Ilonggo historian, ex-vice guv Demy Sonza dies at 89

Demetrio P. Sonza
Demetrio P. SonzaPhoto by Fil Sonza Jr.

DEMETRIO P. Sonza, known to many as Demy Sonza, a renowned historian, former vice governor and board member of Iloilo, passed away on January 22, 2024.

Born on March 3, 1934, Sonza would have celebrated his 90th birthday this coming March.

Sonza's Facebook post on January 5, 2024, at 5:20 a.m., showcased his artistic side and respect for nature in a poem titled "58 Days to My 90th Birthday, The Teeny-Weeny Rose."

The poem reads:

Behold the teeny-weeny rose!

A rendition in miniature

Of the big bright rose in the bush,

What a masterpiece of Nature!

It's aptly named pitimini

Because of its size that's tiny.

Glory be to the Creator

And to Jesus Christ our Savior!"

This was his last Facebook post.

Sonza was a prominent public servant who was elected to the Provincial Board of Iloilo in 1988. He was re-elected in 1992 and served as vice governor from 1995 to 2001. He returned to the Provincial Board in 2010, serving three consecutive terms until 2019.

Sonza was a prominent Ilonggo historian, orator, public servant, author, columnist, journalist, and philanthropist.

He also had written numerous Ilonggo history books, including biographies, and served as the chair of the Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena Foundation.

His works include Visayan Fighters for Freedom (1962), Mightier than the Sword: Biography of Graciano Lopez Jaena, the Demosthenes of the Philippines (1964), The Bisayas of Borneo and the Philippines: A New Look at the Maragtas (1971), and Sugar is Sweet - The Story of Nicholas Loney (1975), all available on

Sonza was married to Gloria Jayaon, and they had one daughter.

He was renowned for his dedication to preserving Iloilo's heritage and significant contributions to history.

His dedication to public service extended beyond governance roles, focusing on educating and inspiring future generations about their cultural heritage.

Sonza's life, filled with dedication and passion, was a beacon of inspiration for many. (Leo Solinap)


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.