EO Fuentes, 84

Eleuterio O. Fuentes, more popularly known as EO, passed away yesterday. He was 84.

EO taught English and Literature when I was in college at the University of Mindanao more than 30 years ago. I was not lucky to sit at his classes because I was at the Engineering Department. But I frequently met him at the Bolton campus because he headed the Publication Office of the university. We did not have a student newspaper at that time due to martial law. But budding campus writers mingled around his office and learned many things from him including photography. In our company were the likes of Jojo Santes, Nikki Gomez, Jimmy Cabrera, Dibay Garcia, Cecille Muñoz and Henrylito Tacio.

EO was softspoken yet his students enjoyed his Ilongo charm, wit and humor.

Christine Rizardo Omar of the Ateneo de Davao Univeristy School of Governance was once his student assistant.

I crossed path again with EO when I started to write for local newspapers where he also contributed articles. We also met at printing presses where we both published newsletters and edited local newspapers. He was industrious and prolific.

Our third encounter was many years later when my wife, Evelyn, became active in the floriculture industry. EO was likewise a horticulture enthusiast and in spite his advancing age, he was doing PR work for the group around FIDI, the floriculture industry association.

The main material I used as backgrounder for the City Council Resolution in 2001 proposing to name Waling-waling as the new national flower was written by EO.

My wife served as FIDI’s 3rd president in 2002. EO and Evelyn worked together on many projects and publications of FIDI. EO was already suffering from bouts of broncho pneumonia during this time. My wife often told me that EO has limited his activities to writing and making sure the printing presses finished their publications on time.

I am not sure if he has pending work at the presses. Its truly sad to think though that he has already written 30. He was a hardworker until his last breath.


School games

The University of Mindanao commenced with its annual Intramural Games yesterday. Before the opening parade, the faculty club at the College of Arts & Sciences held the induction of its new set of officers. I administered their oath.

Kudos to Prof. Randy Ponteras for the very active faculty club. Best wishes to all the competing teams. I am not sure which side to root. You see, I got involved with three departments at the university – Commerce, Engineering and Arts & Sciences.

Just after graduating from the Davao City High School in 1974, I joined the then Junior Executive Training (JET) program of UM for working scholars. I was assigned as an assistant to the Dean of the College of Commerce. When I finally enrolled for my course, I took up Mechanical Engineering. But after being active in campus politics, I shifted to Political Science at the College of Arts & Sciences.

I did enjoy my life in college where I met friends who are still very much in touch with today. In fact, I just read the emails of my college buddies Rafael “Nikki” Gomez and Henrylito Tacio, two of our best campus writers back then. Both pursued careers in writing. And both are accomplished in the game.

At lunch today, I am attending a conference called by Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez regarding the proposed Children’s Games in November. Part of the grassroots sports program of the PSC, the national games for children in elementary schools is planned to be held in Davao City.

We’re hoping to scout our future Olympians in this proposed Children’s Games. Wish us luck.

6:41 a.m.

Events next week

Plug in for the following events:

July 20 – Founding Congress of USWAG, a new movement to advance urban poor and workers rights at GSIS Covered Court, Matina;

July 21 – Photo-Arts Exhibit to mark the 62nd anniversary of the University of Mindanao at UM Gym, Bolton Campus;

July 22 – So Kim Cheng Sports Awards at Grand Regal Hotel

July 22-27 – 1st Dona Segunda Complex MedTec Table Tennis Ranking Tournament at Dona Segunda Complex, C. Bangoy (Ponciano Reyes St) for Class A and B players;

July 25 – “Bagong Ako, Bagong Mundo” self and value-based leadership seminar at Royal Mandaya Hotel; open free to the public at 9:30 a.m. courtesy of Vice Mayor Sara Duterte;

July 25-26 – Japanese Film Festival at Gaisano South City Mall courtesy of the Japanese Consulate;

July 26 – 31st Anniversary of the Samahang Mag-aaral ng Pulitika (SMP), the political science society of the University of Mindanao which I co-founded at 6 p.m. at Beach Side, Lanang;

July 27 – 94th Anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC);

11:25 a.m.