UP honors alumni who died for motherland

News Philippines Jan 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm

By Pinky Choudhury

The University of the Philippines held a “Centennial Tribute to UP Heroes and Martyrs” on Saturday, Nov 29, a day before Andres Bonifacio Day, at the Bantayog Memorial Center in Quezon City.

The University honored the 72 men and women as part of activities marking its 100th year. Venue was a tented area at the compound of the Bantayog ng mgs Bayani Foundation, Quezon Avenue corner Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) of People Power fame.

In her opening remarks Dr. Lydia Arcellana, UP Assistant Vice-President for Public Affairs, stated that the honorees took the challenge of the 1970s and ‘80s “so seriously that they gave their to it and went the extra mile. They are not forgotten, and we deeply admire them.”

In his message, UP alumnus and Bantayog ng mgs Bayani Foundation Chairman Emeritus Senator Jovito Salonga noted how former students “had voluntarily offered their lives without counting the cost so that we might regain our freedom. A dictatorship had crushed their dreams for the future. Perhaps this was the greatest disservice of the dictatorship to the nation.”

He added, “Whatever their disparities in socio-economic status… , they were one in their devotion to the people. We promise their relatives that we will never forget their sacrifices so that the light of justice may never be extinguished in this country whose fertile soil was washed by their blood. The deeper meaning of this event is a nation enriched by the quality of its men and women.

“There is much we can do to restore the good name and reputation of this nation to which they had gven their blood. Our firm resolve should be to keep faith with our heroes and martyrs so that this land of the morning, the repository of our dreams, will be worth living and dying for.”

Dr. Emerlinda Roman, the first woman president of the university, welcomed the relatives and friends of the martyrs and heroes. In her message she quoted Murray Bartlett, the first president of the university, and his successor, Justice Ignacio Villamor, who had both stressed that the University should care for the lives, rights and nationality of Filipinos.

“Giving service to the nation,” President Roman stated, “is accepted by the UP community, but some of us did more – gave their lives to serve the nation and offered their lives for justice [and] peace They inspire us and give us hope for change in our lives. Today, we remember their extraordinary valor.
Because of them, life is a little better for us all. To their families, please know that they are remembered [with] deepest respect and admiration.”

The names of the 72 men and women who were honored are among those etched on the Wall of Remembrance of the Bantayog ng mgs Bayani Foundation but a separate tribute by UP had been suggested by UP Faculty Regent Roland Simbulan.

At the event Dr. Elizabeth Enriquez of the UP College of Mass Communication read out the achievements of the heroes and martyrs.

Relatives, headed by Sen. Benigno `Noynoy’ Aquino III- son of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. who was among the honorees – were escorted up the stage by a UP Rayadillo cadet officer to receive from Dr. Roman and Sen. Salonga a UP Oblation statuette and a diploma-like plaque documenting how they had lived and died, and a red-and-white beribboned red rose from a member of the UP Corps of Sponsors.

A response on behalf of the honorees came from Mrs. Letizia Constantino, spouse of the late Renato Constantino. She recalled the past, “Although we admired their courage, we could not help but fear for the lives of our loved ones. We shared their dreams too.”

Special numbers came from the UP Staff Chorale with their conductor Prof. Chris Reyes and from Becky Demetillo-Abraham who forms the popular duo Inang Laya with Karina Constantino-David, former Civil Service Commissioner.

The tribute was coordinated by School of Labor and Industrial Relations Dean Jorge Sibal, who had chaired a special committee with representatives from UP Diliman, Baguio and Los Banos. In his closing remarks, he recalled how he had joined the student activists against the dictatorship.

“Songs say that the outpouring of blood for the country is bravery that is unforgettable,” said the dean. “The lives they had offered the country they loved are rich in lessons and greatness.”

The audience offered flowers and candles at the Wall of Remembrance on which their names are already inscribed by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation. The singing of the university hymn UP Naming Mahal then commenced a program of indigenous music from Kontra Gapi Ensemble headed by Prof. Edru Abraham.

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(The 72 names were picked from the heroes and martyrs who have already been included in the Bantayog ng mga Bayani. Other UP heroes and martyrs who have not yet been included in the Bantayog, but whose heroic contributions have been recognized not only in the university but nationally, are now being nominated for inclusion. Among them is Monica Atienza, who until he died December 2007, was a UP professor at the Department of Pilipino and Philippine Studies. –Ed.)

1) Leandro L. Alejandro; 2) Leo C. Alto; 3) Emmanuel I. Alvarez; 4) Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.; 5) Merardo T. Arce; 6) Aloysius U. Baes; 7) Floro Balce; 8) Lorena Barros; 9) Manuel C. Bautista; 10) William A. Begg; 11) Alexander Belone III; 12) Catalino “Lino” A. Brocka; 13) Jose R. Calderon, Jr.; 14) Jennifer Cariño; 15) Cristina F. Catalla; 16) Cesar C. Climaco; 17) Renato R. Constantino; 18) Ellecer Cortes; 19) Edward L. De la Fuente; 20) Remberto A. De la Paz; 21) Nimfa del Rosario; 22) Dennis Rolando R. Deveraturda; 23) Juan B. Escandor; 24) Gerardo T. Faustino; 25) Enrique Voltaire E. Garcia; 26) Antonio M. Hilario; 27) Rizalina R. Ilagan; 28)Edgar M. Jopson; 29) Emmanuel Lacaba; 30) Ma. Leticia P. Ladlad; 31) Hermon C. Lagman; 32) Lourdes Garduce Lagman; 33) Vergel E. Landrito; 34) Lorenzo C. Lansang; 35) Edmundo R. Legislador; 36) Jose B. Lingad; 37) Bayani P. Lontok; 38) Mariano M. Lopez; 39) Armando J. Malay; 40) Paula Carolina S. Malay; 41) Rodelo Manaog; 42) Pastor R. Mesina; 43) Cecilia Muñoz-Palma; 44) Sedfrey A. Ordoñez; 45) Gaston Z. Ortigas; 46) Magnifico L. Osorio; 47) Armando D. Palabay; 48) Romulo D. Palabay; 49) Benedicto M. Pasetes; 50) Jacinto D. Pena; 51) Nemesio E. Prudente; 52) Eduardo T. Quintero; 53) Ismael F. Quimpo; 54) Arnulfo A. Resus; 55) Jose B. L. Reyes; 56) Francisco Soc Rodrigo; 57) Magtangol S. Roque; 58) Jessica M. Sales; 59) Abraham P. Sarmiento, Jr.; 60) Antonio S. Tagamolila; 61) Crispin S. Tagamolila; 62) Lorenzo M. Tañada; 63) Carlos N. Tayag; 64) Noel C. Tierra; 65) Racquel E. Tiglao; 66) Alex G. Torres; 67) Jose Marie U. Velez; 68) Ma. Antonia Teresa V. Vytiaco; 69) Emmanuel D. R. Yap; 70) Haydee B. Yorac; 71) Rizal C. K. Yuyitung; at 72) Calixto O. Zaldivar.