Lorenzo M. Tañada
A Filipino Hero

Our youth need heroes badly for they have no role models. The youth must be shown that even in this harvest of grafters and corruptors, there are public servants who choose "the most difficult existence because they loved their country." Our youth need heroes closer to their time who will carry the torch from the heroic wave of Rizal's generation to their own era. And all of us, young and old, need heroes to remind us of our history … that nobility still resides in this so-called damaged culture of ours, to resurrect some positive values in public service, to inspire us at a time when so little inspires." Tañada's life "will not fail to nudge our littleness and summon [us] to greatness' or, at the very least, to some degree of extraordinariness in a sea of ordinariness."

Asuncion David Maramba, Six Modern Filipino Heroes, in which Tañada was considered a modern Filipino hero of our time, 1993
The funeral cortege of the late Sen. Lorenzo Tañada wends its way through Quezon City streets on its way to Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina.

Manila Standard, 3 June 1992
Men in public life are often faced with the disheartening task of making difficult decisions. I have tried to stand for principles, to base my actions on certain political ideals even at the risk of political annihilation.
In the rough game of politics, it has not been easy for many to adhere to principles. But then, every man must first of all be able to live with himself.

"Ka Tanny: Your Words Will Live", Main Feature, Philippine Human Rights Update National Edition, June 1992
Bereft is the word to best describe this country at the passing of legislator and statesman Lorenzo M. Tañada, who in the span of his richly textured life showed his children and his peers what it meant to be a nationalist.

A Time for Grief, Philippine Daily Inquirer Editorial, 29 May 1992
Lorenzo Tañada died yesterday morning. He was 94 years old. We mourn his passing; we don't think he did. Because last year he witnessed the impossible from a front row seat; the fruition of his struggle and realization of his dream... We mourn his passing without regret for how often is it given to a man to die after the fulfillment of his fondest hope. Some men are smarter than others; one man was luckier than us all.

An Enviable Death, Daily Globe Editorial, 29 May 1992
President Aquino yesterday ordered a four-day "national mourning" for the death of the late Sen. Lorenzo M. Tañada during which Philippine flags in all government buildings and installations throughout the country shall be flown in half mast.
In her talks with the widow of the late Senator, Mrs. Aquino recalled how the grand old man fondly called "Tanny" by his admirers convinced her into joining the snap 1986 Presidential elections to challenge then President Marcos. "Malaki ang utang na loob ko sa kanya (Tañada) because he convinced me to run and he was happy when I decided to run," Mrs. Aquino recalled.

National Mourning for Sen. Tañada Declared, Manila Standard, 30 May 1992
President Cory Aquino pays her last respects to Tañada, as Senator Wigberto Tañada looks on
A giant in Philippine politics has passed away. We do not have to wait for the passage of years to know history's final judgment. That is already crystal-clear, Lorenzo M. Tañada carved his own niche which death cannot obliterate. He will cast a shadow on present and future crops of legislators who shall be weighed on the scale of his sterling example. He will always be an inspiration for young nationalist leaders of the land.
Tani has left a legacy not only to think about but also to live by - a brand of nationalism based on ethical principles and a strong sense of national pride. A nationalism, moreover, that was strongly pro-people.

Renato Constantino, Legacy of Nationalist Dissent, Philippine Daily Globe, 2 June 1992
The mortal remains of Ka Tanny, exemplary statesman and rabid nationalist, will be laid to rest in a blaze of honor he so richly deserved even in life... Herein lies the tragedy of his departure. Probably the last of his genre which included equally eminent senators Claro M. Recto and Jose W. Diokno, Old Man Tañada leaves a political landscape vulnerable still to the designs of foreign intervention.

Tañada's Legacy, Noel C. Cabrera, Philippine Daily Globe, 2 June 1992
This was before EDSA. And this was when government troops started getting very nasty. So what if the tear gas grenades exploded, and concussion bombs burst and firehose water rained on them? Tanny, locked arm-in-arm with the others, Chino Roces among them, stood his ground. Who can forget those eyes? They were those of a modern-day St. Sebastian, pierced by the arrows of his tormentors, but glaring nonetheless, unafraid, unrelenting, at times beatific. I thought Lorenzo M. Tañada would live forever.

And now the man is gone. And I am close to tears.

Lorenzo M. Tañada, RIP, Teodoro Benigno, Philippine Star, 3 June 1992
Mr. Tañada, however, was not doomed to remain "a majority of one" forever. His sophisticated nationalism and his steadfast adherence to his principles set him apart from most politicians of his generation. This is what made him win a growing constituency among the young people of the late 60s and afterwards.

As Mr. Tañada grew older, his constituency grew larger --- and younger--- so much so that he was probably the only politician of his generation who could and did exert a major leadership role in the struggle to overthrow the Marcos regime and to restore democracy in the Philippines.
His death ends an era only in the sense that it marks the passing of the torch to a younger generation of Filipino leaders who are committed to bring his nationalism to bear on public affairs and to continue his struggle to inculcate in our people the belief that all of us share a common fate, that we must take care of one another because no one else will. Mr. Tañada is no longer a majority of one.

A Majority of One, Manila Standard Editorial, 29 May 1992
Sen. Rene Saguisag pays tribute to Tañada during the Philippine Senate's special session giving honor to a genuine Filipino hero
In these times when many of us are disheartened about results of elections and the level of nationalism, we should take heart in the words of our contemporary hero, Lorenzo M. Tañada.

Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta, SVP for External Operations, De La Salle University, Manila Bulletin, 1 June 1992
Our beloved Ka Tanny. If only the present and future leaders of the government of this country had an iota of the wisdom, love of country and people, respect for human rights, courage and strength that you had, the Filipino people will not have as much suffering and sorrow.

To Ka Tanny, you have accomplished so much, lived to see victories, but we know the work is still unfinished. And by your example and with the inspiration your life and death will continue to give us, we pledge to carry on.

Lidy Nacpil-Alejandro, Secretary General, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2 June 1992
The body of the late Sen. Lorenzo Tañada is brought to the Executive House where members of the Senate paid their final tribute to a great Filipino patriot
It would seem as if he lived for the day when our country would have finally mustered the will and courage to end the presence of foreign troops on our soil spanning several centuries.

Rene A. V. Saguisag, Manila Bulletin, 29 May 1992
Stateman's widow, Expedita, sprinkles holy water on Tañada's coffin before burial
Dalanging ko kay Bathalang si Tañada na pambihira
Ay parisa't uliranin, bilang isang halimbawa,
Ng maraming taong-bayan, maging bata o matanda,
Pagka't minsang magkaganyan ay saka lang dadakila
At uunlad nang totoo itong ating sawing bansa.

Soc Rodrigo, Lalaking Pambihira

Lorenzo M. Tañada

A Tribute To A Filipino Hero

Lalaking Pambihira

Ang lagi nang inspirasyon hinahanap ng makata
Ay magandang paralumang parang rosas na sariwa,
Kaya't kayo'y magtataka na ang paksa niyaring tula
Ay ang labis na paghanga, kahit ako'y hindi bakla,
Sa lalaking matanda na, ngunit lubhang pambihira.

Pambihira si Tañada sa biyayang kalusugan -
Parang lalong bumabata habang siya'y gumugulang...
Matuwid pa kung lumakad, masigla pa ang katawan,
Malinaw and paningin, matalas pa and isipan,
At, sa aking pakiwari, malakas pa pati baywang.

Pambihira si Tañada sa pagkupkop sa pamilya -
Hindi siya nagkukulang sa tungkulin sa asawa
Kaya't siyam and sumipot sa matamis nilang bunga
At, sa aking pagkaalam, si Dading lang - walang iba -
Ang babaing nakatala sa album ng alaala.

Pambihira si Tañada bilang isang abugado -
Ubos-kaya kung mag-aral at magtanggol sa asunto
Kahit kulang ang retainer, kahit walang onoraryo
At 'di siya nagsasawang magsanggalang ng prinsipyo
kahit nitong nag-Martial Law ay dehado and husgado.

Pambihira si Tañada bilang isang mambabatas -
Hindi siya lumihis sa matuwid niyang landas
Kahit siya ay hinahatak ng tentasyong ubod lakas
Bilang Chairman ng Blue Ribbon, inusig and mga Hudas
Na sa kaban nitong bayan ay masyadong gumagatas.

Pambihira si Tañada sa giting at katapangan
Hindi siya nasindak makibaka't makilaban
Sa paning ng katurungan, karangala't kalayaan
Kahit na ang makabangga ay may poder sa sukdulan...
Kaya't siya ay humantong sa kulungan sa Bicutan.

Pambihira si Tañada bilang maka-Pilipino
Buong higpit siyang tutol sa mga estranghero
Ay hayaang makadagsa't kumontrola sa negosyo
At buhay ng mga Pinoy na masyadong agrabyado...
Pagka't, kapag nagkaganyan, ay kolonya pa rin tayo.

Pambihira si Tañada sa gawaing magsanggalang
Sa laya at karapatang iniukol ng Maykapal
Sa lahat at bawa't taong sa daigdig ay nilalang...
Si Tañada'y laging laban kapag siya'y niyurakan
Ng dayuhan o kahiman sa sariling kababayan.

Pambihira si Tañada sa linis ng pamumuhay -
Walang dungis, walang batik ang budhi at mga kamay
Sa pagkita sa salapi upang kanyang ikabuhay;
Di ginamit yaong kanyang mga puestong naging taglay
Upang maging milyonaryo sa impyerno hinihintay.

Pambihira si Tañada sa pagsamba sa Maykapal -
Hindi si Pariseong palabas lang kung magdasal
Samantalang lumalabag sa batas ng Poong Banal;
Hindi siya nangangahas ng mag-utos at marangal
Kung di niya matumbasan ng sariling wastong asal...

Dalanging ko kay Bathalang si Tañada na pambihira
Ay parisa't uliranin, bilang isang halimbawa,
Ng maraming taong-bayan, maging bata o matanda,
Pagka't minsang magkaganyan ay saka lang dadakila
At uunlad nang totoo itong ating sawing bansa.

Alay ni Francisco "Soc" Rodrigo
Binigkas sa Club Filipino ng ika-80 kaarawan ng
kapapanganakan ni Lorenzo M. Tañada, noong ika-10 Agosto 1978
Lorenzo Tañada was a universal man --- in the great tradition of Jose Rizal, Goethe, Emerson, Stevenson, Adennauer, Churchill, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was one of those rare sons of God, who, in the words of Lippmann, "are, somehow, too good to be President." His qualities of mind and of heart seldom fall to the lot of mortals.

In the long view of history, he will stand, before all men, as a man of rare gifts and a sterling character, a political figure of courage and vision, and, above all, a great Filipino patriot.

Tañada: A Great Filipino Patriot, Melchor P. Aquino, Manila Bulletin, 30 May 1992
Lorenzo Tañada left at dawn last Thursday and his leaving is a great loss to the nation. But we would do better to exult over his life than to grieve over his death. We would do better to hold four decades of nationalist reawakening than four days of mourning. We would do better to let his hope live in our hearts than let our despair follow him in his grave. That is how the memory of a great man is served. That is how great men live on long after they are gone.

A Death At Dawn, Conrado de Quiros, Philippine Daily Inquirer
"A brave and benevolent man, truly loving and deeply loved, has moved on," the President said in her eulogy at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Quezon City. "We have not forgotten, and we will never forget; he, who was guardian of heroic souls, is himself a hero."

"The storms were many and turbulent, and he was our rock," the President recalled. "He has taught us that the Filipino's will to be free, our love for freedom, must never rest, must never grow old."

Cory bids farewell to Sen. Tañada, Ana Marie Pamintuan, The Philippine Star, 3 June 1998
President Aquino attends necrological services for Tañada. Beside her are Tañada's wife Expedita and son Bobby

Lorenzo M. Tañada

A Tribute To A Filipino Hero

Message Of Thanks From The Tañada Family

You who braved the scorching sun and walked the long mile to bring him to his resting place
You all, young and old, colleagues, friends, groups of varying beliefs and persuasions -
To each and everyone of you, even those we cannot reach, our most profound gratitude.

Message of Thanks from the Tañada Family
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Lorenzo M. Tañada will be considered one of the national heroes of the country in his life-long struggle for the complete independence of the Philippines, the protection of civil liberties, and the sacredness of the Constitution.

Manila Bulletin Editorial, 2 June 1992

"When a great tree falls, we are surprised to see how meager the landscape seems without it. So when a great man dies."

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.