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Renovated Park in Burauen Pays Tribute to President Marcos’ Grand Uncle

BURAUEN, Leyte – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s grand uncle, Norberto Romualdez Sr., was honored on June 14 by the Burauen, Leyte, municipal government with the opening of a renovated park.

Norberto Romualdez Sr. was a prominent figure in the town, being the brother of Vicente Orestes, the father of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, President Marcos Jr.’s mother.

The newly renovated park in the center of Burauen had its grand opening led by Mayor Juanito Renomeron.

“This launch symbolizes the strong commitment of our local government unit, along with the municipal tourism office, to preserving and promoting our cultural heritage. While we provide platforms for our local artists today, it is imperative that we continue to value and acknowledge distinguished people of Burauen from the past,” Renomeron stated during the event, addressing local officials and residents.

The municipal administration established a resolution on March 24 designating June 6 of each year as Norberto Romualdez Sr. Day, acknowledging him as a hero in his community.

According to Carmela Corazon Crebillo, the town’s tourist officer, the 177-square-meter park was first built by the municipal administration in 1975 to honor Romualdez’s 100th birthday. It is situated near to the town’s Roman Catholic church.

The park, situated at the corner of Sta. Ana and Ave Maria Streets, stands on the site where Romualdez once built his house.

The park has been reconstructed with a memorial honoring Romualdez serving as the focal point, starting in May and ending on June 8, thanks to P500,000 provided by the local government.

Concrete benches, a walkway, and a pavilion have been added to the park.

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

Before the Filipino Revolution, Romualdez taught high school at the University of Santo Tomas after earning his honors degree from the Ateneo Municipal de Manila in 1895. In 1903, he passed the bar examination after studying law during the American Occupation.

Titled “favorite son of Leyte,” Romualdez is described in the local tourism office records as a writer, educator, jurist, and statesman.

For American soldiers stationed in Leyte, he wrote a grammar book in Visayan in 1908. The following year, in an effort to advance and elevate Waray-Waray, he established the Sanghiran san Binisaya ha Samar ug Leyte, or Academy of the Visayan Language of Samar and Leyte.

Romualdez, who was fluent in Spanish, English, and Cebuano, was a well-known writer, painter, educator, lawyer, and representative to the 1934–1935 Commonwealth Convention.

Serving as an associate justice of the Philippine Supreme Court during the American Period, he was one of the “Seven Wise Men” who drafted the 1935 Constitution for the Philippine Commonwealth.

On November 4, 1941, at the age of sixty-six, Romualdez succumbed to pneumonia in Palapag town, Northern Samar.

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