of the St. Joseph Parish church.
This is a characteristic virtue of the Perez clan, which has enabled it to last for 30 years. This strong sense of community coupled with the Perezes’ industry, intelligence and vision enabled them to make outstanding contributions to the community even as they themselves were able to advance their stations in life.
It is a paradox that the previous colonizers left the Filipinos with priceless legacies. From the Spaniards they got their Christian religion and culture, the Spanish language and education--factors which have enabled the Filipinos to produce personalities and leaders with great talent and intellect with high idealism, foremost of them being Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
On the other hand, although the Americans were perceived by the Filipinos to be their neocolonizers, they redeemed themselves when they pursued an enlightened policy by planting the seeds of the present constitutional government that we enjoy.
Under US tutelage, more specifically during the start of the Commonwealth Period in 1935 up to our independence on July 4, 1946, we owed the tri[artite system of government, the concepts of freedom of speech and of the press, the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law and due process, among others.
The essence of democracy is that sovereignty resides in the people , but their role should not only end after the elections. It is the recognition of this truth that modern democracies like the US have centers of public policy organized by citizens.
In order to give flesh to this strong sense of community, I suggest that the Perez clan make this occasion meaningful by considering initiating the formation of a core group to organize an institute or center of public policy.
This core group can appeal for the support of corporations and business establishments in Mandaue City in organizing a non-stock, non-profit and non-political and research-oriented foundation composed of the academe and experts in different fields of endeavor like economics, health, law and order, infrastructure, governance, national security and other concerns or issues.
(This is from a speech delivered by lawyer Ramon “Ram” Ceniza during the 15th Biennial Reunion of the Perez clan.)