PLAZA SUGBO, Cebu City (Dec. 4, 2022) – Former Mayor Sergio V. Osmena, Jr. deserves not only honor and praise but be made a model “for us to imitate as best as we can.”
Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia said that Serging, his nickname that history refers to him more, is “an exceptional Cebuano who inspire us, especially the youth.”
In his message this morning during a program that honored Osmeña on his 106th birthday, Garcia said Cebu honors the legacy and the memories he left for all that he had done for the city and the rest of Cebu.
“It can’t be denied that in his years of public service, Serging contributed immensely to make Cebu City what it is today,” he said.
He described Serging as a visionary and placed Cebu on the national stage with the north reclamation area, credited as the first reclamation project in the Philippines, and the first Mandaue-Mactan bridge now named in his honor.
Garcia also said Serging pushed for the transfer of what was just a domestic airport in Lahug to Mactan that the United States once used Air Force staging field alternativee to what was Clark Air Base in Luzon during the Vietnam War.
The Lahug airport has since become the Cebu IT Park today, while the Mactan airfield has now become Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
National artist Resil B. Mojares referred to Serging in his book as “A Man Who Would Be President,” a biography.
Serging is son of Cebu’s “Grand Old Man,” his namesake, Don Sergio Osmeña, Sr., the first speaker of the Philippine National Assembly at 29 and the second and last president by assumption of the Commonwealth era.
But Serging etched his own mark as a politician and statesman, elected as Cebu governor in 1951, and Mayor of Cebu City for three terms in 1955, 1959 and 1963, and House representative for the second district of Cebu in 1958.
Already acknowledged as a political kingpin in Cebu, he ran for Vice President as an independent in 1961 but lost to Sen. Emmanuel Pelaez. He won a seat in the Senate by 1965.
Serging ran as Liberal Party standard bearer in a hotly and highly polarized election against President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr. in his reelection bid in 1969.
Serging married Lourdes sela Rama, heir to the family that owns and operates the De La Rama Steamship Company that he served as president and which also held office at what remains of Compania Maritima today.
Their children include former Cebu City Mayor Tomas “Tommy” R. Osmeña, former Sen. Sergio “Serge” R. Osmeña, socialite Maria Victoria “Minnie,” Georgia who once ran for mayor, and Esteben “Steve.”
Osmeña scion Jojo represented the clan during today’s honoring. He is son of Serging’s cousin Antonio, brother of former Cebu City Vice Mayor Renato V. Osmeña.
He said the family is “truly grateful” and “filled with gratitude” for the honor the city gave for his great grand uncle.
He shared memories of Serging when he often visited and consulted his grandfather at their home in a compound known for OsVel Family (bowling) Lanes and After 6 Super Club, now Crown Regency along Osmeña Blvd. near Fuente.
He described Serging as a “jolly person,” though he often argued with his grandfather. But he said he had a privilege to witness him discuss matters that spoke of his being visionary.
“Let us learn from Serging. Let us not stop dreaming for a better city, Cebu and country. Let us make efforts to realize them,” he said as Serging did in his lifetime.
Annie Osmeña-Aboitiz also represented the Osmeña clan today.
She is a cousin of Serging and sister of the late Cebu Gov. Emilio Mario R. Osmeña and Sen. John Henry R. Osmeña, who served as Cebu City OIC Mayor at the start of the Corazon C. Aquino presidency and became congressman for the third district and last served as mayor of Toledo City.
Councilor Joel G. Garganera joined Garcia in honoring Serging and to welcome Serging’s kins at Plaza Sugbo where the Armed Forces and National Police gave the former Mayor full military honors. # (PIO/cte)