Rustico M. Varela was born on October 10, 1972, in Binondo,
He was educated as an Atenean, taking up his elementary and secondary education at the Ateneo de Zamboanga, where he graduated in 1939 and 1946, respectively. Tic attended the Far Eastern University in
Tic met his wife, Rosa Falcatan Macrohon, in the city of
Before working in the government, Tic was connected with several private firms and enterprises. Even before he got married he was already the vice president and general manager of the Universal Enterprises Inc. in
Tic’s political career started when he was appointed Secretary to the Mayor during the time Mayor Hector Suarez from 1954 to 1955. In 1955, Tic became one of the appointed city councilors, then later the secretary of the Commission on National Integration (CNI).
In 1960 until 1963, Tic was taken in as Secretary to Zamboanga
After serving as councilor, for a time he got away from government service and worked as President of Davao Savings Western Mindanao, and at the same time as Vice-President of the
When Cesar Climaco was elected back to office as city mayor of Zamboanga, Tic was immediately the first person in mind to take over the position of city administrator. Tic held this position briefly, taking over as caretaker of the city when Cesar was assassinated in 1984 until Mayor Dalipe assumed office. He then continued as the city administrator under the Dalipe administration until the 1986 EDSA Revolution. After Mayor Dalipe was removed from office after the takeover of the Cory revolutionary government, Tic was designated OIC-Mayor of Zamboanga City until June 1, 1987, and then returned to his position as city administrator when President Aquino appointed Julio Cesar Climaco the son of Cesar, as mayor of Zamboanga. Tic was again to become the OIC-mayor of
Tic Varela was a multi-faceted person. He was not only a politician, but also an educator, publisher, columnist, radio commentator, singer, musician, orator, debater and talented newspaperman.
Being an active and energetic person, he was very much involved in civic and political organizations. He founded the United Militant Youth Organization. He was also the President of the Development Academy Training and the National Federation of Market Administrators. He also became the Vice-President of the Nacionalista Youth Party.
He died on May 19, 1993. His death was greatly felt by the people in the city government. When Rustico Varela passed away, Zamboanga Star, a local newspaper wrote that “it is not everyday that someone with the stature of Rustico Varela comes out of the firmament to share his life with the people of Zamboanga. The number of years that he served at city hall, about five years as secretary to the mayor and over 12 years or thereabout as City Administrator doubling at times as caretaker and OIC-Mayor or make him one among the very few career officials who had a direct hand in administering the affairs of Zamboanga. In actuality, Tic has been the unelected mayor of Zamboanga for over a dozen or so years.”