For the Love of Country
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina was the first Filipino president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines under U.S. occupation rule in the early period of the 20th century. He was born on Aug. 19, 1878, to Lucio Quezon and Maria Molina, both schoolteachers, in Baler, Tayabas (now Quezon) Province, in Luzon. Manuel enrolled at San Juan de Letran College, after which he was appointed lecturer at the University of Santo Tomás. There he studied law, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. He is also considered by most Filipinos to have been the second President, after Emilio Aguinaldo (whose administration did not receive international recognition at the time and is not considered the first Philippine president by the United States). He has the distinction of being the first Senate President elected to the presidency, the first president elected through a national election, and was also 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". He has chosen Filipino to be the national and an official language of the Philippines as designated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.Quezon was considered "bright but lazy"; but when he joined the revolutionary forces of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo during the revolution against Spain, Quezon displayed his fearless, bold, and quick-tempered style of fighting. He was promoted from private to major until, in 1899, he surrendered to the Americans, spent 6 months in jail, and then returned to Manila.