While all roads led to the Summer Olympics that opened at 8 p.m. on the eighth day of the eighth month of 2008 – here lovebirds like writers JP Anthony Cañuda and Rebecca Añonuevo walked down the aisle believing that aside from 8 being their luckiest number they are exchanging “I dos” on the feast of St. Dominic de Guzman, too, who is the patron saint of astronomers, scientists, and falsely accused people!
We happened to become part of the Lucky 8 chosen to compose the Board of TAYABASIN Inc. or Tagapagtaguyod ng Yamang -kultural ng Bayan para sa Salinlahi Inc. -- together with Fernando Labita, Sr. Leonarda C. Mentilla MCST, Msgr. Tony Obena, Irene Pandy, Isidro Sia, MD, PhD, Ermelo Zalameda, Ed.D., and Ma. Cielito Zeta.
Under the leadership of Necias Pataunia and his committee heads in Ma. Lourdes Abulencia, Nelson Palayan, Norman Ragudo, and Rolando V. Redor, Jr. – we will take our oath taking on the launching of TAYABASIN on August 24 at the Bishop Obviar Garden beside the Basilica de San Miguel Archangel in Tayabas, Quezon.
This big event will take place after the equally big event entitled TULAY (Tradisyon, Ugnayan, Lipunan, Agham at Yaman): Linking the Towns in Cultural Mapping on August 21-23.
Organized by Ryad Palad's ATAGAN or Alternatibong Tahanan ng mga Akda at Gawang Nasaliksik -- the fifth of the Tayabas Province Studies Conference will have as guest of honor the president of Heritage Conservation Society, Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta!
But, wait, is there such province as Tayabas?
Yes there was.
What is now known as the province of Quezon (named after its famous son Manuel Luis Quezon who became the first Filipino president of the Philippine Commonwealth and the Father of the National Language) was called Tayabas until September 7, 1946.
For two centuries, Tayabas province comprised not just the so-called Quezon province but also the provinces of Aurora and Marinduque.
The aforementioned town of Tayabas – or “La Muy Noble Villa de Tayabas” -- was declared a city last year!
This city will once again bear witness to this historic intellectual fiesta featuring the following: Mga Makasaysayang Tulay sa Pilipinas by Arch. Manuel Lopez Noche of the College of Architecture of University of Santo Tomas (UST); Introduction to Cultural Mapping by Prof. Eric Babar Zerrudo of UST; Isang Bahagi ng Cultural Mapping bilang Aralin para sa mga Batang nasa ika-6 na Baytang: Karanasan by Laurice de Asis – Zapata, Tayabas East Central School 1; Ang Tradisyon ng Santakrusan sa Brgy. Lakawan, Tayabas: Pangunang Dokumentasyon by Lorelie Y. Rea of Tayabas East Central School 1; Larawan-Dokumentasyon ng Ilang mga Lumang Istruktura sa Lalawigan ng Quezon by Ryan Palad of the Government Service Insurance System's Museo ng Sining; Ang Wikang Tagalog sa Sariaya: Isang Masusing Pagsasalarawan by Eriberto Ricardo J. Dedace; Mga Monumento ni Rizal sa Lalawigan ng Quezon by Prof. Nilo Ocampo, PhD of UP Diliman; Tagalog: Kapaligiran at Pagkakakilanlan by Prof. Lars Ubaldo of St. Scholastica’s College- Manila; Ang Alitan sa Lupa sa Pagitan ng Tayabas at Saryaya, 1692-1776 : Ilang Repleksyon sa Pamahalaan at Lipunang Kolonyal by Prof. Ariel C. Lopez of UP Diliman; Mariano Mediano, isang cazador sa Tayabas at ilang bahagi ng Luzon, 1897-1899: Mga yugto ng Himagsikang Pilipino sa karanasan ng ‘kalaban by Prof. Lino L. Dizon, Ph.D. of Tarlac State University's Center for Tarlaqueño Studies; Contributions of Land-bridges and Pleistocene Island Aggregates to Biogeography and Diversity of Philippine Wildlife by Prof. Juan Carlos Gonzalez of UP Los Banos; and Paglalayag: Identidad, Samahan at Mga Maubanin sa Amerika by Prof. Nelson Turgo of University of the Philippines Diliman.
Speaking of Maubanin, another great Manuel, this time the founder of the Manuel Sarmiento Enverga University Foundation will be celebrating its centenary.
Among others, here are eight of his achievements as a statesman:
- He, in his first term in Congress, together with Congressman Ramon Mitra, sponsored a bill again declaring June 12 of every year as Independence Day. Congressman Enverga and his colleague were vindicated, after its rejection, when then Pres. Diosdado Macapagal changed the celebration of Philippine Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 by executive order, thus upholding Congressman Enverga’s crusade for the nationalistic cause.
- He advocated the creation of a central banking system that would channel funds towards new fields of investments.
- He co-authored the creation of the Development Bank of the Philippines to infuse capital for the economic development of the countryside.
- He proposed the conversion of the University of the Philippines in Diliman as a research center and a school exclusively for graduate studies.
- He sponsored measures to provide better pay for teachers to uplift their profession, to establish the Philippine Science High School, Special Child Study Center, the school of nursing in the Quezon Memorial Hospital, the law converting government schools into colleges like the Philippine Normal School, Philippine School of Arts and Trade, the Philippine School of Commerce, the Muñoz Agricultural School, and other schools in the Visayas and in Mindanao.
- He 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 protested the racial discrimination policy of Australia against Filipinos, recommended that the right of suffrage be obligatory.
- He created the municipalities of San Antonio, Jomalig, Patnanungan, Real and Panukulan in Quezon, as well as the municipalities of San Luis, Dingalan, Dinalongan and Dilasag in the sub-province of Aurora. He also worked for the conversion of Lucena into a city.
Dr. Enverga left a legacy beyond the Enverga Report and the Enverga Hearings or his Akademia ng Wika or his House Bill 18500 that sought to delineate the country’s territorial sea based on the Treaty of Paris providing a 200 nautical mile-limit whichever was larger.
He, like other pioneers, gave us the world's best antidepressant.