Reminising the Legacy of Melanio Nepomuceno Leonor
by Elmor Earl F. Leonor
(Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines)
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My grandfather, Melanio Nepomuceno Leonor, was born on January 6, 1905, in San Jacinto, Masbate City. He was born and brought up in the cradle of poverty. He got his early education at the then San Jacinto Central School, now Sana Jacinto East Central Elementary School. It was the place where he drank the rich springs of Masbateno culture. He molded his living according to the Ticaonon way of life.
After having had his Grade 7 education under the Spanish curriculum, he became a teacher in June, 1927. For him, teaching is a noble profession because a teacher is a pillar of a nation's progress. He was a blend of firmness and flexibility of patience and perseverance. The memorable words of my grandfather was "patience is bitter but the fruit is sweet." He possessed all the qualities of a good man both in heart and mind. Likewise, I consider my grandmother, "Lola Pedia," as the finest woman in the world. She did not poke her nose on anything. She was always smiling. When she returned home, a smile returned on everyone's face. She was a friend of all and enemy of none. She was universally loved and liked.
My grandfather, "Lolo Manyong," turned to the poor condition of his countrymen under the Spanish rule. He was deeply moved by the starvation and nakedness of his countrymen. Compelled by these circumstances, he jumped into politics when he was a Tiniente del Barrio in Mabini. He came into contact with the town mayor, Jose
Espinosa. He worked hard and fought bravely in order to free his country from the foreign rule. He became a San Jacinto councilor in 1956-1960 and worked with other leaders who were pioneering the Barrio Jagna-an Elementary School. Under his leadership, the Jagna-an had its own place of learning for the young ones when he built the "kamalig" as classroom.
The part played by my grandfather on the arena of Ticaonon politics is indeed unforgettable. Ticaonon's unity and education were his life-long missions. He also became a headmaster of their fraternity, LEGONARIO del TRABAJO whose main objective was to help everyone in need. He also joined in the unification of poblacion District 2 in San Jacinto, Masbate City, which is popularly known today as BALCAVEM taken from their surnames-Bartolata, Anonuevo, Alcantara, Lique, Leonor, Canturna, Carranza, Villamor, Espenilla, and Mortiga-who influenced the lives of Ticaonon and the impact of their deeds.
Equally important, he was not only a man of word but also of action. What he preached, he practiced. His approach of various problems was non-violent. He was a God-fearing person and a strict disciplinarian to his grandchildren.
His entire life was a life of service and sacrifice of devotion and dedication. His death on June 1,1999 had plunged the entire Leonor clan into gloom. Thus, we offer this as the best tribute in memory of our beloved renowned patriot and noble man of Ticaonon. His legacy will never ever be forgotten; he will always live in the hearts of his clan forever.