In celebration of “Araw ng Pasig,” five newly-constructed school buildings in the city were officially named after prominent Pasigueños, following a policy shift steering away from naming infrastructure projects after incumbent politicians.
The short ceremony was held at the Rizal High School at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 2.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, Vice Mayor Robert “Dodot” Jaworski Jr., Congressman Roman Romulo, and Schools Division Office (SDO) Superintendent Evalou Agustin turned over the brass markers to the representatives of the respective schools, barangay officials, and some of the family members of the honorees.
The chosen outstanding Pasigueños were Luciano P.R. Santiago, Gregorio C. Coching, Emiliano R. Caruncho, Jr., Jovito R. Salonga, and Filomeno A. De Leon.
Dr. Nestor Castro, a professor in the Department of Anthropology of the University of the Philippines (UP), paid tribute to Santiago and Coching, who are the namesakes of the new buildings in Dr. Sixto Antonio Elementary School, and Buting Elementary School respectively.
Councilor Corazon “Corie” Raymundo honored Caruncho Jr., the longest serving mayor of Pasig City, and beloved former senator Salonga. The new building in the Rizal Experimental Station and Pilot School of Cottage Industries (RESPSCI) is named after Caruncho, while the building in Rizal High School is named after Salonga.
Finally, the new building in Pineda Elementary School is named after De Leon. He was introduced by Ricardo Reyes, the head of the Pasig Urban Settlements Office.
They were chosen by the Eminent Persons Group, the technical working group (TWG) assigned for the Naming of Newly-Constructed School Buildings.
Mayor Sotto said amid a “period of rapid change in our politics, governance, and institutions,” it is time to embrace a new style and system of politics that is “centered on God, and what is good for the city, society and nation.”
“As we name these buildings after prominent, outstanding Pasigueños, and historical figures of our city, we want to give our students, our youth role models that they can emulate,” Sotto added.
Vice Mayor Jaworski assured stakeholders his commitment as the presiding officer of the city council to “support programs to further develop the skills and talents of Pasigueños.”
Moreover, Congressman Romulo said there is “no politics in choosing the names,” and serves more of an expression of gratitude from the local government to honor outstanding Pasigueños and their contributions.
As early as July 2019, Sotto, together with Romulo decided to create the policy shift to naming government-funded infrastructures.
On June 22, Sotto and Romulo inaugurated a building that was also named after Jovito R. Salonga in Pasig Elementary School.
-Meet the honorees-
Dr. Luciano P.R. Santiago, a native of Barangay Bagong Katipunan in Pasig City, was a world-renowned psychiatrist, writer, and historian. He was the only two-time winner and non-American recipient of the Wendell Muncie Prize in 1970 and 1976 for his writing on psychiatry.
He is noted for his research on Philippine history and the arts, having authored the premiere books on the 18th to 19th century Pasigueño priests. Among his many awards, his book “The World of Damian Domingo” won him the National Book Award for Art from the Manila Critics Circle in 1990.
Gregorio C. Coching is a noteworthy pre-war writer and comics illustrator. He penned the novel “Sanggumay,” which won the first prize in the Tagalog novel category of the Liwayway magazine contest in 1925. His other cult-favorite works include “Nanay Ko, Anak Ko,” and “Gagamba.”
Born in 1892 in Barangay Buting, Pasig City, Coching trained as an engraver in his youth and became recognized internationally and locally for his work. He also ventured into the art of sculpting.
Coching was one of the seven founders of the “Pitong Matanda sa Nayon,” a local historical research club in Pasig known for spearheading the research on the history of the city.
He is the father of National Artist for Visual Arts Francisco Coching, the “Dean of Filipino Illustrators.”
Emiliano R. Caruncho Jr. served as mayor of Pasig City for three decades, from 1956 to 1986. His term was perceived as the “period of transformation and development,” beginning Pasig’s urbanization. From a rural, grassland area, he led the installation of buildings, cemented roads, drainage systems, and modernizing public works.
The building in what is now known as the Pasig Mega Market, as well as the Pasig Revolving Tower, we’re among his terms Engineering feats that opened the city as a center for trade and business.
Jovito R. Salonga served as a senator for 12 years, under the administrations of Macapagal, Marcos Sr., and Aquino. He also became senate president for four years during his 12 year term.
He was called “The Nation’s Fiscalizer” lauded for his legislations on the Disclosure of Interest Act, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and the Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder among others.
Filomeno A. De Leon was an educator who was famously the longest serving president of the Pineda Elementary School’s Parent-teacher Association (PTA). He was selected unanimously by his PTA members for 37 continuous years. For this he earned the informal title “Perpetual President” from his peers in the school.
He also served as a municipal councilor who advocated for education. He drafted ordinances to improve and oversee educational projects in the city, and was the driving force of the local school board. He was also instrumental in building Kapitolyo High School to make education more accessible to students within the areas of Pineda and Kapitolyo.