Under clear skies and good weather, the statue of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas was unveiled, blessed and dedicated on September 11, 2017 in the town plaza of Altavas, Aklan. The unveiling ceremony was preceded by a parade with a platoon of army and police, school children and teachers, employees and barangay folk. The ceremony was attended by officials of the Municipality of Altavas, members of the Altavas Historical Society (which spearheaded the event), the Altavas family, and the gracious people of Altavas (Altavasnons).
The 140th birth anniversary of Senator Jose Cortes Altavas will be celebrated on September 11, 2017. Furthermore the 100th year founding anniversary of the town of Altavas in the province of Aklan is on January 2018.
In early May of this year 2017, planning was started to commemorate both anniversaries honoring Jose Cortes Altavas. In a series of meetings in Baybay, Roxas City – Ike Altavas, Hutch Altavas, Dickie Altavas, Pat Cleope (of Altavas, Aklan), John Alaban, and Galen Altavas, and in consultation with the Altavas family and friends, the Altavas Historical Society, and the Altavas town government officials met to plan activities for these anniversaries. One of the major initiatives was the creation of a statue of Jose Altavas to replace the bust of Jose Altavas in the town plaza of Altavas, Aklan.
Jose Cortes Altavas, great politician, statesman, a man of letters and an illustrious son of the province of Capiz, was born on September 11, 1877 at Balete, Capiz (now Balete, Aklan). His parents were Jose Aguilar Altavas from Aragon, Spain, who settled in Aklan, and Andrea Rafols Cortes of Aklan.
Jose studied at the Ateneo de Manila where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors. He was known as “Emperador” in Ateneo because of his excellence in examinations and in literary contests. He then transferred to the University of Santo Tomas to take up law only to be interrupted by the Philippine Revolution against Spain. Jose came home to be part of the revolution under the leadership of Santiago Bellosillo.