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‘Jomapa’ honored on his 158th birthday

By Paulo DS. Papa

NAGA CITY --- City Schools Division (CSD) assistant superintendent Sueño Lozada, Jr., has urged teachers to emphasize the importance of reading in his speech on Monday, Feb.1, during the commemoration of the 158th birthday of Jose Maria Panganiban, one of the Bicolano heroes.

Lozada’s speech was delivered in front of Naga City local officials and members of the education sector, who honored Panganiban for his excellent and important contributions to the Propaganda Movement, which was composed by Filipino patriots in Spain sometime in 1880s.

The group, which Dr. Jose Rizal was affiliated with, aimed to bring to the attention of the Spanish crown the Spaniards’ tyrannical way of governance in the Philippines.

The movement also proposed that the country should become a Spanish province to implement order directly from the king.

Lozada said teachers should emphasize the importance of reading because Panganiban obtained his intellectual excellence through reading.

He said that according to history, during Panganiban’s time in school at the Seminario Conciliar de Nueva Caceres (now Holy Rosary Minor Seminary), he was the most favored student due to his “sobresaliente” grades.

He said the Bicolano hero has a resemblance to Dr. Jose Rizal, because the latter’s intellectual development was acquired through reading cantillas, caton, and catecismo, where Spanish and Latin languages were textualized.

Lozada added that even Rizal praised Panganiban for his excellent written orations.

“During the time of his schooling in this city, he witnessed Spanish cruelty among the locals. He realized the kind of education in this country in contrast with the government offices.” he said.

Meanwhile, Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado said that due to Panganiban’s intelligence and very significant contribution to the Bicolano uprisings against the Spaniards, the town of Mambulao in northern part of Ambos Camarines (now Camarines Norte) is named after him.

Bordado said the hero from Mambulao has the monument in the said province while in Naga City, Panganiban Drive, (formerly known as Calle Francisco) is dedicated to Jomapa as Panganiban is fondly called.

Mayor Nelson Legacion, via zoom, stated that despite of Panganiban’s illness, he continued his role in the movement.

According to historical accounts, Panganiban died in Barcelona, Spain on Aug. 19, 1890 due to tuberculosis. He was buried there.

In Panganiban’s honor, a monument at the Naga Central School I was built by the Parent-Teacher Association in 1930. The monument, which is still existing up to now, is considered as the oldest in the region dedicated to him.

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