Bue­naven­tura Ro­driguez’ lit­er­ary works

The Freeman - - OPINION -

Bue­naven­tura Ro­driguez is the first gov­er­nor who took of­fice at the mag­nif­i­cent Cebu Provin­cial Capi­tol build­ing, hav­ing been elected on De­cem­ber 14, 1937. The build­ing was con­structed dur­ing the term of Gov­er­nor Sotero Barte Cabahug (1934-1937) but it was Ro­driguez who held of­fice there af­ter it was fi­nally in­au­gu­rated on June 14, 1938 (look up at the up­per façade of the build­ing, you will see the phrase en­shrined “The au­thor­ity of the gov­ern­ment em­anates from the peo­ple,” with the Ro­man nu­mer­als “1937”).

Ro­driguez be­fore, be­ing a gov­er­nor, was elected Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Old 7th District of Cebu in 1934. The district was com­posed then of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties of Balam­ban, As­turias, Tubu­ran, Tabue­lan, San Remi­gio, Medellin, Daan­ban­tayan, Santa Fe, Ban­tayan, and Madride­jos.

Ro­driguez was fore­most, be­fore be­ing a pub­lic ser­vant, a lit­er­ary ge­nius. Among his works is the short story/ play “Ang Mini,” trans­lated into Filipino as “Ang Peke” and in English as “The Fake.” It is one of the Ce­buano plays trans­lated in the book “Du­laang Ce­buano” writ­ten by Er­linda K. Al­buro, pub­lished by the Ate­neo de Manila Univer­sity Press.

“Ang Mini” tells the story of a rich man's dis­cov­ery of the worth­less­ness of the life of ex­trav­a­gance and ut­ter lazi­ness. It was writ­ten in 1925 and found its way on to the Cebu stage in 1927 and in 1931 at the Manila Grand Opera House. The char­ac­ters of the story were: Don Felix alias “Eling” as the Mini, Mayang (a maiden whom the main char­ac­ter falls in love with), Dr. Casas (the doc­tor who en­light­ened Don Felix on how life should be lived), Ali­pio (Mayang's fa­ther), Ingka (Mayang's mother), Go­ryo (Mayang's would-be hus­band), Iyo Pas­cual (Go­ryo's fa­ther), Quintin (Mayang's brother), Head­ser­vant (Don Felix's head­ser­vant), and Pi­lar (Dr. Casas' nurse).

Ro­driguez, more known as “Tura,” also wrote the zarzuela “In­day” in 1917. It was first staged at the Teatro Ori­ente on Au­gust 18, 1917. His oth­ers works were “Balaod sa Kinabuhi,” “Pahiyum,” and “Dini­han.”

Ro­driguez was born on July 14, 1893, son of Don Filomino Ro­driguez and Doña Ana Perez. He died on De­cem­ber 9, 1940, hours be­fore the elec­tion on De­cem­ber 10, 1940 where he ran for re-elec­tion. He was re­placed by Hi­lario Abel­lana who even­tu­ally be­came the wartime Gov­er­nor of Cebu and who was ex­e­cuted by the Ja­panese.

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