By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
The Valenzuela City government commemorated Thursday the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Pio Valenzuela, the city’s homegrown revolutionary.
Dr. Pio was a 23-year-old medical student when he joined the revolutionary group Katipunan.
He headed the group’s official publication, ‘Ang Kalayaan,’ and was part of the triumvirate—along with Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto—which formed the Katipunan’s secret chamber which reportedly imposed punishment to its members who would betray its by-laws, including death.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Executive Director Ludovico Badoy led the wreath-laying ceremony held at the Triumvirate Monument of the Valenzuela City Hall grounds.
A 21-gun salute was also accorded by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, city Mayor Rex Gatchalian and some of Dr. Pio’s grandchildren, including Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, were also present during the NHCP-led event.
Mayor Gatchalian, during his speech, bared that the city government is already working on the process of Dr. Pio’s house renovation in Barangay Pariancillo Villa to its pre-war design.
The ongoing rehabilitation of the old Polo Park which “will give a sense of identity” to the city residents is also expected to be finished by early next year, Gatchalian added.
“We’re looking forward to it as it is about time,” Rosie Tecson Romulo, Dr. Pio’s 79-year-old granddaughter said.
“We are open to the idea of his house’s renovation. There were some opposition, but we told the person in-charge that you can have the house if you can renovate it,” Romulo, the daughter of Dr. Pio’s fourth daughter, added.
Romulo, who used to live just across Dr. Pio’s house, remembered his ‘Lolo Pio’ as a quiet one.
“Every time I would come home with my friends, he would look at us and count how many we were,” she added
“He loved to wear white clothes, perhaps because he was a doctor,” she furthered.
Dr. Pio, who also served several terms as Polo town mayor (now Valenzuela) and Bulacan province governor, decided to quit politics to focus on the practice of medicine.
“That is really the love of his life,. He wants to help people. And he was really passionate about it,” Romulo said.