04 December 2011

Who is Epifanio Delos Santos?

If Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) were not named as such, it could have been named “Avenida 19 de Junio.”, “President Ramon Magsaysay Avenue.” Or “Gen. Douglas MacArthur Highway.”

The People Power Revolutions that restored democracy in 1986 (Edsa I), and ousted then President Joseph Estrada in 2001 (Edsa II) happened on that stretch of road.

That 10 lane expressway runs 24 kilometers (15 miles) from Caloocan City in the north to Pasay City in the south. Edsa is the Philippines’ most famous and historic highway.

So who is Epifanio delos Santos?

Born to a wealthy family in Malabon on April 7, 1871, De los Santos studied at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, where he acquired a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in March 1890. In 1891, he began studying jurisprudence at the Santo Tomas Law School and obtained his licentiate in law in 1898.

He was considered one of the best Filipino writers in Spanish, and was the first Filipino to become a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Language (a position that was denied Rizal), the Spanish Royal Academy of Literature, and the Spanish Royal Academy of History in Madrid.

But despite his love for the Spanish language, De los Santos was a fiery patriot who championed Philippine independence through journalism. He became associate editor of the influential revolutionary paper, La Independencia, in 1898, using the pen name G. Solon.
He cofounded the patriotic newspapers La Libertad, El Renacimiento, La Democracia and La Patria. Among his famous patriotic essays were titled “Filipinos y Filipinistas” and “Filipinas para los Filipinos.”

De los Santos also wrote extensively in Tagalog. He was a member of an eminent group of scholars called the Samahan ng mga Mananagalog, which was founded by Felipe Calderon in 1904.

His peers in this circle of great Tagalog writers were Lope K. Santos, Rosa Sevilla, Hermenigildo Cruz, Jaime de Veyra and Patricio Mariano.

Source: Inquirer

This trend of renaming streets after current heroes have got to stop.

Bohol Rep. Rene Lopez Relampagos filed a bill seeking to rename EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue.

I remember what Isaac Newton said, " If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants...".

Relampagos best remember that we are where we are now because of giants like Epifanio Delos Santos. If we trivialize what our past heroes have done, we come out as an ungrateful nation.