It was December 30, 2017 while celebrating Rizal Day, the students from the City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy presented one of Buenaventura Rodriguez artworks. Then it came to me that he is really a great and brilliant man but I wonder if the young generation knows him. I wonder if the young Bogohanons noticed his great and wonderful contributions to culture and the arts, as well as to public governance.
It was then that I stumbled upon an article written by Clarence Paul Oaminal for CEBUPEDIA and was published in the FREEMAN (The Philippine Star) last June 2, 2014. Let me re-post here the said article.
It is the street starting at corner V. Rama Avenue and ends at the Fuente Rotunda. Situated along the street is the more than a hundred year old provincial hospital then known as the Southern Island Hospital now called the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
Buenaventura Rodriguez, born on July 14, 1892 in Bogo, was son of spouses Don Filomeno Rodriguez and Doña Ana Perez. Don Filomeno (Buenaventura's father) is the brother of Don Pedro Rodriguez and Don Celestino. The siblings of Buenaventura, fondly called as TURA, were Ignacio (who became a judge and mayor of Medellin) and Luz.
Buenaventura, went to the Colegio de San Carlos, also at the Ateneo De Manila and the Escuela de Derecho. He was elected member of the provincial board of the province of Cebu in 1921 to 1925. He was also elected as representative of the old first district of Cebu in 1931. In 1934 he was elected as representative of the old seventh district.
He was elected as governor of Cebu on December 14, 1937, defeating his friend and literary fellow, Don Vicente Y. Sotto of the Frente Popular. He was the governor of Cebu when the provincial Capitol was inaugurated on June 14, 1938. His board members in the 1937 election, confirmed by Pres. Manuel L. Quezon on December 29, 1937 under Executive Order No. 133 series of 1937, were Vicente Lozada (mayor of Dumanjug, later elected as congressman of the old sixth district of Cebu) and Manuel Roa (later became governor of Cebu).
Buenaventura was one of the great Cebuano playwrights like Piux Kabajar, Vicente Sotto, and Florentino Borromeo. Among the many plays written by Buenaventura were the Cebuano Zarsuela "Mini" and "Lili". Another play he wrote was "El Muneco Roto" and "La Adjusta Leja de la Vaguada," which was made into a movie.
He was the recipient of the "Premio Zobel" (named after Don Enrique Zobel, an advocate of Spanish literature) in 1924 for his novel La Pugna. Another masterpiece was "Salisang."
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Buenaventura died on December 9, 1940, hours before the day of his reelection on December 10, 1940. He was replaced by Hilario "Dodong" Abellana, who campaigned only for hours, and won against Mariano Mercado, the candidate of Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco, while Tura was an Osmeñista.
Let us remember Governor Buenaventura "Tura" Rodriguez as we pass by the street named after him, let us thank him for the contributions he gave to Cebu, in public governance, arts, and literature.
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