On September 25, 2017, or 45 years later after Martial Law was declared in the country, Bohol lost an unsung hero, Dionisio “Nene” Baseleres. Sir Nene was 69.
Unknown to many even to his friends in the Bohol media industry, Baseleres fought against the Marcos regime using the might of his pen as a campus journalist.
Baseleres was the editor-in-chief of the Weekly Sillimanian, the official student publication of Silliman University, when he was arrested by the military and was sent to prison.
Then branded by the military as the “second most wanted person in Negros Oriental” due to his outspoken stance against the Marcos administration and his resolve to advance the ideals of democracy, Baseleres had spent the most part of his youth defending those who cannot defend themselves and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. (please read the editorial of the Weekly Sillimanian)
Baseleres married Dr. Rosario “Rose” Maxino-Baseleres, the brilliant former dean of the School (now college) of Mass Communication in Silliman University. They were blessed with a daughter and three sons.
After graduating from Silliman, Nene had worked and stayed in several places in the country.
Eventually, he returned to Bohol, landing a public relations job at the FCRB (First Consolidated Rural Bank) Livelihood Foundation.
Before illness interrupted his work with the First Consolidated Bank (FCB), Baseleres constantly interacted with media personalities in Bohol. Mediamen and women in Bohol remember him as the soft-spoken ambassador of goodwill for FCB. Year in, year out, Baseleres ensured that media’s work would be lighter to bear through the kindness of FCB.
On his passing, the Bohol Tribune wishes to repost the written words that honor the memory and legacy of Sir Nene Baseleres.
FROM SIR NENE’S SON, DONNIE CZAR (ON FB)
On behalf of our family, we wish to share our unending gratitude for the trust and generosity provided to our Dad by First Consolidated Bank (FCB) and its staff and owners chaired by Sir Richard Uy, his late great father, and their family in all those years when Dad started with FCRB-LF and during his last years consulting for FCB headquarters.
Dad considered FCB his family away from home. His productive prime years were with FCB, the company he loved the most.I know somewhere up there, “Sir Nene” is also thinking about his FCB colleagues and remembers very vividly the many beautiful memories you all shared with him, including all those office pranks he pulled on you all.Thank you.
Angeline Valencia (journalist)
“At a point when I was younger and career was trickling downhill and life’s direction was just about oil painting without even looking forward to an exhibit, a trip back to Bohol suddenly became not just about love. It sounded like a command when Ma’am Rose Maxino-Baseleres implied how she utilized all of resourcefulness to track me down (I just had my lazy dinner in the ancestral house in Dumaguete and I was enjoying the lazy me then). Bag-o pang nauso ang cellphone adto. Her task assigned by Sir Nene Baseleres was to find that Angie Valencia from Silliman, Masscom, and she was our director of the then School of Communication and so she should know asang banga nagtago si Angie. And, suddenly I became HRD and Community relations manager.
And, that revived my love for career. And, that taught me the meaning of career- -that word I did not take seriously when I was young, because all I wanted then was just to paint, paint, paint and read, read, read, spend, spend, spend….Thanks to Sir Nene Baseleres and Ma’am Rose for changing my life into a better one.”
AGAIN FROM DONNIE CZAR
My Dad “Sir Nene” lived a colorful life and donned hats of various trades. Before moving into a productive career of managing livelihood projects for poor rural communities in Bohol and all over the Philippines, he was a fearless journalist who opposed dictatorship oppression and political corruption with the might of his pen and his sense of justice-meets-wit literature.
I am proud of him, and of how he lived his life, and I may sound like I’m overstating his life accomplishments to put him on a certain pedestal. But he chose a humble life adhering to humble principles, rather than to chase a life of extravagance and comfort–something that he could have easily done given his enumerable talents.
Very few poor people ever leave the world with that kind of legacy. But to the countless people he helped, to the countless communities that benefited from his generosity of time, effort, and talent, he was a special man.
A hero in the very sense of the word.
That Dionisio Baseleres “Nene” was a “virtuous man and a good friend to everybody” is a mere restatement of what most of his friends have said to him before. My friend Dionisio Baseleres in our hearts you are still alive, just sleep the everlasting sleep.
AMOR MARIA J. VISTAL
So sad to wake up and hear about your passing Sir Dionisio Baseleres. I still remember how you encouraged Paul Paolo Guiseppe Vistal to recover from his 2nd stroke while he was in the hospital through your FB message. Papa Tito and Sir Baseleres were former workmates and good friends at the #FCBBohol up until Papa’s death in April 26, 1995. I remember being offered a snack every time I visited my Papa at their office. Sir Baseleres was very good and principled man.