Sunday, October 19, 2008


Today, October 19 is my grandfather's 122nd birth anniversary. Jorge C. Bocobo was born in Gerona, Tarlac of hardy Ilocano parents this day in 1886. He was a man who wore many hats, so to speak, and among them were that of a lay preacher who was instrumental in the building of the Central United Methodist Church along T.M. Kalaw in Ermita, Manila. He was a law professor at the UP College of Law and thereafter became its Dean of the College of Law, and further on became the 5th president of the University of the Philippines. He served under President Manuel L. Quezon's administration as Secretary of Education, was Chairman of the Code Commission which drafted the Civil Code of the Philippines of which he has written most of its statutes. He was a moral crusader, a poet and an essayist, and translaled from Spanish to English Dr. Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. His translations were the unexpurgated versions and thus were censored by the Roman Catholic Church. He wrote many poems and short stories, and among them the first Filipino novel written in English entitled, 'Henry and Loleng.' He served in the Judiciary as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and most of all, he was a patriot who loved his country with a burning passion, and together with that he always looked to the Holy Scriptures as the Living Word of Almighty God. He was a man who lived what he preached. A man who loved the law of the land and the law of God. In Article 19 of the Civil Code, he wrote: "Every person must, in the exercise of his duties, (1) act with justice, (2) give everyone his due, and (3) observe honesty and good faith." This is known to be the golden rule of Philippine laws. Today, many have probably forgotten the man and what he has given to his beloved country. His memory lives on in my heart and in my love for Scriptures the same way he loved it. In the way he loved humanity and how he fought for righteousness and justice, especially for the oppressed. His spirit of patriotism lives on in the hearts of all the brave men and women who dare not bow down to the enemy among us. I salute the man as I toast his contributions to our country.

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