REMEMBERED. The marker of Norberto Romualdez in Burauen, Leyte in this Sept. 27, 2022 photo. The municipality here highlighted the reintroduction of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s grand uncle Norberto Romualdez Sr., a writer, jurist, and statesman during the celebration of World Tourism Day celebration. (PNA photo by Roel Amazona)

BURAUEN, Leyte – The municipality here highlighted the reintroduction of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s grand uncle Norberto Romualdez Sr. during the celebration of World Tourism Day celebration.

Leticia Romualdez Arcangel, one of the granddaughters of Norberto who attended the event on Tuesday, thanked the municipality for remembering their grandfather's contribution not only to the town but likewise to enriching the local literature.

“I would like to convey our family's profound and sincere gratitude for everyone who is responsible for this event honoring him,” Leticia said.

Joining Leticia were the great-grandchildren of Norberto who flew to Burauen from Metro Manila and Cebu.

Some of Norberto's works were presented during the program like his composition "El Mensaje" and his zarzuela, “An anak han manaranggot."

Born in Burauen on June 6, 1875, Norberto was the eldest son of Daniel Romualdez and Trinidad Lopez.

His younger brother was Vicente Orestes Lopez Romualdez, the father of the former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, the President’s mother.

He finished his Bachelor of Arts with honors at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila in 1895 and earned the title of high school teacher at the University of Santo Tomas before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, according to an article published by the Kahimyang Project.

Norberto studied law during the American Occupation and passed the Bar in 1903.

Local tourism office records described Norberto as an educator, jurist, writer, and statesman, earning the distinction of “favorite son of Leyte.”

In 1908, he wrote a Bisayan grammar book for American soldiers stationed in Leyte who wanted to learn the local language.

The following year, he founded the Sanghiran san Binisaya ha Samar ug Leyte (Academy of the Visayan Language of Samar and Leyte) to promote and intellectualize Waray-Waray.

Romualdez was also fluent in other languages like Spanish and English, as well as Cebuano.

He was a well-known writer, educator, lawyer, and painter, and was also a delegate to the 1934-1935 Constitutional Convention.

He was one of the "Seven Wise Men" who drafted the 1935 Constitution for the Philippine Commonwealth and also a Philippine Supreme Court associate justice during the American Period.

He died of pneumonia in Palapag, Northern Samar on Nov. 4, 1941, at the age of 66.

Part of the World Tourism Day event was also a talk by National artist for music Dr. Ramon Santos who narrated "culture and music."

The celebration in Burauen town has gathered several local government officials and representatives of national government agencies to discuss tourism.

Burauen Mayor Juanito Renomeron in his message emphasized how tourism changed people’s lives for the better.

"This is something that surely changes the lives of our people and surely improves our local economy," Renomeron said.

As the town starts to recover from the effects of Covid-19, Renomeron urged residents to use tourism as a catalyst for recovery.

"Let us make tourism a way to reach our goal of sustainable development as we also continually aim to protect and preserve our natural resources, and our environment which is a God-given gift," he added.

Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day as an international observance on September 27. (PNA)