Manuel L. Quezon
- Category : Politics-Heads-of-state
- Type : GE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (2,34,46)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 3
Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina (August 19, 1878 – August 1, 1944) served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines (as opposed to other historical states), and is considered by most Filipinos to have been the second president of the Philippines, after Emilio Aguinaldo (1897–1901).
Quezón was the first Senate president elected to the presidency, the first president elected through a national election and the first incumbent to secure re-election (for a partial second term, later extended, due to amendments to the 1935 Constitution). He is known as the "Father of the National Language".
During his presidency, Quezón tackled the problem of landless peasants in the countryside. Other major decisions include reorganization of the islands' military defense, approval of recommendation for government reorganization, promotion of settlement and development in Mindanao, dealing with the foreign stranglehold on Philippine trade and commerce, proposals for land reform, and opposing graft and corruption within the government. He established an exiled government in the U.S. with the outbreak of the war and the threat of Japanese invasion.
It was during his exile in the U.S. that he died of tuberculosis at Saranac Lake, New York.
Early life and career
Quezón, was born in Baler in the district of El Príncipe (which later became Baler, Tayabas, now Baler, Aurora). His Spanish parents were Lucio Quezón and María Dolores Molina. His father was a primary grade school teacher from Paco, Manila and a retired Sergeant of the Spanish colonial army, while his mother was a primary grade school teacher in their hometown.
Although both his parents must have contributed to his education, he received most of his primary education from the public school established by the Spanish government in his village, as part of the establishment of the free public education system in the Philippines, as he himself testified during his speech delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States during the discussion of Jones Bill, in 1914. He later boarded at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he completed secondary school.
In 1898, his father Lucio and his brother Pedro were ambushed and killed by armed men while on their way home to Baler from Nueva Ecija. Some historians believe they were murdered by bandits who also robbed their money, while others believe the killings could have been related to their loyalty to the Spanish government.
In 1899, Quezón cut short his law studies at the University of Santo Tomás in Manila to participate in the struggle for independence against the United States, led by Emilio Aguinaldo. During the Philippine-American War he was an ayuda-de-campo to Emilio Aguinaldo. He rose to the rank of Major and fought in the Bataan sector. However, after surrendering in 1900 wherein he made his first break in the American press, Quezón returned to the university and passed the bar examinations in 1903, achieving fourth place.
He worked for a time as a clerk and surveyor, entering government service as an appointed fiscal for Mindoro and later Tayabas. He became a councilor and was elected governor of Tayabas in 1906 after a hard-fought election.
House of Representatives
In 1907, he was elected to the first Philippine Assembly – later became the House of Representatives – where he served as majority floor leader and chairman of the committee on appropriations. From 1909–1916, he served as one of the Philippines' two resident commissioners to the U.S. House of Representatives, lobbying for the passage of the Philippine Autonomy Act or Jones Law.
Quezón returned to Manila in 1916 to be elected into the Philippine Senate and later became Senate President, serving continuously until 1935 (19 years). He headed the first Independent Mission to the U.S. Congress in 1919 and secured the passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Independence Law in 1934. In 1922, Quezón became the leader of the Nacionalista Party.
Quezón was married to his first cousin, Aurora Aragón Quezón, on December 17, 1918. The couple had four children: María Aurora "Baby" Quezón (1919–1949), María Zeneida "Nini" Quezón-Avancena (born 1921), Luisa Corazón Paz "Nenita" Quezón (1923–1923) and Manuel L. "Nonong" Quezón, Jr. (1926–1998). His grandson, Manuel L. "Manolo" Quezón III (born 1970), a prominent writer and current undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, was named after him.