Buenaventura Rodriguez’ literary works
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - September 17, 2018 - 12:00am

Buenaventura Rodriguez is the first governor who took office at the magnificent Cebu Provincial Capitol building, having been elected on December 14, 1937. The building was constructed during the term of Governor Sotero Barte Cabahug (1934-1937) but it was Rodriguez who held office there after it was finally inaugurated on June 14, 1938 (look up at the upper façade of the building, you will see the phrase enshrined “The authority of the government emanates from the people,” with the Roman numerals “1937”).

Rodriguez before, being a governor, was elected Representative of the Old 7th District of Cebu in 1934. The district was composed then of the municipalities of Balamban, Asturias, Tuburan, Tabuelan, San Remigio, Medellin, Daanbantayan, Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos.

Rodriguez was foremost, before being a public servant, a literary genius. Among his works is the short story/play “Ang Mini,” translated into Filipino as “Ang Peke” and in English as “The Fake.” It is one of the Cebuano plays translated in the book “Dulaang Cebuano” written by Erlinda K. Alburo, published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press.

“Ang Mini” tells the story of a rich man’s discovery of the worthlessness of the life of extravagance and utter laziness. It was written in 1925 and found its way on to the Cebu stage in 1927 and in 1931 at the Manila Grand Opera House. The characters of the story were: Don Felix alias “Eling” as the Mini, Mayang (a maiden whom the main character falls in love with), Dr. Casas (the doctor who enlightened Don Felix on how life should be lived), Alipio (Mayang’s father), Ingka (Mayang’s mother), Goryo (Mayang’s would-be husband), Iyo Pascual (Goryo’s father), Quintin (Mayang’s brother), Headservant (Don Felix’s headservant), and Pilar (Dr. Casas’ nurse).

Rodriguez, more known as “Tura,” also wrote the zarzuela “Inday” in 1917. It was first staged at the Teatro Oriente on August 18, 1917. His others works were “Balaod sa Kinabuhi,” “Pahiyum,” and “Dinihan.”

Rodriguez was born on July 14, 1893, son of Don Filomino Rodriguez and Doña Ana Perez. He died on December 9, 1940, hours before the election on December 10, 1940 where he ran for re-election. He was replaced by Hilario Abellana who eventually became the wartime Governor of Cebu and who was executed by the Japanese.

BUENAVENTURA RODRIGUEZ
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