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PRES. CARLOS P. GARCIA: FACTS AND A POEM

Proem

Today is the 116th birth anniversary of Carlos P. Garcia, so far the only Boholano who became President of the Philippines.  However, when I scanned the Internet, I found out that many of the facts given are not accurate or sometimes incomplete.

 

I don’t know why the Provincial Government of Bohol, has not posted in the Internet an accurate information about President Carlos P. Garcia despite the fact that a good biography had been authored by Gregorio Eronico, Sr.

Some Missing Facts

Carlos P. Garcia was born on November 4, 1896 at Sitio Binaboy, barrio of Luy-a, town of Talibon, Bohol.  His parents were Policronio Garcia and Ambrosia Polistico.

He studied at Cebu National High School (now: Abellana National High School) until second year.  He stopped and went back to Talibon to teach.  After two years teaching he went to Silliman Institute for his 3rd year and went back to Cebu to finish his High School.  He then went back to Silliman to take his Pre-Law course.  He studied and finished his Bachelor of Laws at the Philippine Law School and graduated as valedictorian.  He passed the Bar Examination and copped the 7th place.

He was elected as the congressman of the third district of Bohol (now: the 2nd District) for two terms (1925-1928; 1928-1931).

He run for Governor of Bohol in 1931 and lost to Governor Celestino Gallares. (Note: The Internet information says that he won; it is wrong).  In the 1934 election, Garcia and Pres. Manuel Quezon convinced Gov. Gallares not to run for reelection and be appointed as a Judge of the Court of First Instance of Surigao.  Carlos Garcia runs unopposed as governor in 1934.  He got reelected in 1937.

By a gimmick of appointing the first Lady Mayor in the Philippines (Mrs. Camacho of Getafe), Carlos P. Garcia became very popular to the women voters who first voted in the 1940 national election.  Garcia won as Senator of the Philippines.

It was really a gimmick.  Mr. Camacho, the husband was the Mayor.  He and all elected officials resigned; so there was no succession.  Mrs. Camacho, the Municipal Secretary, was appointed Mayor and all the others were reappointed to their previous positions.  The legal question was, could a woman, who could not vote at that time, be appointed to an elective position?  The controversy projected Carlos Garcia to the national limelight.

CPG’s Children

For the sake of accurate historical information, the following were the children of Carlos P. Garcia: 1.) Zanone Flores.  The mother was Concepcion Flores of Poblacion Talibon, Bohol.  2.) Daisy Caseñas.  The mother was Maria Caseñas of Jagna, Bohol.  3.) Linda Garcia.  The mother was Leonila Dimataga of Lapu Lapu City, who was the wife of CPG.

A Poem

The generation of President Garcia was unique in our history.  They were educated using the English and Spanish languages.  Many of the textbooks in law during their time were yet in Spanish.

However, their generation was also very nationalistic that they wanted to propagate their native language.  President Garcia wrote many poems in Sugboanon Binisayâ but so far I have only recovered nineteen (19) of his poems.

Here is one of his poems that is less popular.  (Note: The final examination of my class in Binisayâ was for each student to memorize and recite CPG’s “Dalagang Pilipinhon”).

HINULMA SA BATHALA SA MGA HALOK

                  By: Carlos P. Garcia

Sa tanaman sa mga damgong bulawanon

Didto lalíka ang lawas mong lison ug ambóngan

Sa kasingkasing sa champaka, bulak nga hariánon

Didto liná-a ang dugós sa imong dughan.

 

Sa pandayán sa mga mutyà sa ilawom sa dagat;

Didto pandáya ang mga mutyà sa bâbâ mo,

Bâbâ nga silángan sa mga pahiyom madanihon

Natawhan sa mga halók nga masunógon;

Limot sa mga kasákit ug tambal sa himalátyon.

 

Harining sa gugma, pinurongpurongan sa kahayag!

May mga matá nga daw kaluhang bitúon,

Nga gikan sa atong langit nga manindanag

Nagsugid kanatò matahom sugilambong.

 

May kilay nga kinulit sa bág-ong bulan,

Ug bâbâ nga hinúlma sa bathálà sa mga halók,

Gikan sa damgo sa mga dalilang.

Oh! ganda mo binagayng balak sa dalingáy,

Damgo ni Venus, laláng labing tahóm,

Hinagkan sa unang yuhóm sa kabuntágon.

 

Panumduman mo nagbahâ sa kaalam

nagdilaáb sa mga mithì;

Kasingkasing mo namulak sa luming

ug tám-is nga pagbátì

Oh! makabibihag ang imong batasan

makawiwili ang imong gáwì

Misalo ka sa among mga kalipay

ug miámbit sa among mga kasákit

Sa babayeng Subanganon,

ikaw gayód ang wagás nga hingpit.

GLOSSARY: tanaman = garden; lalik = sculpt; lison = lissome; linà = brew; dugós = honey; silángan = rising place; limot = anesthesia; himalátyon = dying; harining = queen; manindanag = inspirational; sugid = narrate; sugilambong = novel; bathalà = god (bathalúman = goddess); dalilang = fairy; ganda = trinket; binagay = harmonize; dalingáy = raphe; flower cluster; laláng = creature; yuhóm = sly smile; panumdúman = memory; kaalam = knowledge; dilaáb = blaze; mithì = virtue; luming = lady-like; makawiwíli = can cause longing; gáwì = characteristic; misálo = dine with; ámbit = partake a little; Subanganon = oriental; wagás = pure; hingpit = complete

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