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A real Atenean president

/ 09:13 PM January 11, 2013

Regarding my Jan. 6 article “Reuter ‘baby’ at 88 on the ‘greatest teacher’ of his generation,” I wish to correct what I wrote: “there has never been a real Atenean president except one who was thrown out of Ateneo, out of Malacañang and into jail.”

My daughter-in-law, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, pointed out to me that President Noynoy Aquino is a real Atenean president, and she is right.

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What I really wanted to point out in my article, but failed to do, is that Ateneans of our generation, who were educated by Irish-American Jesuits, and who were in a manner of speaking “an aristocrat with the heart of a peasant,” were so out of touch with the general electorate that they never got elected president. Raul Manglapus, Emmanuel Pelaez, Ambrosio Padilla, Manuel Manahan and Soc Rodrigo come to mind.

President Aquino is of an entirely different generation, educated as he was by Filipino Jesuits, with an entirely different mindset from that of Irish-Americans like Father Hogan who organized labor unions and got his students to picket their parents at San Miguel, and of the good Fathers who used to beat us with a cane for speaking Tagalog and for the smallest infractions of discipline.

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Now, ask me why the Dominican Fathers of Letran and the University of Sto. Tomas were able to produce six of our presidents—Aguinaldo, Quezon, Laurel, Osmeña, Quirino, and Macapagal, and almost 99 percent of our national heroes—despite what Jose Rizal said of Dominican teachers.

My grandfather Don Daniel Maramba, mayor, governor, congressman, assemblyman and senator, once told me: “The Spanish Dominicans were indeed so obnoxious and anti-Filipino, that most of their students became Freemasons and all of them swore to spend the rest of their lives throwing the Spaniards out of the country.”

—HILARION M. HENARES JR.,

Dasmariñas Village, Makati City

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TAGS: ATENEO, Benigno Aquino III, Dominicans, Jesuits, letters
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