“I know when time comes for him to be at the head of the affairs in our country, the interests of the people will be in good hands…No man has done more for the cause of the Philippine independence than he nor is there anyone in public life who has done more to promote the progress and well being of our people”
– Pres. Manuel Quezon, 1941
Today the country celebrates the birth date of Sergio Osmena, one of our greatest leader. I learned to admire this Cebuano more when I started to understand his sacrifice and his patriotism.
There is a small marker located in Lapu-Lapu St., near Cuenca and Plaza Independencia that marks the house where his mother, Juana, gave birth to him at a tender age of 14. The NHI marker is almost unnoticeable, the original house is no more, Instead, two storey buildings with shops in the basement now lines the area. I wonder what the district looks like before these hideous structures were built in this old portion of the City. It must’ve been a busy corner, with exquisite shops and grand houses, because of its proximity to the old port, Basilica, the mercado and the plaza; it was a key neighborhood.
The Osmena family’s guarded tsecret behind who the real father was (although there are chismis of course) had remained a mystery until now, but what’s amazing to me is how an illegitimate son, whom during that time are subjected to prejudice and rejection, propelled himself to becoming Cebu’s greatest son and one of our country’s most excellent leader. He led during the most difficult time in our history. A true patriot and Filipino.