Honorable Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr. set foot in Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation in January. We had a chance to come face-to-face with Enverga’s pride. At age 61, Senator Enverga looks younger than his age with his wide engaging smile and friendliness. He strides with confidence and bravura – secretly eliciting giggles from his high school classmates.
It was indeed a shock for the University when his passing while on a parliamentary trip to Colombia was reported in November. No less than Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau led the memorial in his honor and was quoted saying, “Senator Enverga was a tireless advocate for the Filipino community” whilst “serving Canada in every aspect of parliamentary work with deep love,” another colleague George Furey, speaker of the Canadian Senate, added.
Senator Enverga started his career in a Philippine bank after earning an economics degree. He left the Philippines in 1981 and flew to Canada where he started as a mailroom worker. In hopes of promoting himself, he took a course in information technology that advanced him to project manager at the Bank of Montreal where he worked for more than 30 years.
In 2012, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him to the Canadian Senate. Prime Minister Trudeau described him as one who had a “strong advocacy to promote the values of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusiveness.”
It’s his advocacy that caused him to still look back from where he came from. One of the proofs was flying from Canada to honor his great late father Dr. Tobias Y. Enverga after whom the alumni building of MSEUF was dedicated. In addition, he supported the creative writing workshop which was also named after his father Palihang Dr. Tobias Y. Enverga Sr. of the CAS League of Quizzers in partnership with Kataga-Lucena (Panitik).
Considering the heights where Senator Tobias was, he still had his feet on the ground as he talked and greeted people as if he was one of them during his visit to MSEUF. He hobnobbed with the students , the employees and the faculty as if he had known them all his life.
Senator Enverga’s humble heart reached out to the Palihang Dr. Tobias Y. Enverga Sr. backing his late father’s passion for literature by awarding certificates to the participants in behalf of the Senate of Canada. Furthermore, he showed his deepest and most genuine support by giving a standing ovation after the PDTYES fellows performed the award-winning poetry pieces of his late father. It’s truly inspiring how far Senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. has gone with his advocacies.
MSEUF is lucky for these honors Senator Tobias had bequeathed before the heartbreaking news broke out Nov. 16. His office said that he “passed away unexpectedly” on Thursday morning “with his beloved wife, Rosemer, by his side.”
In a press release, his office stated, “It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we confirm the passing of the Honorable Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr., senator from Ontario.” The senator died unexpectedly during his parliamentary trip to Colombia according to CBC News.
Prime Minister Trudeau offered his condolences to his wife Rosemer and three daughters, and to his friends and colleagues as well. The prime minister further expressed his heavy heart for the loss of one of his “parliamentary families” in a social media site, where netizens also shared their grief at his passing.
MSEUF shared its deepest and most heartfelt condolences to this sad news by dedicating memorial mases and nine-day novena in his memory on Nov. 21-29. Even his supported project PDTYES expressed its solace in social media.
Senator Tobias is truly a man of the people that even his colleagues in the House of Senate expressed their admiration for his dedication and for his work as a senator. Speaker of the Canadian Senate George Furey said, “Of his many contributions, Senator Enverga will be most remembered as a fierce advocate for persons with disabilities and a tireless champion for multiculturalism. He was respected by all of his colleagues for his kindness, his warm sense of humor, and his unparalleled work ethics.”