Press Release
May 20, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has expressed his thanks to the public for commiserating with his family on the death of Senate President Edgardo Angara and for giving their heartfelt tribute to his father for his achievements as a senator and an educator.

In front of mourners and supporters inside the Malcolm Hall of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, the younger Angara, however, said he believed his father already achieved immortality by creating institutions through his works in both fronts.

"A wise man once said that there are two ways to achieve immortality: one is to enter politics because he would be written on history books; the second way was to teach because you would live on as many of you had done in the lives of your students, in the worlds of your students and so forth," the lawmaker said.

He added: "I would add a third--and that's to create institutions which my father did. In fact my father has done all these. He has taught, he has educated people, he has mentored many generations of people. So I think he lives on to those younger generations."

As a legislator, Sonny said his father created institutions, such as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), National Center for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) and Sentro Rizal, the overseas Philippine cultural center much like Spain's Instituto Cervantes and Italy's Dante Alighieri Center.

He said his father thought of having a Sentro Rizal in each Philippine Embassy abroad to "instill nationalism in every Filipino."

"For each famous institution, there is an obscure institution that my father has created. For each TESDA, there is lesser-known national book development board. For each CHED, there is a UP School of Health Sciences," the senator said.

The younger Angara said his father's work in the area of education cannot be discounted. The late statesman championed education to give everyone in the country a fighting chance to succeed because he believed in the Filipino talent, he said.

"My father always wanted to give everyone a fighting chance. Paniwala nya po na ang angking talino at galing ng Pilipino ay hindi matatawaran, na kung bibigyan lang ng tyansa, ay we are world-class. We can excel wherever we go," Sonny said.

According to the first-term senator, 50 percent of his father's achievements are not even publicly known. "I was once invited sa UP Women Center to inaugurate around 2009 at nalaman ko, sabi nung dean sa akin, 'proyekto po ito ng tatay nyo.' He never told me about it. Ang dami pong ganun sa totoo lang."

In his eulogy, Sonny recalled his father's "extraordinary attachment and devotion" to UP, where he spent 12 years or about one-seventh of his life--6 years as a student and 6 years as university president from 1981 to 1987.

Among the many good words and praises for his late father, Sonny said what moved him the most were those came from maintenance personnel of UP.

"Ang dami pong lumapit sa akin na maintenance sa labas at sinabi nilang mahal na mahal po nila ang aking tatay dahil tumaas daw ang kanilang benepisyo sa ilalim nya," the senator said.

"I think that is a true test of a leader when you can lift up the lowest of the low among your constituents," he added.

In behalf of his mother Gloria and the rest of the family, Sonny thanked the UP community for paying tribute to his late father, who died on May 13 at the age of 83.

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