my father cesar and his legacy

Its my father’s birthday today  and am sending  Cesar a 91st hug in heaven. I remember  Tatay in his 61st wedding anniversary in 2008.  In his special  St. Sylvester suit, he celebrated with Nanay their love  together with  13 children and spouses, 44 grandchildren and  5 great grandchildren. We filled the church with so much love. Melo and Maebel celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with Tatay and Nanay.We all cried  and cheered as Tatay and Nanay repeated their 61st vows.

My prayers have been granted : for Tatay and Nanay   had live long enough to see their apos Olivia, Kat, Mikey, Ayen, Nadine, Diego, Krisha Marie, Kris Dominic,Kristel and Julienne  graduate from college.  Tatay was so happy when Olivia Villariba Reyes graduated summa cum laude in the USA for these honors that Olivia gave to the clan meant much more to my father. Tatay would have been a summa cum laude in UP Los Banos if he had not helped a classmate who  needed to pass his final examinations so  he can graduate. He asked  Tatay to take it for him.  Tatay took the exam but  was caught. The college  dean and some professors knew Cesar was running for summa cum laude. They expelled his classmate but punished Tatay   by denying him to graduate with honors.  Tatay fought well to defend the country but he was not allowed to defend his honor. When the UP LB  graduating class published their  1948 yearbook, his name was on the last page : Cesar A. Villariba, Bachelor of Science, Agriculture. There was no mention of excellence, not even a photo.  I asked why.” I didnt have the money to pay for a picture.” Tatay replied. these were the years of reconstruction and Tatay didnt have any money after he gave all his soldier’s backpay to the impoverished  people in his Lucena neighborhood.

During the UP Centennial anniversary last year , I  asked him if he were willing to appeal to UPLB to review his case. “Hindi na,” was his reply.  To make him happy, Sonny and I went to the editor,Monette Flores  of the UP Centennial volumes, got his picture and story as a soldier included in the book even if it were past all the deadlines . The editor couldnt refuse us when we told Tatay ‘s story. ” This is our way of honoring a patriot.” was our  reason and it won her .

As an agriculturist , developed the coconut industry to a level where many coconut farmers could earn and send their children to school. Tatay taught thousands of students, from high school to post graduate students, chalking up sixty one (61) years of  passionate education work.

Cesar  A. Villariba, my father,was an educator, having taught,not just us , but  many students in the provinces of Quezon, Albay and Manila ,the value of learning. I  estimate the average  number of graduates who had Tatay as teacher  in MS.Enverga University from 1950s to  2008. The  estimate number  : sixty one thousand students, not counting the two hundred barangay high schools students who had enrolled and finished their education due to Tatay’s Education Act CIMG2462  .ibarizal

 

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2 Comments on “my father cesar and his legacy”

  1. Henry Herrera Says:

    Dr. Villariba was my professor in college. He was my favorite professor. He inspired me to be the best teacher that I can be. I owe to him my values as a teacher. Thank you Dr. Villariba!

  2. Milwida Sevilla-Reyes Says:

    Greetings from Sydney! I wasn’t privileged to be taught by your Tatay but as a Lucenahin and a fellow Quezonhigher, I have always admired Dr Villariba’s wit and brilliance as a writer and a speaker. Good to know that you and Sonny succeeded in getting your Tatay’s story and photo in the UPLB Centennial Book. ‘Sorry to hear that he has not been well. I’ll join you in praying that he be restored to health. Thank you for posting this. I wish you would write more. Warm regards, Mil Sevilla-Reyes


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