Manuel L. Quezon

Manuel L. Quezón
2nd President of the Philippines
1st President of the Commonwealth
In office
November 15, 1935 – August 1, 1944
Vice President Sergio Osmeña
Preceded by Emilio Aguinaldo
Succeeded by José P. Laurel(De Facto)
1st President of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
August 29, 1916 – November 15, 1935
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Manuel Roxas
Senator of the Philippines from the 5th Senatorial District
In office
October 16, 1916 – November 15, 1935
Served with:
Vicente Ilustre (1916–1919)
Antero Soriano (1919–1925)
José P. Laurel (1925–1931)
Claro M. Recto (1931–1935)
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Resident Commissioner to the U.S. House of Representatives from the Philippine Islands
In office
November 23, 1909 – October 15, 1916
Serving with Benito Legarda
and Manuel Earnshaw
Preceded by Pablo Ocampo
Succeeded by Teodoro R. Yangco
Majority Leader of the Philippine House of Representatives
In office
October 16, 1907 – November 23, 1909
As Majority Leader of the Philippine Assembly
Member of the Philippine Assembly from Tayabas' 1st District
In office
October 16, 1907 – October 16, 1916
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Filemon Perez
Governor of Tayabas
In office
Personal details
Born August 19, 1878(1878-08-19)
Baler, Philippines
Died August 1, 1944(1944-08-01) (aged 65)
Saranac Lake, United States
Resting place Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City, Philippines
Political party Nacionalista Party
Other political
Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Aurora Aragón
Alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran
University of Santo Tomas
Religion Roman Catholicism
Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina

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). Quezón 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, tackling foreign strangle-hold on Philippine trade and commerce, proposals for land reform and the tackling of graft and corruption within the government. Quezón established an exiled government in the US with the outbreak of the war and the threat of Japanese invasion. During his exile in the US, Manuel Quezón died of tuberculosis in Saranac Lake, New York.


Early life and career

Quezón, was born in Baler, Tayabas (now Aurora). His Spanish mestizo parents were Lucio Quezón and María Dolores Molina. His father was a primary grade school teacher from Paco, Manila, and also a retired Sergeant in 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 system of free public education 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. [1] 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 Quezon cut short his law studies at the University of Santo Tomas 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.[2] He rose to the rank of Major and fought in the Bataan sector. However, after Aguinaldo was captured in 1901, 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.

Congressional career

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 securing passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Independence Law in 1934. In 1922, Quezón became the leader of Nacionalista Party.


Administration and Cabinet

Appointments 1935–1941

President Manuel L. Quezón 1935–1941
Vice President Sergio Osmeña 1935–1941
Secretary of Public Instruction Sergio Osmeña 1935–1940
Jorge Bocobo 1940–1941
Secretary of Public Works and Communications Mariano Jesús Cuenco
Secretary of Justice José Yulo 1935–1938
José Abad Santos 1938–1941
Secretary of National Defense Teofilo Sison 1939–1941
Serafin Marabut 1941
Basilio Valdes December 23, 1941
Secretary of Finance Elpidio Quirino 1935–1936
Antonio de las Alas 1936–1938
Manuel Roxas 1938–1941
Serafin Marabut 1941
Secretary of the Interior Elpidio Quirino 1935–1938
Rafael Alunan 1938–1940
Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce Benigno Aquino 1935–1940
Rafael Alunan 1940–1941
Secretary of Labor José Avelino 1935–1938
Sotero Baluyut 1938–1941
Secretary to the President Jorge B. Vargas 1935–1941
Auditor-General Jaime Hernández 1935–1941
Commissioner of the Budget Serafin Marabut 1935–1941
Commissioner of Civil Service José Gil 1935–1941
Resident Commissioner Quintin Paredes 1935–1938
Joaquín Miguel Elizalde 1938–1941

War Cabinet 1941–1944

The outbreak of World War II and the Japanese invasion resulted in periodic and drastic changes to the government structure. Executive Order 390, December 22, 1941 abolished the Department of the Interior and established a new line of succession. Executive Order 396, December 24, 1941 further reorganized and grouped the cabinet, with the functions of Secretary of Justice assigned to the Chief Justice of the Philippines.

President Manuel L. Quezón 1941–1944 (extended, 1943)
Vice President Sergio Osmeña 1941–1944 (extended, 1943)
Secretary of Justice and Finance José Abad Santos December 24, 1941 – March 26, 1942
Secretary of Justice José Abad Santos March 26, 1942– May, 1942
Secretary of Finance, Agriculture, and Commerce Andrés Soriano March 26, 1942 – July 31, 1944
Secretary of National Defense, Public Works, Communications and Labor Basilio Valdes December 24, 1941 – August 1, 1944
Secretary of Public Instruction, Health, and Public Welfare Sergio Osmeña December 24, 1941 – August 1, 1944
Secretary to the President Manuel Roxas December 24, 1941– May, 1942
Arturo Rotor May, 1942– August 1, 1944
Secretary to the Cabinet Manuel Nieto May 19, 1944
Secretary without Portfolio Andrés Soriano March 2–26, 1942
Treasurer of the Philippines Andrés Soriano February 19, 1942 – March 26, 1942
Manuel Roxas March 26, 1942 – May 8, 1942
Auditor-General Jaime Hernández (Filipino) December 30, 1941 – August 1, 1944
Resident Commissioner Joaquín Miguel Elizalde December 30, 1941 – August 1, 1944 (given cabinet rank, May, 1942)
Secretary of Information and Public Relations Carlos P. Rómulo 1943–1944


The Sixth Annual Report of the United States High Commission to the Philippine Island to the President and Congress of the United States, Covering the Fiscal Year July 1, 1941 to June 30, 1942 Washington D.C. October 20, 1942

Executive Orders of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Manila, Bureau of Printing 1945

Supreme Court appointments

President Quezón was given the power under the reorganization act, to appoint the first all-Filipino Supreme Court of the Philippines in 1935. From 1901 to 1935, although a Filipino was always appointed chief justice, the majority of the members of the Supreme Court were Americans. Complete Filipinization was achieved only with the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935. Claro M. Recto and José P. Laurel were among Quezón's first appointees to replace the American justices. The membership in the Supreme Court increased to 11: a chief justice and ten associate justices, who sat en banc or in two divisions of five members each.

First Term (1935–1941)

In 1935 Quezón won the Philippine's first national presidential election under the banner of the Nacionalista Party. He obtained nearly 68% of the vote against his two main rivals, Emilio Aguinaldo and Gregorio Aglipay. Quezón was inaugurated in November 1935. He is recognized as the second President of the Philippines. However, in January 2008, House Representative Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro filed a bill seeking instead to declare General Miguel Malvar as the second Philippine President, having directly succeeded Aguinaldo in 1901.[3]

Government Reorganization

To meet the demands of the newly established government set-up and in compliance with the provisions of the Tydings-McDuffie law, as well as the requirements of the Constitution, President Quezon, true to his pledge of "More Government and less politics", initiated a reorganization of the government bodies.[4] To this effect, he established the Government Survey Board to study the existing institutions and in the light of the changed circumstances, make the necessary recommendations.[4]

Early results were seen with the revamping of the Executive Department. Offices and bureaus were either merged with one another or outrightly abolished. Some new ones, however, were created.[4] President Quezon ordered the transfer of the Philippines Constabulary for the Department of Interior, were placed under the Department of Finance. Among the innovations in the Executive Departments by the way of modification in functions ore new creations, were those of the National Defense, Agriculture and Commerce, Public Works and Communications, and Health and Public Welfare.[4]

In Keeping with other exigencies posed by the Constitution, new offices and boards were created either by Executive Order or by appropriate legislative action.[4] Among these were the Council of National Defense, the Board of National Relief, the Mindanao and Sulu Commission, and the Civil Service Board of Appeals.[4]

Social justice program

Pledged to improve the lot of the Philippine working class and seeking the inspiration from the social doctrines of Leo XIII and Pius XI, aside from the authoritative treatises of the world's leading sociologists, President Quezon started a vigorous program of social justice, which he traduced into reality through appropriate executive measures and legislation obtained from the National Assembly.[4]

Thus, a court of Industrial Relations was established by law to take cognizance disputes, under certain conditions, minimizing in this wise the inconveniences of the strikes and lockouts. A minimum wage law was enacted, as well as a law providing for a maximum of eight hours daily work and a Tenancy law for the Filipino farmers. Another effective measure was the creation of the position of Public Defenders to help indigent litigants in their court suits.[4]

Commonwealth Act No. 20 authorize President Quezon to institute expropriation proceedings and/or acquire large landed estates to re-sell them at nominal cost and under easy terms to tenants thereon, thus enabling them to possess a lot and a home of their own. It was by virtue of this law that the Buenavista estate was acquired by the Commonwealth Government. President Quezon also launched a cooperative system of agriculture among the owners of the subdivided estates in order to alleviate their situation and provide them grater earnings.[4]

In all these, President Quezon showed an earnest desire to follow the constitutional mandate on the promotion of social justice.[4]


President Manuel L. Quezón signing documents.

Upon the advent of the Commonwealth fortunately the economic condition of the country was stable and promising.[4] With foreign trade reaching a peak of four hundred million pesos, the upward trend in business was accentuated and assumed the aspect of a boom. Exports crops were generally good and, with the exemption of tobacco, they were all in excellent demand in foreign trade markets. Indeed the value of the Philippine exports reached an all high of 320,896,000 pesos, the highest since 1929.[4]

On the other hand, government revenues amounted to 76,675,000 pesos in 1936, as compared with the 1935 revenue of 65,000,000 pesos. Even the government companies, with the exemption of the Manila Railroad, managed to earn profits. Gold production increased about 37% and iron nearly 100%, while cement production augmented some 14%.[4]

Notwithstanding this prosperous situation,[4] the government had to meet certain economic problems besetting the country and which, if attended to, might jeopardize the very prosperity then being enjoyed. For this Purpose the National Economic Council was created by law. This body advised the government in economic and financial questions, including promotion of industries, diversification of crops and enterprises, tariffs, taxation, and formulation of an economic program in the contemplation of the future independent Republic of the Philippines.[4]

Again, a law reorganized the National Development Company, the National Rice and Corn Company (NARIC) was created by law. It was given a capital of four million pesos.[4]

Upon the recommendation of the National Economic Council, agricultural colonies were established in the country, especially in Korondal, Malig, and other appropriate sites in Mindanao. The government, moreover, offered facilities of every sort to encourage migration and settlement in those places. The Agricultural and Industrial Bank was established to aid small farmers with the convenient loans on easy terms. Attention was also devoted to soil survey, as well as to the proper disposition of lands of t the public domain. These steps and measures held much promise for our economic welfare.[4]

Agrarian reform

When the Commonwealth Government was established, President Quezon implemented the Rice Share Tenancy Act of 1933.[5] The purpose of this act was to regulate the share-tenancy contracts by establishing minimum standards.[5] Primarily, the Act provided for better tenant-landlord relationship, a 50–50 sharing of the crop, regulation of interest to 10% per agricultural year, and a safeguard against arbitrary dismissal by the landlord.[5] But the Act could only be implemented by petition of majority of the municipal councils was overwhelming, no petition for the Rice Share Tenancy Act was ever presented.[5]

The major flaw of this law was that it could be used only when the majority of municipal councils in a province petitioned for it.[5] Since landowners usually controlled such councils, no province ever asked that the law be applied. Therefore, Quezon ordered that the act be mandatory in all Central Luzon provinces.[5] However, contracts were good only for one year. By simply refusing the renew their contract, landlords were able to ejects tenants. As a result, peasant organizations agitated in vain for a law that would make the contract automatically renewable for as long as the tenants fulfilled their obligations.[5]

In 1936, this Act was amended to get rid of its loophole, but the landlords made its application relative and not absolute. Consequently, it was never carried out in spite of its good intentions. In fact, by 1939, thousands of peasants in Central Luzon were being threatened with wholesale eviction.[5]

The desire of Quezon to placate both landlords and tenants pleased either. By early 1940s, thousands of tenants in Central Luzon were ejected from their farmlands and the rural conflict was more acute than ever.[5]

Indeed, during the Commonwealth period, agrarian problems persisted.[5] This motivated the government to incorporate a cardinal principle on social justice in the 1935 Constitution. Dictated by the social justice program of the government, expropriation of landed estates and other landholdings commenced. Likewise, the National Land Settlement Administration (NSLA) began an orderly settlement of public agricultural lands. At the outbreak of the Second World War, major settlement areas containing more than 65,000 hectares were already established.[5]

Educational reforms

Turning his attention to the matter of education in the country, President Quezon by virtue of Executive Order No. 19, dated February 19, 1936, created the National Council of Education, with Rafael Palma, former President of the University of the Philippines, as its first chairman.[4] Funds retained from the early approved Residence Certificate Law were devoted to the maintenance of the public schools all over the nation and the opening of many more to meet the needs of the young people. Indeed, by this time there were already 6,511 primary schools; 1039 intermediate schools; 133 secondary and special schools; and five junior colleges. The total number of pupils enrolled was 1,262,353, who were placed under charge of 28,485 schools teachers This year's appropriation for public education amounted to 14,566,850 pesos.[4] The private institutions of learning, for their part, accommodated more than ninety seven thousand students, thus considerably aiding the government in solving the annual school crisis. To implement the pertinent constitutional provision, the Office of Adult Education was likewise created.[4]

Women's suffrage

Quezon broadcasting to his countrymen in Manila, from Washington, D.C., April 5. For the first 25 minutes on air, Quezon discussed women's suffrage and urged that the 10-year independence program be limited to a shorter period, 4/5/1937.

President Quezón initiated women's suffrage in the Philippines during the Commonwealth Era.[6] As a result of the prolonged debate between the proponents of women's suffrage and their opponents, the Constitution finally provided that the issue be resolved by the women themselves in a plebiscite. If no less than 300,000 of them were to affirmatively vote in favour of the grant within two years would be deemed granted the country's women. Complying with this mandate, the government ordered a plebiscite to be held for the purpose on April 3, 1937.

Following a rather vigorous campaign, on the day of the plebiscite, the turnout of female voters was impressive. The affirmative votes numbered 447,725, as against 44,307 who opposed the grant.[6]

National language

Another constitutional provision to be implemented by President Quezón's administration dealt with the question of The Philippines' national language. Following a year's study, the Institute of the National Language – established on 1936 – recommended that Tagalog be adopted as the basis for the national language. The proposal was well received, considering that the Director – the first to be appointed – at the time Jaime C. de Veyra, was an ethnic Visayan.

On December 1937, Quezón issued a proclamation approving the constitution made by the Institute and declaring that the adoption of the national language would take place two years hence. With the presidential approval, the Institute of National Language started to work on a grammar and dictionary of the language.[6]

Council of State

In 1938, President Quezon enlarged the composition of the Council of State through Executive Order No. 44.[6] This highest of advisory bodies to President was henceforth to be composed of the President, Vice-President, Senate President, House Speaker, Senate President pro tempore, House Speaker pro tempore, Majority Floor leader of both chambers of Congress, former Presidents of the Philippines, and some three to five prominent citizens.[6]

1938 midterm election

The Elections for the Second National Assemblywere held on November 8, 1938, under a new law that allowed block voting[7] which favored the governing Nacionalista Party. As expected all the 98 seats of the National Assembly went to the Nacionalistas. Jose Yulo who was Quezon's Secretary of Justice from 1934 to 1938, was elected Speaker.

The Second National Assembly embarked on passing legislations strengthening the economy, unfortunately the cloud of the Second World War loomed over the horizon. Certain laws passed by the First National Assembly were modified or repealed to meet existing realities.[8] A controversial immigration law that set an annual limit of 50 immigrants per country which[9] affected mostly Chinese and Japanese nationals escaping the Sino-Japanese War was passed in 1940. Since the law bordered on foreign relations it required the approval of the U.S. President which was nevertheless obtained. When the result of the 1939 census was published, the National Assembly updated the apportionment of legislative districts, which became the basis for the 1941 elections.

1939 plebiscite

On August 7, 1939, the United States Congress enacted a law embodying the recommendations submitted by the Joint Preparatory Commission on Philippine Affairs. Because the new law required an amendment of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution, a plebiscite was held on August 24, 1939. The amendment was carried by 1,339,453 votes against 49,633.[6]

Third official language

C.A. Dewitt and Manuel Quezon.

On April 1, 1940, President Quezon officially authorized the printing and publication of the grammar and dictionary prepared by the Institute of the National Language. Likewise, the Chief Executive decreed that the national language was to be compulsorily taught in all the schools during the forthcoming academic term. For its part, the National Assembly enacted Law No. 570 raising the national language elaborated by the institute to the status of official language of the Philippines, at par with English and Spanish, effective July 4, 1946, upon the establishment of the Philippine Republic.[6]

1940 plebiscite

Coincident with the local elections for the 1940, another plebiscite was held this time to ratify the proposed amendments to the Constitution regarding the restoration of the bicameral legislature, the presidential term, which was to be fixed at four years with one re-election; and the establishment of an independent Commission on Elections. With the Nacionalista Party, which had proposed said amendment in their convention, working hard under the leadership of its President, Speaker Jose Yulo, the amendments were overwhelmingly ratified by the electorate. Speaker Yulo and Assemblyman Dominador Tan traveled to the United States to obtain President Franklin D. Roosevelt's approval, which was given on December 2, 1940. Two days later President Quezon proclaimed the amendments.

1941 presidential election

Quezón had originally been barred by the Philippine constitution from seeking re-election. However, in 1940, constitutional amendments were ratified allowing him to seek re-election for a fresh term ending in 1943. In the 1941 presidential elections, Quezón was re-elected over former Senator Juan Sumulong with nearly 82% of the vote.

Second term (1941–1944)

Jewish refugees

In a notable humanitarian act, Quezón, in cooperation with United States High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt, facilitated the entry into the Philippines of Jewish refugees fleeing fascist regimes in Europe. Quezón was also instrumental in promoting a project to resettle the refugees in Mindanao.


President Quezón, with some of his family members, are welcomed in Washington, D.C. by President Roosevelt.

After the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II he evacuated to Corregidor, then the Visayas and Mindanao, and upon the invitation of the US government, was further evacuated to Australia and then to the United States, where he established the Commonwealth government in exile with headquarters in Washington, D.C.. There, he served as a member of the Pacific War Council, signed the declaration of the United Nations against the Axis Powers, and wrote his autobiography (The Good Fight, 1946).[6]

To carry on the government duties in exile, President Quezon hired the entire floor of one of the wing of the Shoreham Hotel to accommodate his family and his office. On the other hand, the offices of the government were established at the quarters of the Philippine Resident Commissioner, Joaquin Elizalde. The latter was made a member of President's wartime Cabinet. Others likewise appointed were Brigadier-General Carlos P. Romulo, as Secretary of the Department of Information and Public Relations, and Jaime Hernandez as Auditor General.[6]

On June 2, 1942, President Quezon addressed the United States House of Representatives, impressing upon them the vital necessity of relieving the Philippine front. Before the Senate, later, the Philippine President reiterated the same message and urged the senators to adopt the slogan "Remember Bataan". Despite his precarious state of health, President Quezon roamed the States to deliver timely and rousing speeches calculated to keep the Philippine war uppermost in the minds of the American nation.[6]

Talks of Post-war Philippines

Washington, D.C. Representatives of 26 United Nations at Flag day ceremonies in the White House to reaffirm their pact. Seated, left to right: Dr. Francisco Castillo Najera, Ambassador of Mexico; President Roosevelt; Manuel Quezon, President of the Philippine Islands; and Secretary of State Cordell Hull.

On the occasion of his first birthday celebration in the United States, President Quezon broadcast as radio message to the Philippine residents in Hawaii, who contributed to the celebration by purchasing four million pesos worth of World War II bonds.[6] Further showing the Philippine government's cooperation with the war effort, President Quezon officially offered the U.S Army a Philippine infantry regiment, which was authorized by the U.S. Department of War to train in California. He also had the Philippine government acquire Elizalde's yacht, which, renamed "Bataan" and totally manned by the Philippine officers and crew, was donated to the United States for use in the war.[6]

Early in November 1942, President Quezon held conferences with President Roosevelt to work out a plan for the creation of a joint commission to study the economic conditions of post-war Philippines. Eighteen months later, the United States Congress would pass an Act creating the Philippine Rehabilitation Commission as an outcome of such talks between the two Presidents.[6]

Quezon-Osmeña Impasse

By 1943, the Philippine Government-in-exile was faced with a serious crisis.[6] According to the 1935 Constitution, the official term of President Quezon was to expire on the December 30, 1943 and Vice-President Sergio Osmeña would automatically succeed him in the Presidency. This eventuality was brought to the attention of President Quezon by Osmeña himself, who wrote the former to this effect. Aside from replying to this letter informing Vice-President Osmeña that it would not be wise and prudent to effect any such change under the circumstances, President Quezon issued a press release along the same line. Osmeña then requested the opinion of U.S. Attorney General Homer Cummings, who upheld Osmeña's view as more in keeping the law. Quezon, however, remained adamant. He accordingly sought President Roosevelt's decision. The latter choose to remain aloof from the controversy, suggesting instead that the Philippine officials themselves solve the impasse.[6]

A cabinet meeting was then convened by President Quezon. Aside from Quezon and Osmeña, others present in this momentous meeting were Resident Commissioner Joaquin Elizalde, Brig.Gen.Carlos P. Romulo, and Cabinet Secretaries Andres Soriano and Jaime Hernandez. Following a spirited discussion, the Cabinet adopted Elizalde's opinion favorable the decision and announced his plan to retire in California.[6]

After the meeting, however, Vice-President Osmeña approached the President and broached his plan to ask the American Congress to suspend the constitutional provisions for presidential succession until after the Philippines should have been liberated. This legal way out was agreeable to President Quezon and the members of his Cabinet. Proper steps were taken to carry out the proposal. Sponsored by Senator Tydings and Congressman Bell, the pertinent Resolution was unanimously approved by the Senate on a voice vote and passed the House of Representatives by the a vote of 181 to 107 on November 10, 1943.[6]


Quezón suffered from tuberculosis and spent his last years in a "cure cottage" in Saranac Lake, New York, where he died on August 1, 1944. He was initially buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His body was later carried by the USS Princeton and re-interred in Manila at the Manila North Cemetery before being moved to Quezon City within the monument at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

Personal life

Quezón was married to his first cousin, Aurora Aragón Quezón, and 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.

In their column on the pronunciation of names, The Literary Digest wrote "The President and his wife pronounce the name keh'-zon. The pronunciation keh-son', although widely heard in the Philippine Islands, is incorrect." (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)

Electoral history

e • d Summary of the September 15, 1935 Philippine presidential election results
Candidate Party Results
Votes %
Manuel Quezon Nacionalista 695,332 67.99%
Emilio Aguinaldo National Socialist 179,349 17.54%
Gregorio Aglipay Republican 148,010 14.47%
Pascual Racuyal Independent 158 0.00%
Valid votes 1,021,445 98.89%
Votes cast 1,022,547 63.91%
Registered voters 1,600,000 100.00%
e • d Summary of the November 11, 1941 Philippine presidential election results
Candidate Party Results
Votes %
Manuel Quezon Nacionalista 1,340,320 81.78%
Juan Sumulong Popular Front 298,608 18.22%
Pedro Abad Santos Socialist
Hilario Moncado Modernist
Totals 1,638,928 100.00%


Tomb of President Manuel L. Quezón, inside the Quezon Memorial Shrine, Quezon City.

"My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins."[10]

"Social Justice is far more beneficial when applied as a matter of sentiment, and not of law."[11]

"I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however a bad Filipino government might be, we can always change it."[12]

"Pray for me so that I can return to the Philippines. I feel so weak that I'm afraid I cannot make it"

"I'd rather be called "Quezón the Letranite" than "Quezón the President"."

Civics and Ethics Code

As promulgated by the Manuel L. Quezón The First President of the Philippine Commonwealth

1. Have faith in Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affections, and the sources of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready at all times to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but also obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the majority.

6. Love and respect your parents. It is your duty to serve them gratefully and well.

7. Value your honor as you value your life. Poverty with honor is preferable to wealth with dishonor.

8. Be truthful and be honest in thought and in action. Be just and charitable, courteous but dignified in your dealings with your fellowmen.

9. Lead a clean and frugal life. Do not indulge in frivolity or pretense. Be simple in your dress and modest in your behavior.

10. Live up to the noble traditions of our people. Venerate the memory of our heroes. Their lives point the way to duty and honor.

11. Be industrious. Be not afraid or ashamed to do manual labor. Productive toil is conductive to economic security and adds to the wealth of the nation.

12. Rely on your own efforts for your progress and happiness. Be not easily discouraged. Persevere in the pursuit of your legitimate ambitions.

13. Do your work cheerfully, thoroughly, and well. Work badly done is worse than work undone. Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.

14. Contribute to the welfare of your community and promote social justice. You do not live for yourselves and family alone. You are part of society to which you owe definite responsibilities.

15. Cultivate the habit of using goods made in the Philippines. Patronize the products and trades of your countrymen.

16. Use and develop our natural resources and conserve them for posterity. They are the inalienable heritage of our people. Do not traffic with your citizenship.

The vital lesson we must learn from our past is that we can triumph if we only persevere. The Filipino people, by grit, hard work, and faith in God, will march forward to fulfill their destiny.


Philippine 20 peso bill

Recording of speech

President Quezón delivered a speech entitled "Message to My People" in English and in Spanish. According to Manuel L. Quezón III, the speech was "recorded in the 1920s, when he was first diagnosed with tuberculosis and assumed he didn't have much longer to live."[14]


  • McArthur, Douglas (1964). Reminiscences. 
  • Quezón, Manuel L. (1946). The Good Fight. 
  • Perret, Geoffrey (1996). Old Soldiers Never Die: The Life of Douglas MacArthur. 


  1. ^ Quezon, Manuel Luis (1915), "Escuelas públicas durante el régimen español [Public schools during the Spanish regime]" (in Spanish), Philippine Assembly, Third Legislature, Third Session, Document No.4042-A 87 Speeches of Honorable Manuel L. Quezon, Philippine resident commissioner, delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States during the discussion of Jones Bill, 26 September-14 October 1914 [Asamblea Filipina, Tercera Legislatura, Tercer Período de Sesiones, Documento N.o 4042-A 87, Discursos del Hon. Manuel L. Quezon, comisionado residente de Filipinas, Pronunciados en la Cámara de representantes de los Estados Unidos con motivo de la discusión del Bill Jones, 26, septiembre-14, octubre, 1914], Manila, Philippines: Bureau of Printing, p. 35, archived from the original on July 18, 2010,, retrieved July 24, 2010, "...there were public schools in the Philippines long before the American occupation, and, in fact, I have been educated in one of these schools, even though my hometown is such a small town, isolated in the mountains of the Northeastern part of the island of Luzon. (Spanish). [...había escuelas públicas en Filipinas mucho antes de la ocupación americana, y que, de hecho, yo me había educado en una de esas escuelas, aunque mi pueblo natal es un pueblo tan pequeño, aislado en las montañas de la parte Noreste de la isla de Luzón.]" 
  2. ^ Office of History and Preservation, United States Congress. (n.d.). QUEZON, Manuel Luis, (1878–1944). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  3. ^ According to Valencia, "General Malvar took over the revolutionary government after General Emilio Aguinaldo, first President of the Republic, was captured on March 23, 1901, and [was] exiled in Hong Kong by the American colonial government—since he was next in command." Maricel Cruz (January 2, 2008). "Lawmaker: History wrong on Gen. Malvar". Retrieved May 2, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Molina, Antonio. The Philippines: Through the centuries. Manila: University of Sto. Tomas Cooperative, 1961. Print.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Manapat, Carlos, Economics, Taxation, and Agrarian Reform. Quezon City: C&E Pub., 2010.Print.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Molina, Antonio. The Philippines: Through the centuries. Manila: University of Sto. Tomas Cooperative, 1961. Print.
  7. ^ Block voting – Philippine Daily Inquirer. Accessed on April 13, 2007.
  8. ^ Commonweatlh Act (CA) No. 494 amended CA 444 "Eight Hour Law" authorizing the President to suspend the law.
  9. ^ Immigration Act of 1940 (CA No. 613), Sec. 13. Accessed on April 13, 2007
  10. ^ om een reactie te plaatsen! (2007-07-07). "Manuel Luis Quezon". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  11. ^ "Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » Rotary Club". Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  12. ^ "Manuel L. Quezon III: The Daily Dose » I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans". Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  13. ^ Picture of commemorative coin
  14. ^ "Talumpati: Manuel L. Quezon". Retrieved June 26, 2010. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Pablo Ocampo
Member of the House of Representatives from the Philippines' At-large district
Succeeded by
Teodoro R. Yangco
Political offices
New office President of the Senate
Succeeded by
Gil Montilla
as Speaker of the National Assembly
Preceded by
Emilio Aguinaldo
as president of the Republic of the Philippines
President of the Philippines
November 15, 1935 – August 1, 1944
Succeeded by
José P. Laurel
as president of the Republic of the Philippines

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