A MILLION pesos for our heroes.
This was the funding that Congressman Erbie Fabian pledged to Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) to jumpstart the construction of its Mindanao Hall of Fame and Gallery of Heroes during the project’s groundbreaking ceremony yesterday.
The university’s latest community-oriented project is appropriately located next to its venerable Social Hall, itself part of the oldest and most revered physical structure in the campus. The building was constructed by the American colonial administration in 1914 to found what has since become the premiere normal school in Mindanao. As such, it has molded generations of unsung and sung, small and big heroes.
Now, the project conceived by WMSU Vice-President-REDCA Prof. Clemencio Bascar seeks to provide a “home” in which to enshrine the better-known historical figures of the region. Among them would be Gen. Vicente Alvarez, specifically mentioned by Congressman Fabian in his speech yesterday, for defeating the last of the Spanish colonial forces holed up in Fort Pilar in the final days of the first Philippine Revolution. They were led by the last Spanish governor-general in the Philippines, Gen. Diego delos Rios.
Fabian elaborated: “It is about time, therefore, that we clothe our dream of establishing our own Mindanao Hall of Fame and Gallery of Heroes, and I am mighty glad that the time is now. I am very privileged to have played a part in transforming this dream into a reality by assigning a million pesos from my congressional allocation, aligned with this endeavor’s vision, which is to contribute immensely to the cultural development and progress of the region, nation and the world.”
“I extol the (WMSU), headed by the indefatigable man of vision, Pres. Dr. Eldigario Gonzales, and aided by the highly gifted Prof. Clem Bascar, the Vice-President for Research, Extension and Development and Corporate Affairs, and all the men and women who bring this project to fruition,” the congressman added.
Dr. Gonzales in his remarks in the occasion said the heroes to be featured in the gallery will “serve as models of character, achievement, heroism an dservice for poeple of all ages, genders, cultures, creeds and colors.” Hence, he said, the facility will “be an effective medium of character formation, value re-orientation, social transformation, cultural enrichment, and appreciation of our heritage.”
The Hall’s physical facility will be constructed as a 140-square meter annex to the Social Hall located in the education building, with a “neo-classic, American Colonial period style” at a cost of P5-million.
Inside the Hall will display each inductee-hero’s plaque bearing his/her replica, name and brief biographical description, his/her “hall of famer” gold medallion, and pamphlets detailing his/her biography and accomplishments for distribution to guests. Inductees may come from any of the various fields of endeavor, such as culture and arts, governance and public service, humanitarian service, sports, business, science and technology, military and police, communication, and others, Bascar said. (Rey- Luis Banagudos – PAO, WMSU)