'My cheerleader, soulmate': Cecile’s words for late husband, ex-Senator Alvarez | Inquirer News

‘My cheerleader, soulmate’: Cecile’s words for late husband, ex-Senator Alvarez

/ 05:20 PM April 22, 2020

LOVE CONQUERS ALL, EVEN MARTIAL LAW After several cloak-and-dagger operations to
elude arrest and escape to the United States to organize the opposition, former Constitutional
Convention delegate and Senator Heherson Alvarez and his wife, former theater actress and
1972 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, enjoy the sights in Paris in this
2003 photograph. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — “My cheerleader, spine of support, and soulmate.”

For Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, there are too many words to describe her husband, former Senator Heherson Alvarez, who lost his battle to COVID-19 on Monday, April 20.


Cecile, 76, is herself infected with the highly contagious respiratory ailment caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. But she is now recovering and already discharged from hospital.

While on self-quarantine, Cecile sent a message to their relatives and friends, describing her grief over losing her dear Sonny – her husband of 48 years.


A copy of the message was shared by her daughter Xilca to INQUIRER.net on Wednesday.

“The pain of the loss of Sonny Alvarez serendipitously on this Earth Day week has been unbearable,” said Cecile.

“In this state of indescribable sorrow, I pray for strength and perseverance to move on without Sonny, my constant cheerleader, spine of support, and soulmate. To realize so many more dreams and programs he has designed for promoting our common cause of actualizing the SDGs (sustainable development goals) through inclusive cultural communications for peace and climate justice while preserving the integrity of history,” she also said.

Cecile, the founder of the Philippine Educational Theater Association and former executive director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, described her daughter Xilca and son Hexilon as “pillars for the courage to recover fully and defer to the will of God.”

She then thanked everyone who had sent them inspiring messages, those who remember her husband for his public service, and the healthcare workers at the Manila Doctors Hospital where they were earlier confined.

Heherson Alvarez, who was a Constitutional Convention delegate, and his wife, Cecile, were stalwarts of democracy in the country having fiercely opposed the dictatorship of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.

In May 1986, Herherson Alvarez became Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. He left the post in March 1987 and ran for the Senate.


He won and became a Senator, serving two terms from 1987 to 1998. He was the chairman of the Senate committee on the environment for 10 years. Among the laws he pushed in Congress were the Clean Air Act and the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act. He also founded the Earth Savers Movement and authored the resolution declaring April 22 as “Earth Day.”

From 1998 to 2001, he served as a representative of the fourth district of Isabela, his home province.

He then served as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from 2001 to 2002 prior to becoming the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino communities in 2003, on agrarian reform in 2005 to 2007, and on global warming and climate change in 2008.

He likewise served as commissioner and vice-chairman of the Climate Change Commission from 2010 to 2015, having been one of the pioneers of climate advocacy in the Philippines.



Remembering the late former Sen. Heherson Alvarez

Ex-Senator Heherson Alvarez succumbs to COVID-19

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