I heard his name when I was in elementary. Back then, my tender mind can only think of a popular man coming from a movie or a radio character. Later on, I was able to read his name, and in a regular travel from Toril to downtown, I can count 10 writings of his name. So I thought that this man is very important.
Fast forward. Getting good education is not always as easy. It was difficult to find an amount to pay full the tuition, even it was a State University, we were the first recipients of the tuition fee increase from P15.00 a unit to P60.00.
Me, I found luck. I was told by my professor, Dr. Ed Cruz, to try the scholarship offered in the first legislative district. Armed with burning passion to finish college, I went to an office along Quirino Avenue and was given a slot for interview after receiving my credentials. Luckily, I was afforded a scholarship without the interview; my grades were enough to convince them. This is the way I finished my degree, way up to my doctorate.
Two years ago I got the chance to meet in person the person who supported my education. The only thing that separates me from being a mendicant to a person I am today is education, and I owe a lot to him.
He was giving an animated talk to the members of the Knights of Rizal with then CJ Puno as the Supreme Commander. I was knighted also during this Assembly. The crowd was filled with men and women oozing with passion for love of country and desires to improve the country; almost a thousand of us then at the Big8 Hotel in Tagum City. He talked about the sure formula how to improve the conditions of the people, and by improving the conditions of the people, the country gets a fair share of sure the growth. So it was people improvement, country development formula. It was condensed into the message of the way to develop a country is through educating its population.
I was seated in the Presidential table so it was easy for me to come to him and CJ Puno who were in the hushed talked. I got near and you smiled to acknowledge, yet I said to your surprise that “Sir, Mr Speaker, isa ko sa imong scholars and doctor na ko ron!” which you delightfully shared to CJ Puno pointing to me as the evidence. CJ Puno himself took notice of the event and in his speech emphasized the importance of education. He said what is in a name if the person is not educated.
There are a lot of us who enjoyed your promise of making Davao City a wonderful stay. You always told us, your scholars, that the antidote to poverty is education. You told us that the best gift you can give to Davao is education; a feat so huge yet you were able to manage. Daghang salamat Speaker Nogie, you’ve made Davao a better and wonderful place. A legacy that will stay with us forever.