Here and There

Manuel L. Quezon


By Gerry Garcia

AUGUST 19 was red-letter day for Quezon province (formerly Tayabas) and Quezon City in Metro Manila as it marked the 64th Anniversary of Manuel Luis Quezon who died in Saranac, New York USA on August 19, 1944 immediately before the war ended and just two years before the country was granted independence by Mother America on July 4, 1946 — fruit of Quezon’s success in securing passage of the Tydings – McDuffie Law in US Congress which promised the great of Independence on that day.

The first president of the Republic granted independence on July 4, 1946 was virtually MLQ, (although he died 2 years earlier) because he had been president of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1935 immediately prior to the granting of independence 10 years later. Actually it was Sergio Osmeña who was the country’s first president, followed by the late Manuel Roxas.

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Historically, the man at the forefront of this country’s drive for independence was not pure Pinoy. MLQ was a mestizong bangus born of a retired sergeant of the Spanish army and his mother was a devout Filipina Catholic.

No man could be more indefatigable as a worker. During the commonwealth period an unprecedented progress in public improvements was attained, particularly in the construction of public building in Manila and in the provincial capitals, not to mention the rapid increase of hospitals, schools, roads, and bridges throughout the country, and the steady development of the country’s natural resources.

His administration was the most successful in the entire history of the Philippines. No executive, Spaniard or American included, has ever united the Filipino people as did President Manuel L. Quezon.

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