Quezon City will be celebrating its 75th Diamond Jubilee come October 10-12 with programs to commemorate the cityhood’s inception on October 12, 1939 under the administration of then President Manuel L. Quezon, who bought the 1,529 hectares from the vast Diliman estate of the Tuason family, headed by the late patriarch Don Gonzalo Tuason y Patino, the fifth successor to the possibly first richest man in the Philippines, Don Antonio Tuason.
Who is Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina?
Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina was born in Baler on August 19, 1878. His parents were Lucio Quezón (died 1898) and María Dolores Molina (1840 – 1893), who were both teachers in Baler.
In the movie Heneral Luna, Quezon, was portrayed as a young lieutenant during the Philippine-American war receiving orders from the first president of the Republic of the Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo on the day that Gen. Antonio Luna was assassinated in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija on June 5, 1899. Quezon was the aide-de-camp to Aguinaldo during the struggle for independence from the Americans.
Ironically, Quezon, a Spanish-Mestizo, won over Aguinaldo in the quest for the seat of first presidency of the Philippine Commonwealth on September 16, 1935. Quezon served as president from 1935 to 1944.
His earliest political career dated back in 1906 when he was elected as governor of Tayabas. He became a congressman in 1907 and was elected as senator in 1916 to 1935.
When Aguinaldo was captured in Palanan, Isabela Province in 1901 and after surrendering to the United States, Quezon returned to University of Santo Tomas in Manila and passed the bar examination in 1903, as fourth placer.
5. Personal Life
He married his first cousin, Aurora Aragon Quezon, on December 17, 1918 and were blessed with four children: Maria Aurora “Baby’ Quezon (1919-1949), Maria Zeneida ‘Nini’ Quezon-Avancena (1921), Luisa Corazon Paz ‘Nenita’ Quezon (1924-1924), and Manuel Luis ‘Nonong’ Quezon, Jr. (1926-1998).
It was Quezon who appointed Tomas Eduardo Bernabeu Morato, a Spanish-born Filipino businessman and a long-time friend of the president, as first mayor of the city that Quezon was building at that time. Tomas Morato Avenue (formerly known as Sampaloc Road) was renamed in honor of the first city mayor. Morato was born on July 3, 1887 and died March 6, 1965.
Quezon and Gen. Douglas MacArthur became the closest of friends when the general commanded the Philippine Department in 1920s. However, their friendship turned bitter when Quezon secretly went to Japan to discuss neutrality on the impending war, which left a bad taste on the general.
They resumed their friendship in 1941 before Quezon left the Philippines and led the government-in-exile in the United States.
7. Quezon Heritage House
Quezon and his family started living in the Heritage House, which you can now visit at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, way back in 1927. The original house was built on a 6000sqm lot located at Gilmore Street, New Manila, Quezon City.
The Quezon Heritage House or Ang Pamanang Bahay ni Quezon is open for public tour every Tuesdays to Sundays, 9AM to 4PM.
Quezon was a chain-smoker and can empty three packs of cigarettes during his heydays. His choice of cigarette during those times was Chesterfield blue seal.
Quezon died of tuberculosis on August 1, 1944 in Saranac Lake, New York. On August 19, 1979, Quezon’s remains were moved to Quezon City from Manila North Cemetery within the monument at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
After World War II, on September 7, 1946 and by virtue of Republic Act No. 14, Tayabas became Quezon Province in honor of the late president ans its sub-province of Aurora was named after the president’s wife in 1951.
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