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Manuel Luis Quezon: Father of the Philippine Commonwealth

Updated on October 20, 2019

Manuel Luis Quezon

A monument of Manuel L. Quezon in Quezon province.
A monument of Manuel L. Quezon in Quezon province. | Source

His Biography

The Star of Baler, who is Manuel Luis Quezon, was born in the town of Baler, Tayabas (now known as Aurora), on August 1878. His father is Lucio Quezon from Paco, Manila, and his mother is Maria Molina from Baler.

The first people who enlightened his mind were his parents. His mother taught him arithmetic, catechism, and reading and writing in Spanish. His father enhanced his moral values, integrity and taught him to be honest at all times.

The first education of Manuel, which is known today as primary schooling, was under the teachings of a priest from Baler. At a young age, he showed incredible intelligence, so when he reached ten years old, he was sent to Manila by his father to enroll him at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. While attending school, he served the Franciscan monks to support his schooling. He was well-known in school because of his intelligence. He also showed his oratory skills. He finished college with the degree in Arts as a summa cum laude. He continued attending school at University of Santo Tomas. Just like in college, he was again a working student.

Manuel L. Quezon became a great lawyer and his life shined as a politician and a dedicated public servant. The Star of Baler also became a fiscal of Mindoro and Tayabas, governor, and resident commissioner of the Philippines in the United States from 1901 to 1917 where he took advantage to launch a campaign for Philippine independence.

He led the first mission for Philippine independence from the United States in 1919. It was thought to be a great success for Quezon when the Congress of the United States approved the Tydings-McDuffie Law in 1934, which is known to be the reference of Philippine Independence.

He became the president of the Philippine Commonwealth from 1935 to 1944. During his time, he did his best to make the Philippines resilient. He gave civil rights attention, and remedied the problems of the working class and the poor.

Quezon is now known as the Father of the National Language because he fought for the Philippines to have its national language during his presidency. As the president of the Philippine Commonwealth, one of his important works was implementing the language law, the law that unites all Filipinos.

On December 30, 1937, Tagalog was chosen as the Philippine national language. Since then, the Philippine national language grew.

During the World War II in 1941, his works were suspended. As per advice of General Douglas McArthur, the Quezon family together with his cabinet members, went to the United States. It was against his will, but he needed to save the Commonwealth.

The brave and great leader of the Philippines died at Saranac Lake, New York on August 1944, three months before General McArthur made history when he went back to the Philippines to free the Filipinos from the Japanese.


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