Ramas recall Don Vicente’s brand of public service

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE new generation of Ramas have not forgotten Don Vicente Rama, even if they have never met the father of the Cebu City Charter.

Michelle May Rama, 16, said she learned about her great grandfather's integrity and advocacy on good government from her grandparents and her uncle, Mayor Michael Rama.

From stories passed on by several generations of Ramas, Michelle May describes Don Vicente as: “Strict, a good father, good writer, lover of the native tongue and a public servant.”


Corazon Rama-del Prado, 82, said she made sure that the younger generation knows about
her father's work as a public servant.

Del Prado and Napoleon Rama, 96, are the only living children of Don Vicente. He had 13 children.

Napoleon lives in Manila and was the cellmate of the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr. during the Martial Law regime.

The Ramas offered flowers to the bust of Don Vicente, located at the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7 compound, to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the Cebu City Charter.

Don Vicente authored the charter when he was in Congress.

More than 20 members of the Rama clan attended the floral offering. Among them were Basak San Nicolas Barangay Captain George Rama, Ormoc City Councilor Vincent Rama and the mayor's brothers Don James and Hector.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, Councilors Lea Japson, Gerardo Carillo, Mary Ann de los Santos, Nendell Hanz Abella and Phillip Zafra were also there.

“A lot of us have a person we look up to and idolize. For me, it was Don Vicente Rama, whose integrity and good governance were handed down to our generation,” said Michelle, a graduating high school student of the University of San Carlos (USC) North Campus.

Del Prado recalled the time her father passed by a rival politician. “Because he didn’t hold grudges, he offered that person a ride in his Buick,” she said.

During his speech, Mayor Rama told City Hall employees that they will not get a Charter Day bonus, unlike in the past, because the City Government has to focus on rebuilding the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC).

But he said employees may receive incentives in June when the country celebrates Independence Day.

Last year, the employees received P12,000 each during the 76th Charter Day celebration. The sum included P7,000 as Charter Day bonus and the P5,000 balance from their Christmas 2012 bonus.


Rama also directed City Hall employees to attend today's reenactment of the Edsa People Power Revolution at the Cebu Capitol grounds.

He urged employees to heed organizers’ advice to wear yellow.

Some employees told the mayor in jest that they only have yellow and green shirts, referring to the Team Rama colors in the May 2013 elections. To this the mayor replied: “Bahalo mo diha (It’s up to you).”

Rama was a member of the Liberal Party but left it and ran under the United Alliance (UNA) party during the May 2013 elections when President Benigno Aquino III chose to support former congressman Tomas Osmeña.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2014.

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