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Manuel Quezon: 'Star Of Baler'

Manuel Quezon is considered as their second President and the first one under the Commonwealth Government- that's how most Filipinos view him.

His term as President of the Commonwealth Government started in November 15, 1935 and ended on August 1, 1944. The Commonwealth Government was the political designation used to refer to the Philippines during that time, as a commonwealth of the United States. Aside from being called as the first president under this new form of government, Manuel Luis Quezon was also considered by many as the second president of the country next to Emilio Aguinaldo. In fact, the name Manuel Quezon is linked to a number of first in the country's politics.

The following are just some of the feat made by Quezon in his life:

. He was the first Senate President to be elected to the presidency
. He was the first president that was elected through national election
. He was the first incumbent that was able to secure re-election
. He was known as the 'Father of the National Language'

Before he was thrust into national prominence in the political arena, the young Manuel Quezon was already a man of achievements and was slowly and steadily climbing the government hierarchy. He was also born into a well-off family. He was considered as a Spanish mestizo and he was born in Baler, Tayabas which is now called Aurora. He started his career as aide-de-camp to Emilio Aguinaldo and he also fought together with the other Filipino nationalists during the Philippine-American War.

He was home-schooled for his primary education and her mother served as his teacher who was also a teacher in their hometown. He finished his secondary education at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and after the war he pursued Law at the University of Santo Tomas. He ranked fourth in the bar exams that was conducted in 1903. Right after finishing his law degree and passing the bar exam, Manuel Quezon started his career in government service. He first served as a clerk then as a surveyor and was later appointed as the fiscal for Mindoro and was later made the fiscal for Tayabas. He then participated in the elections in Tayabas where he successfully run for councilor and then ran for governor.

By 1907, he was elected to the first Philippine Assembly and he was then elected as the majority floor leader and was also made the chairman of the committee on appropriations. He was also part of the team that lobbied for the passage of the Jones Law or the Philippine Autonomy Act. By 1935, Manuel Quezon reached the pinnacle in the national political scene as he was elected the first national president of the first national presidential election of the country. The presidency of 1935 was contested by Quezon, Emilio Aguinaldo and Bishop Gregorio Aglipay. Quezon got the majority of the vote winning 68 percent of the vote. And by November of the same year, he was inaugurated as president of the republic.

According to the constitution, he was not allowed to seek re-election. But during 1940, some constitutional amendments were made and one amendment allowed Quezon to seek re-election. It was a successful re-election for the president as he was re-elected and got 82 percent of the vote.

He was also known for his popular humanitarian act when he and in cooperation of United States High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt which allowed for the entry in the country of Jewish refugees who are fleeing Europe.

He was considered as the 'Star of Baler' known to deliver on his vision to free his countrymen from the shackles of colonialism. This was shown in his efforts during his time to secure the independence of the county.

The vision of Manuel Quezon culminated in many things:

. The culmination of political instability within the framework of the Constitution of 1935

. The formulation of many policies that ensure the social well-being of the Filipinos

. The adjustment of the national economy to the challenges of nationhood

He was also active the country's war efforts but he died without seeing the end of it. Manuel Quezon died in a foreign country on August 1, 1944 at the Saranak Lake, New York. Tuberculosis ended the life of one of Philippine's greatest leaders.




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