CEBU CITY, Philippines – The remains of the late Cebu City Congressman Raul Del Mar have returned home.
Del Mar’s ashes arrived at Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 2, wherein welcome rites were led by former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard ‘Ahong’ Chan, airport authorities, and members of the Bando-Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).
Separate memorial services were also conducted to honor his legacy and contributions in Cebu, particularly for establishing the MCIA and the Cebu Port Authority (CPA).
Officials from the MCIA Authority (MCIAA) and CPA also held memorial rites at the latter’s social hall in North Reclamation Area, Cebu City wherein they recognized him as the father of CPA and MCIA.
In his speech, MCIAA general manager and lawyer Steve Dicdican remembered Del Mar for his unwavering support for the MCIA community.
“From Day One, he told let’s do the second runway… When we meet, he also reminds me that ‘let’s do the second runway’, and he would also follow up, he kept on calling…When the day happened that we would start the project, I had no better man in mind to speak that event than Congressman Raul del Mar”, said Dicdican.
CPA general manager Leonilo Miole, for his part, said their organization has passed a resolution, recognizing Del Mar’s initiatives for the formation of the administrative body managing one of the country’s busiest ports.
CPA also led the ceremonial simultaneous blowing of horns in all ports in Cebu at 12 p.m. on Wednesday when Del Mar’s ashes were being transferred to Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño de Cebu.
There, another Mass was held led by the lawmaker’s living relatives, Osmeña, and several officials from BOPK.
In a press interview, Osmeña said Del Mar’s passing was a ‘big loss to Cebu’, and that he was proud to have him as a political ally.
“Kung wa pa si Raul, we would be completely different… Akong nakita sa personal iyahang commitment… very consistent all the way, 100 percent performance,” said Osmeña.
“Dako kaayo ang iyahang impact. Siya naghimo sa Cebu Port Authority, almost 30 years ago…It’s a very difficult law, iyahang gi-muster, iyahang gi-push through sa Congress,” he added.
Osmeña also floated the idea of renaming MCIA to Del Mar International Airport.
Del Mar served a total of nine terms as the representative for Cebu City North District since 1987 under BOPK. He died in a hospital in Metro Manila last November 16 at the age of 79. /rcg