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Close to 500 Cebuanos took time last Tuesday to gather at the marker of Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. in celebration of Cebu’s Great Old Man’s 125th Birth Anniversary. The yearly floral offering at corner Lapulapu Street and Osmeña Boulevard Cebu City was headed by Acting Mayor Michael Rama, members of the City Council and the different city government department heads. Representing the Osmeña clan were the heirs of Milagros Osmeña-Gonzales and Pepang Osmeña-Enriquez and Don Sergio’s great grand son former Vice-Governor John Gregory “John-john” Osmeña.

Among those present were government officials from various government agencies including the Department of Education, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Public Works and Highways, Civil Service Commission, Metro Cebu Water District, Philippine Tourism Authority, Mactan International Airport, Central Command, Philippine National Police, Philippine Veterans and Boy Scouts of the Philippines.In honor and respect to the great contribution of Don Sergio, Osmeña Day is declared special non-working holiday in the entire Cebu City and the Province of Cebu by virtue of Republic Act 6953 signed into law by former President Corazon Aquino.This year the celebration started with the traditional Don Sergio Osmena Sr, Memorial Marathon and a mass at the Basilica Del Sto. Niño.
The former Vice-Governor in his speech said the celebration must serve as a reminder to the Filipinos the standard of public service that the Commonwealth President has set.

“For me personally, it is a day to reflect on my own performance as an elected official and to see if I am carrying on the tradition of public service to the great standard set by Sergio Osmeña and his lifelong leadership in strengthening the institution of democracy the Philippines,” he said.
Sergio Osmeña spent his 42 years in public service. In his early career of public life he worked as the editor of El Nuevo Dia. At the age of 25, Osmeña served as Governor of Cebu form 1904 to 1906. He was the Speaker of the First Philippine Assembly in 1907 at the age of 29. He also became a Senator and was then elected Vice-President in 1935 and finally in 1944 upon the death of President Manuel L. Quezon, he succeeded to the Presidency.

The Great Old Man brought fame and glory not only in Cebu but the entire Filipino nation. Don Sergio was a man who strongly believed in the Rule of Law to protect the rights of all Filipinos and in the Freedom of Contract guaranteed in the Fundamental Law to guide and protect the development of commerce and economic development in the Philippines. Don Sergio died on October 19, 1961.