DFA Archives receives Romulo collection

By Dhel Nazario

A collection of documents from the country’s most prolific and widely-respected diplomat was received by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) Archives on Wednesday.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOS / MANILA BULLETIN) Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. received 40 boxes of actual and digital versions of correspondences, speeches, reports, press releases, clippings, and other documents that chronicle the life and times of nationalist, former Foreign Affairs Secretary, and first Asian and Filipino United Nations General Assembly President Carlos P. Romulo, from the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development, the Carlos P. Romulo (CPR) Documents

Signing the Deed of Donation were Secretary Locsin and Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development’s Chairman and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Roberto R. Romulo. The signing was witnessed by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asset Management and Support Services Medardo G. Macaraig, the Foundation’s Director for Archives Liana Romulo, and DFA officers and staff, among whom were colleagues of Secretary Roberto Romulo.

In his remarks, Secretary Locsin highlighted the importance of the CPR documents and how they would be a major information source on Philippine diplomacy.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs is particularly proud that its history is adorned by the timeless contributions of Carlos P. Romulo in his various diplomatic roles, including as Ambassador to the United Nations, and as the country's top diplomat under three Presidents. To him belongs the distinction of being the first Asian and the only Filipino who served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly,” Secretary Locsin said.

“Given his remarkable track record and his extraordinary achievements, this collection will be a gold mine of information on the man, his thoughts, and his contributions to our country. It is a priceless addition to our growing archives and significantly contributes to the fulfilment of the mission of the DFA Archives, which is to collect, organize, preserve, and make available enduring records of the DFA related to Philippine foreign service, foreign policy, and diplomacy,” he added.

In paying tribute to the eminent Filipino diplomat, Secretary Locsin said he has admired CPR’s nationalistic spirit.

“I find myself here in the Department of Foreign Affairs, hoping I can think and act like Carlos P. Romulo because the things he believed in, the positions he took, the alliances he thought would stand us in good stead, they are the ones I’m striving to build again,” Secretary Locsin stated.

For her part, Ms. Romulo hoped that the documents would allow the eminent Filipino diplomat, her grandfather, to be seen beyond what he is known for.

“CPR’s multiple careers as a diplomat, educator, writer, and politician are all represented herein; though a researcher who gets deep into the materials might be startled to realize that he was once a very relatable young man who worried constantly about his mother’s well-being, who thought that the world was absolutely awe-inspiring, and who was always in love. We hope researchers will come in, get to know CPR, and be inspired by him,” she said.

In his remarks, former Secretary Romulo said that his father would be delighted that the papers would find their way to the Department where they should be, and expressed his views through excerpts of the, “I am a Filipino,” written by CPR in January 1944.

“I am just delighted and my father would surely enjoy it that the papers have found their way to the DFA,” he said. During the event, Secretary Romulo was also presented with a photo book containing photographs of his time as Foreign Affairs Secretary from June 1992 to May 1995 from the DFA Archives.

Previously at the Filipinas Heritage Library, the CPR Documents will be housed at the DFA Archives, under the Department’s Office of Asset Management and Support Services.