It was tear-filled day for the Commonwealth yesterday as late governor Pedro Pangelinan Tenorio was laid to rest at the Mount Carmel cemetery.
Friends, family, and members of the community came together at the Mount Carmel Cathedral for the final viewing and Mass and to say goodbye and lay to rest the second and fifth governor of the Commonwealth.
Tenorio’s final viewing and traditional Christian interment ceremony started at 7:30am with a final viewing followed by a Mass at 11pm. After the Mass, Tenorio’s casket was escorted by hundreds of individuals, on foot, to his final resting place in the heart of the Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Bishop Ryan Jimenez, who led the interment Mass, eulogized Tenorio, fondly known as Teno, saying he lived a full life of service and was blessed with time to serve his community, find love, establish a family, and see his children grow before he passed on.
“God gave us all the gift of time…Teno lived his life to the fullest because God blessed him with the gift of time—a time to serve, a time to love, a time to grow in faith,” he said.
Jimenez said that thae prevailing theme in Tenorio’s long-lived life appears to be his devotion to serving those around him.
“He really couldn’t retire from his service to others because he enlisted another method to serve. In the last few years before his hospital care, he kept a daily routine of visiting all churches on Saipan…to pray for everyone,” he said.
Jimenez also mentioned that Tenorio was a man of few words but when he did use his words, each mattered.
Superior Court Associate Judge Theresa Kim-Tenorio, daughter-in-law of Tenorio, delivered the family’s remarks during the ceremony where she said, on behalf of the family, how grateful she is for the love and support that was shown by all those who participated in Tenorio’s final viewing and interment ceremony.
“Over the past…days, those we had the opportunity to speak with shared wonderful stories of dad. Your stories brought us comfort, joy, and peace…during this time of need” she said.
Kim-Tenorio also mentioned that Tenorio also tended to put the needs of others before his own and that is what his friends, his family, and the community that he served will remember him for.
Tenorio’s interment ceremony was also participated by Commonwealth dignitaries led by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), and others.
As a tribute to Tenorio and his years of public service, the Department of Public Safety rendered a 21-gun salute and Torres presented Tenorio’s family with the state flag.
Tenorio passed away early Monday morning, May 21, at the Commonwealth Health Center due to old age and other complications. He was 84.
Tenorio was the only governor to have held the gubernatorial position for three terms (1982 to 1986, 1986 to 1990, and 1998 to 2002).
Tenorio served as a member of the Congress of Micronesia House of Representatives during the Trust Territory days of the CNMI before later serving the 1st CNMI Legislature as a senator representing Saipan from 1978 to 1980. He was also Senate vice president and Senate Programs Committee chairman for the 1st CNMI Legislature.
From 1980 to 1982, Tenorio served his second term as a Saipan senator for the 2nd CNMI Legislature as Senate president, before being sworn in as chief executive for the CNMI in 1982.
Tenorio was re-elected for the gubernatorial position in 1985 before being elected for a third term as CNMI governor in 1997.
Tenorio was the fourth eldest of eight children to the late Blas P. Tenorio and the late Guadalupe S. Pangelinan. Tenorio is survived by siblings Cecilia, Juan, and Ramona; children Peter Michael, Ruth, Patrick James, Paul Gilbert, Perry John, Reina Sophia, Roslyn, and Rebecca; and wife Sophia.