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Jun 01st
Home Sections Obituary-Memorial Park Remembering Raul S. Manglapus and the Christian Democracy
Remembering Raul S. Manglapus and the Christian Democracy PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Benjamin G. Maynigo   
Monday, 26 July 2010 18:06


NEWS FLASH: Raul Manglapus’ widow, Pacita LaO-Manglapus, passed away peacefully at 7:30 a.m. today, July 27, 2010, (Philippine time) with family members by her side. She was a great woman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend! A formal obituary, including arrangements for the memorial-and-funeral services, will be published separately as soon as received by this website.

RAUL S. MANGLAPUS and the Future of Christian Democracy


On July 25, 1999, Raul S. Manglapus died. Several institutions to which he once belonged commemorated him. One of them was the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-Kampi Coalition. I had the honor of being chosen to deliver the response.

In honor of his death anniversary, I am re-publishing my response.

RSM and the Future of Christian Democracy

by Benjamin G. Maynigo

Vice-President Macapagal Arroyo, Senators Guingona and Cayetano, Speaker de Venecia, leaders and members of the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-Kampi Coalition:

In 1968, as Student Council President of San Beda College, I was one of the lucky few student leaders recruited to join what was then called Christian Social Movement, or CSM. After undergoing a series of seminars, indoctrinating sessions, and getting exposed to many of the intellectual giants, such as Fathers Francisco Araneta and Jose Blanco, Jose Feria, Edgardo Kalaw, Jeremias Montemayor, F. Sionil José, José Concepcion, and many others led by Raul S. Manglapus, we were encouraged to form the youth arm of the CSM—and we did. We called the youth group Young Christian Socialists of the Philippines (YCSP), reflecting our solidarity with RSM in his firm belief and desire to create “a just and human society—based on human dignity, built on justice, and dedicated to progress—where every man may develop and fulfill himself according to his ability and in the service of his fellowmen.” I became its first Chairman and, eventually, also its first Secretary General. I was fortunate to have represented the group in the International Union of Young Christian Democrats (IUYCD), which was brought to Europe and Latin America, and whose young leaders then went on to become Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, Congressmen/Parliamentarians, and national leaders of their respective countries today.

Being chosen to deliver the response before this august political body, therefore, was more than coincidental. While it is true that my marriage to the Manglapus family’s only daughter, Tina, is what primarily qualifies me, it is equally true that my involvement with the origins of Lakas-NUCD prompted our family to let me respond today.

I learned earlier in life that there are several ways of immortalizing a man—the most noted of which were: by raising good children, by writing a book, by planting a tree, and by setting up a foundation in one’s honor.

Raul S. Manglapus, or RSM, and my mother-in-law, Pacing, raised not only good children but great ones. I should know. I married one. I am very proud to have been associated with my brothers-in-law Toby, Raulito, Bobby, and Francis. Like my wife who is now an college-academic counselor in
Washington, D.C., they have been successful in the careers that they have respectively chosen, and who in their own humble ways and without fanfare, are carrying the torch that their father passed on. I am as proud to have closely known their respective wives, Ana, Diane, Ria, and Lynn. They have been extremely supportive of the Manglapus ideals and displayed the greatest of love and affection not only to their husbands but to our parents-in-law as well.

Through the children that he raised, and the grandchildren that he helped develop and grow to be great human beings, RSM will forever be immortalized.

Everyone in this group has read or heard about the books that RSM wrote and published. Faith in the Filipino: the Ripening Revolution; Revolt Against Tradition; Land of Bondage, Land of the Free; Philippines: the Silenced Democracy; Manifest Destiny; A Pen for Democracy; Will of the People. These books and many more reflect the thoughts and dreams of a great visionary who influenced the lives of several generations—the generation of Manuel L. Quezon, the generation of Ramon Magsaysay, that of Ninoy Aquino, then of Evelio Javier, and the current young idealists, who like the Man from La Mancha, all followed Quixotic lives, “dreaming impossible dreams, fighting unbeatable foes, reaching unreachable stars—no matter how hopeless, no matter how far; to be willing to die so that honor and justice may live.”

I know my father-in-law loved planting trees and vegetables. I remember him planting kamatis and okra in our home in
McLean, Virginia, during the exile years. But what I think would make him immortal are the seeds that he planted in the hearts and minds of millions of people worldwide—the seeds of commitment to Christian and democratic ideals; the seeds of responsibility to serve others. Seeds when sown and grown, moved not only human hearts but human minds, not only human minds but communities, not only communities but also nations.

A Raul S. Manglapus Foundation has not been established. I don’t know if a decision has been made to do it. But this I know. He wanted to build the foundation of a strong political party supported by a movement that believes in Christian ideals and democratic principles—and he did. He wanted to build the foundation of a party with an ideological direction composed of and led by an awakened and enlightened group of Filipinos—and he did. The party is the NUCD, which is now merged with Lakas, UMDP, and Kampi. The movement is the Christian Social Movement, whose vision for the Filipino people are political equality, economic parity, and social equity.

Yesterday, the Philippine Inquirer did a beautiful editorial on my father-in-law. For this we extend our greatest appreciation. There is, however, an item that I think is relevant to this group today. The editorial says, “Manglapus’ main political projects—third party reformism and ideologically defined parties—have been political failures. His death leaves uncertain the future of the Christian Democratic movement.”

This group is in a better position to respond to this item. But I dare say: My father-in-law’s political projects are not failures. For he does not believe in failures. To him, these so-called failures are just suspended successes. I don’t think that his death leaves uncertain the future of the Christian Democratic movement. On the contrary, his death should inspire and motivate us all. There is a saying, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” A political prisoner once said, “The future lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to give reasons for living and hoping.” At this point in our history, the group of leaders who are present today must show and provide the necessary strength and commitment to a despairing and restive people and give them reasons for living and hoping. Together, we shall predict a bright future, because we are all committed to build it. It took a Christian woman, Cory Aquino, with the highest moral values, to lead the restoration of Philippine political democracy. It might take another woman of equally great moral integrity na ating ka-Kampi to lead us in achieving Christian economic and social democracy.

Raul S. Manglapus is dead. For this we mourn. To many that have grown dependent upon his ways, upon his views, upon his leadership, we ask, borrowing from that old song, “Who can I turn to? My heart wants to know and so I must go where destiny leads me. I’ll go on my way, and after the day, the darkness will hide me. But maybe tomorrow, I’ll find what I am after. I’ll throw off my sorrow, beg, steal or borrow my own share of laughter.”

Raul S. Manglapus is dead. For this we celebrate. For his is the beginning of a new life—a life where his visions for Love, Justice, and Charity become absolute reality.

To our friends in the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP-Kampi, thank you for your kind words, and for sharing our family’s grief.

To my mother-in-law, the rest of the Manglapus family, and to all of you here, let me end by borrowing another quote from the poem, “
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”:


Though nothing can bring back the hour / Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; / We will grieve not, rather find / Strength in what remains behind... William Wordsworth

Thank you. # # #



To read other articles and eulogies about Raul S. Manglapus, please click on the following links:

Editor’s Note: To date, eight articles published in the mention the late Raul S. Manglapus. To read the articles, please just type in “Manglapus” in this website’s “Search” button at the top right of each and every page. It is beside the “Login” button.

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Last Updated on Monday, 09 August 2010 10:31

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