Atty. Januario Agravante Jr., centennial mayor of Badian, Cebu

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

In 1965, Cebu commemorated the Fourth Centennial Anniversary of the Christianization of the Philippines. This is anchored on the arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi on April 28, 1565 in Cebu making it the oldest Province of the Philippines.

The mayor of Badian, Cebu in 1965 was Atty. Januario Agravante Jr. born on February 3, 1931. Atty. Januario (admitted to the Bar on March 2, 1956) fondly called as Hannie, was the son of spouses Januario Taboada Agravante Sr. and Brigida Dacillo.

The father of Januario Sr. (grandfather of Mayor Hannie), Tranquilino Agravante also became mayor of Badian. He married Venancia Taboada. Tranquilino nicknamed "Kinoy" earned the title as the first Municipal President of Badian, Cebu. This was in 1906, when the Americans by virtue of Philippine Bill of 1902, that mandated the election of the towns chief executive in the country.

Mayor Hannie married Luzviminda "Lening" Gador Ugbinar. Mayor Hannie attended basic education at the Badian Elementary School, then his high school at the Cebu Provincial High School now the Abellana National School. He finished his pre-law course (History Major) at the University of the Visayas.

The children of Mayor Hannie are: Engineer Januario Agravante III, Dr. Maria Luz Zenaida U. Agravante, Lourdes U. Agravante, Reverend Father Januario Kipling U. Agravante IV (of the St. John the Baptist Parish in Tabuelan, Cebu, a singing priest and part of the Cebu Clergy Performing Artists, Nancy Agravante (married Eduardo Bermudez), Fe Agravante Amao (married Carlos Yap Amao), Mahal Agravante Hindz (married David Hindz), Amihan Agravante Autentico (married Jose Helfred Autentico) and Aspo Ugbinar Agravante, presently senior executive of Cebu's oldest radio station dyRC, celebrating its 75th year and a politician, soon to follow the footstep of the Agravante Clan's legacy of public service and leadership of the town of Badian.

In 1965, during the fourth centennial celebration, the officials of Badian, Cebu were: Atty. Januario Agravante Jr, Mayor, Edilberto Rosario, Vice Mayor, Jose Ll. Gachalian, Municipal Secretary, Marcial G. Ugbinar, Judge (his wife, Angela Agravante is the sister of Mayor Hannie, Judge Marcial also served as Mayor of Alcantara, Cebu), Engracio Lambo, Treasurer, Antonio Agravante, Chief of Police, Dr. Felicisimo V. Lucero,  Health Officer. Councilors: Sergio Dacillo (the mother of Mayor Hannie is a Dacillo named Brigida), Torcuato Padin, Ciriaco Labadia, Rufo Comision, Mateo Duque, Crisogono Suerte, Gregorio Taboada (the wife of the grandfather of Mayor Hannie, named Venancia was a Taboada) and Joaquin Soriano.

Mayor Hannie, who served as mayor of Badian for 22 years, died on July 18, 2014. Another member of the clan who became a lawyer was Alexander M. Agravante (admitted to the Bar on April 27, 1989), he was the son of Anita, the sister of Justice Regalado Estrella Maambong.

Others who served as mayor of Badian were Leopoldo Caballero and Alfonso Suerte. On July 25, 2015, Badian celebrated its 190th Annual Fiesta in honor of Santiago (St. James) the Apostle.

Badian, coined from the name of a plant "Badyang" was part of the old fifth district of Cebu, other towns that composed the district were Alegria, Boljoon, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Moalboal, Oslob, Samboan, Alcantara and Santander. The fifth district existed from 1907 to 1972, until it was reorganized by the passage of the 1987 Constitution.

The old fifth district was dominated by the Cuenco clan starting in 1912, when Mariano Jesus Cuenco (later governor of Cebu and senator, then as the first Cebuano senate president) succeeded General Troadio Galicano. Senator Cuenco was replaced by his younger brother, Atty. Miguel Cuenco, a legal wizard, who was not allowed to practice law after passing the bar because of lack of age requirement went to the United States of America to study Diplomacy as post-graduate law course. In 1965, Atty. Antonio Veloso Cuenco replaced his granduncle, Atty. Miguel Diosomito Cuenco, son of Mariano Albao Cuenco and Remedios Lopez Diosomito.

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