Former mayor pushes for revival of Malaybalay historical committee

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 April) – Former Malaybalay City mayor Edilberto Mamawag Sr. said Malaybalay City needs to revive and fund a historical committee created in the late 1970s to look into historical events that still have a lingering effect on the present.

Mamawag, an appointed mayor of the then Municipality of Malaybalay from 1979 to 1980, said many of his contemporaries have been pushing for the committee in the last 10 years but to no avail.

“The older folk who could share the stories and facts of the past will soon die and the past could die with them,” said the 84-yeard-old former correspondent of the defunct Manila Times in the 1960s turned grains trader and politician.

He said reclaiming a community’s past is an important and urgent task of the present leaders.

Mamawag said the committee’s task is to trace Malaybalay’s heroes and landmarks that are now erased from memory and strive to make them known to the people, including the history of how the city’s streets were named.

The former mayor also said the committee should find out why the city government has no land of its own in contrast to the provincial government which owns most public lands in the area.

He said this is still a relevant issue in relation to the city government’s plan to build more infrastructures.

He, however, recalled that lands in Malaybalay which were donated to the government were titled in the name of the province.

“One solution could be to ask the province to donate land to the city, but it could be difficult,” he added.

Mamawag warned the city would be courting trouble by ignoring the importance of reviving the committee.

“If you cannot reclaim your past, your future will be shaky. The basis of your future is your present. The past is also the basis of the present,” he said.

He said that in 2007 he and other retirees lobbied at the city council for the revival of the committee.

“But nothing has happened,” he said.  “We were discouraged,” he added, even if he admitted that he hasn’t given up on the idea.

“If there is anyone who will work on it, we will support it,” he said.

He said that researcher Ludivina Opena, 84, who is writing a book on the history of Bukidnon and Malaybalay should be included as one of the committee’s resource persons. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)