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PIA Press Release

Calbayog campus journalists remember 120th birthday of then Senate President Jose Avelino

By Ninfa B Quirante

Catbalogan City (August 6) -- The publisher of the Samar Sunday Star in Calbayog City, Ike Macasa gathered some 75 campus journalists from all over Calbayog, held a campus journalist summit in time to commemorate the 120th birthday of then Senate President Jose Avelino.

Macasa said he felt he had to help the campus journalists re-kindle their passion for writing.

He invited some media specialists as speakers to inspire the young writers.

As Calbayog also celebrates the 120th birthday of then Senate President, Macasa also invited the granddaughter of Avelino, Ms Loudette Avelino, who acted as the Guest Speaker.

Loudette is now based in New York and goes back periodically to Calbayog to perpetuate the legacy of her 'Lolo'.

The lady had fond memories of Avelino who was a doting grandfather and expected excellence from his heirs.

The younger Avelino also ushered this writer to Calbayog's 'Handumanan' where a photo exhibit of the life and times of Avelino were proudly displayed.

Photos displayed included his Malacanang sorties, meetings with senators that included the first woman senator Geronima Pecson in an undated photo.

The writer also chanced upon a group of school children crowding at the exhibit. They were awed at the thought that a Calbayognon like them almost became a president of the country.

According to Wikepedia Josť Dira Avelino (August 5, 1890 - July 21, 1986) was the first President of the Senate of the First Republic of the Philippines under the presidency of Manuel Roxas. He was President Pro-tempore to President Manuel Quezon prior to the establishment of the Commonwealth.

Avelino was born in Calbayog, Samar to Ildefonsa Dira and Baltazar Avelino.

He is known as the Father of the Philippine Workmen's Compensation Law; one of the most famous bills which he passed during his term which focused on creating a contingency insurance fund for workers as a way to protect the workers from the various economic problems that plagued the post-war economy.

Avelino also founded the first labor union in Eastern Visayas, Gremio Obrero de Stevedores; he is a founding member of the Liberal Party; he was instrumental in the passage of the Social Security System and pushed for the establishment of public high schools in every province in the Philippines. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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