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Rotarian Feature: Remembering Ceferino “Fering” Picache

As a young boy growing up in San Roque, Cavite, and knowing how it was to be financially unstable, Ceferino “Fering” M. Picache did not use his meek beginnings as a labor-saving excuse for possible future failures. He was the Rotary Club of Quezon City’s (RCQC) Charter President on RY 1960-61 and District Governor on RY 1968-69.

Born in a small nipa house on April 26, 1907, Fering was one of the 12 children of Ceferino Sr. and Miguela Mungcal from Porac, Pampanga. Among the siblings of Fering, only four of them survived, as the rest died because of malnutrition and diseases during that time.

Walking three miles daily to go to the nearest school, Fering obtained his elementary and secondary education in Cavite. He worked his way through college in the University of the Philippines as a student assistant earning PHP 25 a month. He later then started being a cashier, promoted as an accountant, then as manager of the University of the Philippines Press.

Equipped with courage and determination, he then went on to study in Philippine Law School after acquiring a bachelor’s degree in Commerce in 1929. He finished his law degree in 1935, took the bar examination, and passed it in the same year. At age 28, he was both an accountant and a lawyer.

He ventured into the business of printing and publishing through his company, Bookman, Inc. Later on, after acquiring lands in Quezon Avenue, the publishing company’s five-storey building was erected.

He and his family also then expanded to other businesses including Mission Realty and Management Corporation, Capitol Development Corporation, and CM Picache Corp. He also  invested in other corporations as a stockholder.

He became the president of the Quezon City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, YMCA businessmen’s Club, Filipino Publishers Association, and Heroes’ Hills Barangay.

Fering’s life did not only revolve in business. He was a keen tennis player and a member of sports organizations like Villar Tennis Club, Quezon City Sports Club, and Philippine Columbian Association. 

In all these socio-civic relations, RCQC, unlike many others, is the closest organization to his heart. His sentiment is best condensed in the closing statements of his speech as District Governor during his official visit to the Rotary Club of Manila. He wholeheartedly said “I pledge total participation and dedication to Rotary and I wish very strongly that you all duplicate and multiply a thousand times that challenge and desire.”

He also said that as Rotarians, they must give Rotary, share Rotary, and live Rotary.

“A bell is not a bell until you ring it. A song is not a song until you sing it. And Rotary is not a Rotary until you give it, until you share it, and until you live it,” he furtherly resolved.

Serving RCQC fervently for more than a decade, Fering passed away in 1995 at the age of 88. 

His passing was not taken for granted; as the Charter President, he led the RCQC and its members to harness their organization and all the good and admirable will behind it to help the cause of national well-being. He indeed did not use his meek beginnings, but used them as stepping-stones to his commendable leadership, respectable relations with others, and meritorious determination.

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