Rotary Club of Tagbilaran
November 5, 2014
The Greatest Boholano?
November 4 is Garcia Day, a Holiday in the Province of Bohol, honoring Atty. Carlos Polestico Garcia of the Municipality of Talibon. Sporadically, I hear him being tagged as “The Greatest Boholano” (by some politicians, eager to impress with their stentorian oratory on stage) who ever lived. Whether there is truth to this assertion is relative – depending upon the perspective he is being viewed. That he was the only President Bohol has produced is undebatable. That his “Filipino First Policy” is economically viable is a conjecture that not has won the unanimous nod of noted financial wizards.
That he was a handsome and charismatic poet is a truism for all seasons, as proven by some wild oats he had sown on some fertile earth (a daughter of his was our Chairman of the English Department at the University of San Carlos when I taught there in the eighties). That he has not cemented a single kilometer of road in his hometown, compared to the grandiose infrastructure Marcos bestowed in Ilocandia, is every Boholano’s regret. Indubitably, filling his own pockets with people’s money was never a part of his agenda.
How does he compare with Datu Sikatuna, the originator of the “Sandugo,” the Blood Compact, which is considered the First Treaty of International Friendship? Do all Boholanos know that The Order of Datu Sikatuna is the highest distinction an Ambassador to the Philippines receives? How about Tamblot? Do you know that he led the longest revolt (a local historian said 80 years) against Spain? Or “Dagon sa Hoyohoy” (shortened to Dagohoy) who was another rebel with a cause?
For all intents and purposes, can we make a heart-hewn compromise, and call CPG “The Great Boholano?” There was Alexander the Great, Catherine the Great; only Cassius Clay (who converted into the Muslim faith) egotistically claimed “I am the greatest!” Even if later he was spasmodically jerking because of Parkinson’s Disease.