Sergio Osmeña, the Grand Old Man of Cebu.
This Cebuano politician became the first Visayan President of the Philippines and this day, we commemorate his birthday by declaring September 9 as a Special Non-Working Holiday in Cebu.
So here are some interesting facts about the fourth President of the Philippines:
The late president used his mother’s surname. He was believed to be the son of of Chinese tycoon Don Pedro Lee Gotiaoco, who was the ancestor of the prominent Chinese clans of Cebu, namely Gokongwei and Gaisano.
His term was during the World War II, so the Philippine flag was flown upside-down to symbolize wartime.
Meanwhile, his fellow former President Manuel Quezon placed fourth.
He held the office at the age of 65 following the sudden death of Quezon (suffered from tuberculosis). Fidel Ramos was the second, having been elected President at the age of 64.
To be fair, he was in office for less than two years, from August 1, 1944 – May 28, 1946. He delivered his speech on June 9, 1945.
In his run against Manuel Roxas for Presidency, he refused to actively campaign saying that the Filipino people knew his reputation. He lost that election.
After passing the bar, Osmeña started his political career at the age of 25 when he was elected Governor of Cebu Province.
All former Presidents of the Philippines are automatically accorded a presidential security detail from the presidential Security Group. Osmeña refused this privilege, saying that he just wanted a simple life.
He is interred there along with two other Presidents – Manuel Roxas and Ramon Magsaysay.