Rama eyes park in honor of Sergio Osmeña Sr.

·3 min read

CEBU City Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama intends to put up a park in honor of the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr. in the South Road Properties (SRP).

Rama made the pronouncement during the commemoration of Osmeña’s 114th birth anniversary on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, at the latter’s historical marker on Osmeña Boulevard.

In the meantime, Rama said he plans to construct an interim park where Osmeña’s marker is currently located; to make this possible, the mayor said he will talk to the owners of the property where the marker is situated since it has not been utilized.

Rama in an interview with reporters after his speech did not provide specific details about the planned construction of two parks: the timetable of the construction of the two parks; whether the interim park, if it’s construction pushes through, would be destroyed once the Osmeña park in SRP is completed; and where the funds for the two parks will be sourced from.

The whole province of Cebu and its component cities have been declared under special non-working holiday on Sept. 9 to pay tribute to Osmeña.

Osmeña, known as the “Grand Old Man of Cebu” and founder of the Spanish language newspaper “El Nuevo Dia (The New Day),” is honored with a street named after him in Cebu City and a police headquarters.

A major thoroughfare, Osmeña Boulevard has a length of 3.2 kilometers, and it stretches from Escario Street in the uptown area to M.J. Cuenco Avenue in the city’s downtown. Also situated along the boulevard are the roundabout Fuente Osmeña and headquarters of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7), which is also named in honor of the Commonwealth-era president.

Osmeña’s grandson, the former Cebu city mayor Tomas Osmeña, did not attend the event at the historical marker. Rama’s former political ally attended the PRO 7’s birth anniversary commemoration.

In his message, the former admired his late grandfather as an intelligent person, as he ranked second in the 1903 bar exam and later became governor of Cebu the following year at the age of 26.

At the historical marker, the late president’s great-grandson Jose Antonio “Jojo” Osmeña gave a speech on behalf of his family, saying the best way to honor his great-grandfather is to follow his selflessness in public service.

“He was always the servant of the people and he was a very selfless person... Selflessness was his greatest achievement,” said Jojo.

Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, who chairs the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission, said the younger generation should emulate and be inspired by the late president’s good deeds.

Before he became president, Don Sergio Osmeña had also served as the governor of Cebu in 1906. He later won a seat in the Philippine Assembly in 1907 wherein he was elected as its first speaker at the age of 29, the youngest ever in the history of Congress during his time.

President Osmeña died on Oct. 19, 1961 at age 83. (IRT, AYB / TPT)