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With gratitude, respect and admiration

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - May 17, 2018 - 12:00am

The passing away of former Senate President Edgardo J. Angara is regarded by art patrons and patroness as an immense loss, but with gratitude, great respect and admiration.

Authored and helped in the passage of significant laws in many fields and sectors, Angara's shining achievements are his impactful contributions to Philippine arts and culture. These are legislative milestones that paved the way for placing arts and culture to their rightful place. Specifically, he was instrumental in the creation of the NCCA Law (R.A. 7356) and the organization of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF). He also helped institutionalized the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan or the National Living Treasures Award in 1992, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Filipino traditional craftsmen, artisans and folk artists.

He pushed for the National Museum Act in 1998 to strengthen the institution and assure it a permanent home. Through the National Cultural Heritage Act (RA 10066), he helped advance the cause of our national patrimony, enabling the tangible and intangible heritage to benefit from protection, conservation and promotion.

All his heroic acts for the arts and culture were propelled by his firm belief in strengthening the Filipino soul and identity, and so he persevered in including arts and culture in national legislation and bringing them closer to the people.

As UP president, attributed to his leadership include the strengthening of the general education program, installing a seven-year honors medical curriculum, energizing the arts and basic science, and building of a multi-campus university organization. He is best remembered for defending the state university's tradition of dissent and obtaining fiscal autonomy. His efforts contributed to upholding its reputation for academic excellence as the country's premiere educational center.

Last May 3, 2018, during the unveiling of the president's markers in line with UP Cebu's centennial celebration, Angara gave a moving message for the UP Cebu community, and just few days after, we heard about his demise.

On a personal level, I am also saddened by the passing away of my former colleague at St. Joseph's Academy in Mandaue City, dearest mentor, confidante and friend, Dr. Elenita Basilgo. After being my adviser in my doctoral studies at the University of San Carlos, she left for the United States. From then, I had few information about her situation in a foreign land. And only in the last few weeks that I know that she already came back home, and probably would not want her acquaintances to bother visiting her anymore. I will truly miss her. My condolence and prayer to the bereaved family.  The wake is at their residence in Ybañez Compound, Ibabao, Mandaue City. Her remains will be laid to rest at the Grosmar Cemetery on May 21, 2018.

Last week, two important people have passed away, one whose legacy to Philippine arts and culture is impactful while the other one has touched me on a professional level. Both have defined the three key words for me: arts, culture and education. Daghang salamat!

ligayarabago@yahoo.com

EDGARDO ANGARA
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