Grand Old Man was among history’s youngest leaders

Sergio Osmeña Sr. has always has been called the Grand Old Man of Cebu.

But yesterday, on his birth anniversary last September 9, his grandson, former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña maybe re-writing pages of Cebuano history now that he has made Cebuanos ponder about not calling Don Sergio the Grand Old Man of Cebu anymore. All these years, Don Sergio was one of history’s youngest leaders.

At Capitol rites commemorating Don Sergio’s 137th birthday, the former Cebu City chief executive said his grandfather was younger than Manuel L. Quezon, first president of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1835.

Don Sergio was as young as Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar who was the youngest general of the Philippine Army at the time, for he was only 29 when picked as the first speaker of the First Philippine Assembly under the American regime in the country.

So, Osmeña asked why call Don Sergio Old Man?  He believes it is time to stop branding his grandfather the Grand Old Man of Cebu.

For him, this projects the preference for old leaders, especially for top posts like the presidency, and sends a message that young leaders cannot be trusted.  But in his time, Don Sergio showed how well he ran the affairs of the house at a young age.

The former Cebu City mayor joined Gov. Hilario Davide III, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, department heads and Provincial Board members at floral offering rites in honor of Don Sergio Osmena Sr. at the Capitol.

Don Sergio was once Governor of Cebu Province. Fides Palecte