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Warmest Greetings to Prof. Luis V. Teodoro on the Occasion of His 65th Birth Anniversary

From Jose Maria Sison
August 18, 2006

I am delighted to join the close comrades, colleagues and friends of Louie in conveying to him warmest greetings on the occasion of his 65th birth anniversary (August 24). This is a time to salute him for all his achievements and wish him to enjoy many more years of good health and productive life.

At the age of 65, one may be assailed at times by intimations of mortality. But there are more than enough inspiring examples of greater creativity and even virility beyond that age, even for those less accomplished. In the case of Louie, he has a great stock of accomplishments to further build on. I do not think that soon he will turn to full time gardening.

I presume that a number of us can try to present in a structured way his best qualities as a progressive, as a teacher, as an administrator, as a journalist, as a creative writer, as a man of honor and possibly as a lover. I prefer to play the role of the slightly older man who initiates reminiscences in order to draw some chuckles from him.

It was Joe Burgos who popularized through Malaya the nick name "Joma" in the early 80s. But it was Louie in the early 60s who had originally baptized me as "Joema" in the same way that he called Jose Nadal Carreon "Joecar". I do not know if Louie still remembers this creative act of his. But I cannot forget it and I always remember it as a term of endearment.

I became close to Louie in the course of discussion groups of the Student Cultural Association of the U.P., weekly press work when he became editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, informal get-togethers of campus writers and frequent conspiracies with Pete Daroy in the early 60s.

I became so close to Louie that I knew when he had an upset stomach just because a certain pre-med student whom he fancied seemed to ignore him (in the first place he was only "ligaw tingin") or because he was having serious trouble with the faculty adviser of the Collegian. He was only a bit worried when there seemed to be no contribution for the features section of the Collegian. But he could always tell me to pull out an article from my "baul".

So much for the anecdotes. It was during the consecutive terms of Reynato Puno, Leonardo Quisumbing and Louie as editors-in-chief that the Philippine Collegian became an outstanding and consistent vehicle of the ideas of the national democratic movement against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes. Since then, most of the time the editors of the Collegian and the student council leaders have been staunchly patriotic and progressive.

After his Collegian editorship, Louie was with me in the editorial board of Progressive Review. He was an active supporter of Kabataang Makabayan and the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism. He edited the book, Struggle for National Democracy. At the same time, he was editor of a national commercial weekly. He did much more for the national democratic movement than I can mention here. Suffice it for me to say that unwittingly the Marcos fascist regime honored him when it arrested and detained him.

When I myself was under detention, he was active in the committee to seek my freedom and helped edit the publications of the committee. I was happy and thankful to meet him again after my release from detention in 1986. Since then, I have watched and admired from abroad his successes as a teacher and dean of mass communications and as a practicing journalist in the patriotic and progressive tradition of Marcelo H. del Pilar.###

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