Monday, January 12, 2009

ENVIABLE ENVERGA (January 05, 2009)

New year marks the 100th birthday of Manuel S. Enverga Jr..

A descendant of Jose Ma. Panganiban, he would be credited for organizing the Philippine Coconut Administration -- now the Philippine Coconut Authority. He is also best known for campaigning vigorously to change the celebration of Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 and to open new trade markets for the Philippines through his one-man study and economic mission to socialist countries in Central Europe culminating in the Enverga Report.

Born in Mauban, Quezon where he studied until in his second year in high school before transferring to National University, he pursued his dream of becoming a violinist at the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music under Dr. Alexander Lippay, his Austrian teacher who included him in the Philippine Symphony Orchestra. Eventually he entered the Philippine Law School while playing for orchestras and teaching violin lessons. After graduation and bar examination, he served as an assistant attorney to an abogado de campanilla, Don
Alfredo Chicote, while studying Foreign Service in the U.P.

He got married at 31 to Rosario Lopez and, after a year, he became a father.
Maximo Kalaw, his law partner, became one of his co-founders of the Central College of the Philippines in Ermita, Manila that eventually was closed in 1941 when World War II broke. He resumed his law practice, ran the Philippine Academy of Foreign Affairs as its president, represented the country in international conferences where he met Mahatma Gandhi, Lakshmi Pandit, and Jawaharlal Nehru, and returned to the Philippines fired up by patriotism. Upon earning his Master of Laws degree at the University of Santo Tomas with the highest honors, he put up on February 11, 1947 the Luzonian Colleges, which would be converted into a foundation by February 12, 1970.
Atty. Enverga would be elected to the United Nations Association of the Philippines Board of Directors where he met his old law professor, Rev. Fr. Aniceto Castañon, who recommended him to be a scholar for a doctorate in law at the Universidad Central de Madrid whose alumni were Jose Rizal, Juan Luna, Antonio Luna, Pedro Paterno, and other Filipino ilustrados. His 700 plus-page thesis on the New Civil Code of the Philippines got a grade of sobresaliente premio extraordinario upon his graduation in in August 1950. As if rewarding himself, he travelled around Europe and the United States.
But, by 1952, he would be bitten by the political bug.
Dr. Enverga was first elected to Congress in 1953 to represent the first district of Quezon which he served up to 1968.
Indeed, his ideas were so ahead of his time that Manila Times columnist J. V. Cruz could he help but comment on his brave views: “No doubt Congressman Enverga knows better than anyone else how much he has thereby exposed himself to the incoherent indignation and tantrums of the anticommunist lunatic fringe, and how unlikely it is for his views to be officially accepted and adopted in the near future. But obviously, he must rather be right than popular, and certainly he has no wish to be one of the unthinking mob. And this is what distinguishes the statesman from the cheap politician.”
Congressman Enverga worked for the Filipinization of the educational system and the mass media, the nationalization of the retail trade, and the change of the Philippine emblem or escudo to remove the American eagle and the Spanish lion which are symbols of the country’s subservience to foreigners.
He even attempted to implement the constitutional mandate requiring the evolution of a national language based on Tagalog in a bill creating the Akademia ng Wika or a measure that sought to divide the country into eight linguistic groups: the Maranaw dialect in Mindanao; Hiligaynon for the Visayas, Bikolano for the Bicol area; Ilocano for the Ilocos; Cebuano for Cebu; and other minority dialects. Under this bill, regional offices under linguistic experts headed by a superintendent would be established in the respective areas mentioned that would study, collect and introduce words coming from the various regions that would enrich the national language. After a certain period of study and research, part of the plan was to come up with a new dictionary. The bill died due to the opposition of many congressmen who had their own language agenda and who preferred English to be the national language.
Sounds familiar?
Aside from receiving the Diploma of Honor from the Institute of National Language and the Filipino Federation of Retailers, Dr. Enverga was cited Outstanding Congressman by leading publications El Debate, Manila Chronicle, Bagong Buhay, Philippines Herald, Congressional World, Semana, Congressional Bulletin, Evening News, The Parliamentarian, Graphic, Philippines Review, and Philippines Free Press and by the International Historical Foundation.
A year after his death on June 14, 1981, the Luzonian University Foundation Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename the institution as Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation (MSEUF).
Now, MSEUF is the first to be accredited Level 3 as well as one of the first higher education institutions in Southern Luzon to be deregulated -- within 200 hectares of land in Barangay Ibabang Dupay in Lucena City with affiliate schools in San Antonio, Sampaloc, Catanauan, and Candelaria, Quezon.
Last year, the National Historical Institute has approved the installation of a historical marker in honor of Dr. Manuel S. Enverga (1909-1981).
Recently, the Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, represented by president Naila Enverga-Leveriza, and the Philippine Postal Corporation, represented by Chief Executive Officer Hector Villanueva, for the latter to issue a commemorative stamp in honor of the birth centennial anniversary of Dr. Manuel S. Enverga on January 1, 2009.
Sometimes, you have to wait for a lifetime to be recognized.
That's why, carpe diem, Mrs. Elena Almario of Bataan National High School, who was named 2008 Outstanding Department Head by the City of Balanga.
And kudos to Mr. James Pagaduan for winning the elections as the National President of Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers!
Name 5 wealthiest people, 7 Oscar winners, 10 American presidents.
Hard? The point is, none of us, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday, simply because the applause dies and awards are forgotten.
Here’s another quiz:
Name 3 teachers who taught you well, 3 friends who stood by you, 5 people who made you special.
Easier? Because those who make a difference in your life are not those with the most money, credentials, or awards.
There are other ones who truly can.
Two of the hardest tests in life:
the patience to wait for the right moment;
and the courage to accept whatever you encounter.

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