Dionisio A. Sy, Old Guard of Cebuano History
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - August 5, 2020 - 12:00am

He was the son of Guillermo Bernaldez Sy (of Guinsularan, Duero, Bohol) and Antonia Amora (of Anda, Bohol). His grandparents were Benito Luison Zoleta (Tubay, Agusan del Norte) and Irene Amora (Anda, Bohol). He was born on February 24, 1941.

For decades he guarded Cebu’s history by preserving and disseminating it through his literary works. He was also a humble public servant (administrator of the Cebu City government under the leadership of Cebu’s top man, Tomas dela Rama Osmeña) and for decades a consultant/commissioner of Cebu’s Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (created by Dr. Suga Sotto Yuvienco, daughter of Don Vicente Yap Sotto).

In 1970, he wrote the book ‘Butuan, Through the Ages”. He also wrote articles for The FREEMAN Cebu’s oldest existing newspaper (founded by Don Paulino Gullas and revived by Dr. Jose “Dodong” Gullas, 2020 is its 101st year). Among the many newspaper articles he wrote: “Cebu’s Staple Food” (The FREEMAN, December 29, 1977), “Corn, Mexico’s Gift to Cebu”) The FREEMAN, January 7, 1978), “Magellan’s Cross in Cebu: A Misnomer”, The Weekly Nation, Manila, December 15, 1968, and “Opium in Cebu’s History”, Morning Times, November 13, 1977.

He wrote the book, “A Short History of Cebu 1500-1890’s and The Anti-Spanish Revolution in Cebu”, released in 1979 in mimeographed, in 1996. It was reprinted in 2008, published by the Southwestern University through its Center for Promotions and Publication. The Republic News serialized in 1978 the second part of the study of his historical work.

In the 1996 edition of the book, Dionisio Sy made the following acknowledgments, aside from mentioning mayors Tomas Osmeña and Alvin B. Garcia, he wrote: “For proofreading and computer encoding: to Alfredo M. Jabat, Raquel Bohol Arce, Ernesto F. Rosal, Agapito Cugay Jr., and Sonrisa V. Salvador. To the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos, to the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission, to Eugene Estologa and Atilano Amores Jr., for the photographs.

Likewise, to Mr. Rogelio S. Pono for editing and layouting, Lydia C. Maldecer for indexing, and Stephen de la Torre for typesetting”.

Dionisio A. Sy, the Old Guard of Cebu’s History died on July 13, 2020. He may no longer be physically alive, but his historical works continue to guard the great Cebuano history.

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