The one with Carlos P. Romulo’s 20th

Last December 10 marked the 20th death anniversary of Filipino stateman Carlos P. Romulo, who passed away December 15, 1985.

Romulo was a statesman unlike any other – and one of the greatest Filipinos who ever lived. Having read the tribute his wife Beth Day Romulo wrote for him and published in Reader’s Digest (June 1989), titled Unforgettable Carlos P. Romulo, I realize we owe so much to this man.

Among many of Beth Romulo’s anecdotes:

At the third UN General Assembly, held in Paris in 1948, the USSR’s deputy foreign minister, Andrei Vishinsky, sneered at Romulo and challenged his credentials: “You are just a little man from a little country.” “It is the duty of the little Davids of this world,” cried Romulo, “to fling the pebbles of truth in the eyes of the blustering Goliaths and force them to behave!”

When the UN official seal, which depicts the world, was being seleted, Romy looked it over and demanded, “where is the Philippines?” “It’s too small to include,” explained US Senator Warren Austin, who headed the committee. “If we put in the Philippines it would be no more than a dot.” “I want that dot!” Romy insisted. Today, if you look at the UN seal, you will find a tiny dot between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.

Romulo was a dapper little man (barely five feet four inches in shoes). When they waded in at Leyte beach in october 1944, and the word went out that General MacArthur was waist deep, one of Romy’s journalist friends cabled, “If MacArthur was in water waist deep, Romulo must have drowned!”

Romulo received 74 decorations from foreign countries, and was the recipient of the UN Peace Medal, the World Peace Award, the Four Freedoms Peace Award and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, American’s highest civilian award. When he finally retired from more than 50 years of public service, he had already received all the awards and decorations given by his country, so a new one was created just for him.

Not too many politicians today are like Carlos Romulo, and on his 20th death anniversary, I pray we may all continue to love our nation like he did, to do great things for the country like he did, and to rise above all adversities like he did, that we may bring glory to our nation and ultimately, our God.

Merry Christmas!

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