Ceferino I. Garrido
The Man Who Built GCC: Ceferino I. Garrido (1938-2020)
They say that what you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but on what you have woven into the lives of others. And in the case of this man, it’s not monuments that he left behind; rather, he bestowed upon us edifices that serve as testaments of his life’s work and legacy to all GCCians of the past, present, and future. And beyond the structures he has managed to build are the indelible memories and that distinct character of his that will live on forever.
Ceferino Idano-Garrido saw the light of the world on the 3rd of February, 1938 just a few years before the Second World War broke out. Born to a modest family in the Province of Leyte, and the youngest in the brood of four with two older sisters and a brother, the young Rene saw firsthand how the world worked harshly as he lived through the turmoils of war and the Japanese Occupation. His was not a life of comfort and convenience, as true-blue Bisayas of the last remaining generation of the War would recount.
He ventured beyond the shores of his native coast and as fate would have it reached Mindanao, where he first worked as Farm Manager of the Cuenca Estate in Anakan, Gingoog City then later as City Agriculturist at the Local Government Unit where he met a young, hardworking woman, Tita Gonzales, whom he fell deeply in love with and in the whirlwind dreamy storybook-like manner he swept her off her feet and they got married on April 2, 1966. As their marriage and family life prospered being blessed with six children so as their careers. While working as a civil servant, Mam Tita, was entrusted by Madam Rosales to helm Teachers’ Academy which was then made into Gingoog City Junior College. And with him by her side, Sir Rene took on the role as Administrative Officer, and managed the construction of buildings and facilities, rebuilding the school from the pits of the aftermath of the great flood in the 1980s. Since then, he had made it his life’s work to build GCC, providing the youth of Gingoog a haven of learning in the most conducive way he thought of. The lush greenery of the school is a validation of his profound love and care for Mother Nature and the environmentalist that he was even in the twilight of his years he never failed to remind look after the school’s physical structures and surroundings.
His life was a blessing, his memory a treasure, he is loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.