Edward S. Hagedorn, former mayor of Puerto Princesa City and Representative for Palawan, renowned for his accomplishments in the fields of environmental conservation and tourism during his public service career, passed away today, Tuesday, at the age of 76.

His passing was officially announced by his family on his official Facebook page.

Hagedorn passed away eight days prior to his 77th birthday on October 12.

“With heavy hearts, we inform you of the passing of a beloved friend, brother, husband, father, and public servant, Edward Solon Hagedorn. Our dear Congressman died peacefully on October 3rd, 2023, after 76 years of shining his light into the world,” the family stated.

“Cong. Ed’s life speaks volumes, particularly in his role as a champion for the environment, tourism, agriculture, and peace and order. His efforts created inclusive spaces for the community and inspired a collective desire for change. It’s hard not to be infected by his energy and laughter, which he freely shares with everyone he encounters,” the statement added.

Hagedorn publicly revealed his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer during the flag ceremony at City Hall on February 27 of the current year.

During that period, he shared that his doctor had recommended a specialized dietary plan to address his elevated body mass, especially following his knee surgery.

“Sabi ko, ‘doc, nagpipilit ako di naman ako pumapayat.’ Kaya nagdasal ako sa Panginoon. Alam niyo ang bait ng Panginoon, binigyan akong cancer. Oo, eh di pumayat ako,” Hagedorn joked.

Hagedorn served his first term as mayor of Puerto Princesa in 1992. During his entire tenure, the city earned a reputation for excellence as an eco-tourism destination and a model for environmental protection on a global scale.

Puerto Princesa was also hailed as the “Cleanest and Greenest” component city.

Among his initiatives were the Oplan Linis Program to maintain cleanliness, the Bantay Puerto Program to combat marine and terrestrial environmental violations, and eco-tourism programs that capitalized on the Puerto Princesa Underground River as one of the most fascinating natural attractions.

Meanwhile, Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron took to social media to expressed sadness over the passing of Hagedorn.

“Today is a very sad day for Puerto Princesa City because former Mayor & Congressman Ed Hagedorn passed away at 4:09 AM on October 3, 2023. Cong. Ed was the mayor from July 1, 1992, to June 30, 2013,” Bayron said.

He recognized him for his legacies such as the inclusion of the city in the New 7 Wonders of Nature, establishment of the City Baywalk, construction of the City Coliseum, and construction of the New City Hall.

“Kaibigan ko, kaibigan mo, kaibigan nating lahat, Cong Ed never failed to help in every possible way he could assist his constituents,” he added.

Bayron said the city mourns with his family, and that his passing was a great loss to Puerto Princesa.

“What truly sets Cong. Ed apart is his ability to lead with authority yet maintain a warm and welcoming approach. His charisma shines through in every interaction, leaving a lasting impact on those he touches. Above all, Cong. Ed’s life journey has always been fueled by hope and void of fear. He seizes each day as an opportunity to lend a helping hand to others on their own journey,” his family said in the statement.

On his official Facebook page, a video of him singing the song “Be Not Afraid” was shared today, which was originally posted on May 8.

Beneath it is the Bible verse from Joshua 1:9 — “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

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