Issue of June 18, 2017

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Sir Tene – model father, citizen and public servant

Happy Father’s Day to all!

This great orator, statesman, educator and mentor, man of the law, outstanding citizen, model father, husband, citizen, and public servant, is a man that commands awe and reverence. He stands tall, dark and handsome, even in his 81 years. Those soulful eyes tell a lot of stories. And he deserves to be given a tribute today, Father’s Day.

Atty. Edilberto Tenefrancia, Sir Tene to many, even to Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who was once his student in Law school, is called Mr. Clean. His reputation is impeccable. Known for his integrity, honesty, sincerity, humility, and competence, his heart belongs to the poor. His greatest idol is Jesus Christ. He looks up to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, the late President Ramon Magsaysay, and Sec. Raul Manglapus.

He quotes Magsaysay, “He who has less in life, should have more in law,” emphasizing that we are all equal before the law.

Baguio people know Tene, but there are still a lot of young ones who do not recognize or do not know of his great contributions to Baguio. To stand in his presence is an honor by itself. It is like almost standing side by side with Baguio’s history. He is the voice of reason and prowess. He is a stricter for protocol and proper decorum. So young people know where you stand. It is called respect.

Sir Tene is happiest when he is with his family, his wife, and lifetime sweetheart manang Aurora, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He has six surviving children, three boys and three girls. Four are lawyers (Daniel, Joey, Rachel, and Sharon), one works with ABS-CBN (Cynthia) and one was formerly at John Hay (Edward). He has 18 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He enjoys bonding with family, including playing golf and basketball with them when he was younger.

His advice to fathers, “Enjoy your children while they are young and be a good example. Teach them to be independent. When you teach them, you give them wings, and then, let them fly. You cannot hold on to them forever.” And to mothers, “Be good mothers but do not smother your children.”

He believes that his greatest legacy is being a good public servant and a man of the law; serving with honesty and integrity, free from suspicions of corruption and irregularity.

Sir Tene recalls that one memorable moment at the city council was when he stood alone against the proposed casino or gambling. He was the “last man standing” because one councilor was absent and former councilor Braulio Yaranon walked out. Another was when he and the city council stood against Jadewell and won the case in the Supreme Court. By and large, he has been with the city council for almost 19 years, on and off.

He is a Cordilleran by choice like many of us, but was born in Tayug, Pangasinan. He has been a practicing lawyer for the last 55 years. As former president of the Baguio Colleges Foundation, he prepared the groundwork for the eventual transformation of BCF to the University of the Cordilleras, a name chosen by his mentor Benjamin Salvosa and himself.

But of course, Sir Tene’s name stands proudly with his loving wife and accomplished wife Aurora Pe Benito. They are a loving couple and a model family. Manang Aurora was a former chief nurse at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.

I will be paying tribute to another great father of Baguio, in fact the first city architect of Baguio, Arch. Jody Alabanza in another article.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there! To the Natays (nanay-tatay) and most of all, to my rock Ed, and my sons Nashi and Deke. You illumined the pathway in the most trying times of our lives. Thank you Lord!

Had a happy get together with former classmates of SLU Girls High Batch ‘68 which coincided with the birthday celebration of Antoinette “Toni” Hamada, publisher of the Baguio Midland Courier and the planning for the golden anniversary celebration of the batch next year. There is another potluck meeting on June 20at the Megatower at 3:00 p.m. c/o Eva Vicaldo. Batch ‘68, please come and join. In attendance were: Toni Hamada, Beng Afuang, Raquel Cruz, Eva Vicaldo, Irene Castillo, Chyt Dionisio, Meriam Cacanindin, Mel Corkum, Edna Lundang, Tess Alabanza, Jean Mapalo, Weng de Jesus, Nemia Gernale, Menchie Estillore and Beth Publico.

Thank you Roland “Oyan” Villanueva and Janet Lu for inviting us to the commemoration of the 22nd death anniversary of mom Genoveva “Oleva” Veneracion Villanueva, and celebration of the 40 years of Venus Park View Hotel last June 11. Yummy food, sausages and assortment of cheese. I understand these will be offered at your Olive’s Resto. We had fun! Di ba tita Nora Cordero and Lee, Eric and Frances Picart, Shoebe Ramagosa and Reggie? Also met a long time friend, Emil Veneracion who owns Dad’s Place.

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