Editorial: Remembering Don Enteng

·1 min read

It has been repeated time and again that Don Vicente Yap Sotto championed press freedom during his time as a senator in the late 1940s by authoring Republic Act 53, a law that protects journalists from revealing the sources of their stories. He himself had been a journalist and a publisher before becoming a lawmaker—he founded Ang Suga, the first newspaper in Cebuano.

Though his career in Cebuano literature was short, Sotto authored short stories and plays that dissected social ills during his time. One such classic is “Gugma sa Yutang Natawhan (Love for Motherland),” considered as the first modern Cebuano play depicting the abuse of friars and the blind obedience of religious followers.

Fearless was Don Enteng. During the early years of the American colonial era in the 1900s, Sotto published newspapers that advocated for real Philippine independence. He courted trouble during his journalistic career, and the Americans jailed him several times for writing pieces they deemed “seditious.”

Sotto was never known to back down against authorities that contradicted his principles.

Who among the present-day politicians have the same qualities as Don Enteng? Who among them are not political butterflies? Who among them fight for their convictions? Who among them speak the truth?

The 145th birth anniversary of the iconic Cebuano was commemorated on Monday, April 18, 2022. Only a handful attended the simple wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum in Cebu City.

Don Enteng’s birthday must be a national holiday.

He is at par with other Filipino patriots like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.

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