Plain and Simple | August rush

Months move so fast. It’s August now, and it is only this month that stands before the ber months come.

For sure when September comes, Christmas songs will be played on the radio. I don’t know why we hurry the Christmas season when it is still months away from today.

August reminds me of so many things. I recall the movie August Rush that talked about music and the melody within. I had some happy recollection of that song, and I want to see it again.

August is the birth month of former OIC Mayor of Davao City in 1986, Zafiro L Respicio. He was Davao City’s elected Assemblyman with the late Assemblyman Nonoy Garcia.

Respicio and Garcia were our representatives in the Marcos parliament headed by then Finance Secretary Ceasar Virata. Marcos was the president then. But Respicio, the leader of the opposition at that time and a staunch critic of Marcos became the OIC Mayor when President Cory was installed to power in 1986.

Respicio was a very popular leader of the opposition at that time for his impeccable talent at speaking and for his brilliance. He was then considered as tall, dark, and handsome.

As a leader, he trained more leaders. That was what was so unique and special about him. I owe him my experience as his tourism officer at a very young age. He trusted me to take care of the city’s tourism promotion and we organized the Apo Duwaling Festival.

One morning, Zaf and I had coffee together and he asked me how, as a college professor, would change people’s lives and mindset. He told me that being the head of an LGU can change a lot. If you’re a teacher, you change a few, but if you are the mayor or governor, you change the direction of a city, a province or a municipality.

If Zaf were alive today, he would have celebrated his birthday this August 11. Another figure of the opposition at that time is Governor Cora Malanyaon. She will celebrate her birthday this August 22.

I remember Cora in her eulogy during the burial of Zaf in Makilala, North Cotabato. She said there is no Cora Malanyaon if there was no Zaf Respicio. Cora was grateful for Zaf’ s belief and trust in her as a political leader. Though she is a CPA lawyer, Cora looked up to Zaf for guidance and inspiration. She once said Zaf was a poet.

Another very meaningful incident in the life of the country in August is the assassination of then Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Without his murder at the tarmac, people would not have galvanized to oust a dictator.

August 21 is a day for freedom loving Filipinos. Ninoy believed in freedom and democracy. That was why he went home despite the threats to his life.

August is also the month for Filipino language. Will one language unite us as a people or will it divide us, instead?

Posted in Opinion