Manuel L. Quezon

Manuel Quezon

First President
Philippine Commonwealth
November 15, 1935 - August 1, 1944

"I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans. "

        He was born on August 19, 1878 in Tayabas, Rizal. Having a father as a schoolteacher and a hardworking mother, Quezon was educated early in life. He learned Spanish at the age of five and Latin, religion, geography, and Spanish grammar at the age of seven where he was taught by Fr. Teodoro Fernandez, the parish priest. During his time, he was oftenly referred to as "Ang Kastila" because of his physical appearance which speaks of his Spanish blood.

        He finished his degree of Bachelor of Arts at the Colegio of San Juan de Letran and took up law in the University of Santo Tomas.

        During the Philippine-American war, he served as aide to General Emilio Aguinaldo.

        He started his political career in 1905 when he ran for governor. He served as governor for two years, seven years as a resident commissioner,and four years as an Assemblyman. In 1916, he became a member of the senate and later on, was elected as Senate President. It was approximately 36 years of service before he was elected president during the Japanese invasion. He and Sergio Osmeņa had set up a government-in-exile.

        As president, some of his major decisions includes the approval of the recommendation for government reorganization by the Government Survey Board of 1936, the creation of government corporations in order to break foreign strangle-hold on Philippine Trade and Commerce and the proposal for a land reform.

        However, his health worsened. He had contracted tubercolosis from his mother. He died at the age of 65.

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