Teachings From Manuel L. Quezon
Hello again. In continuing my article on Manuel L. Quezon, whom I feel is the great mentor of my parents and my generation, I reflect back to the traits I have seen exhibited by my parents and the many other Filipinos that were of the same generation which I feel have been injected into me and makes me have the same foundation in my character. From my initial article I presented a number of odes of Ethics that Manuel Quezon promulgated in his nine years as President of the Philippines. Manuel Quezon was often quoted and very sincere of them even if they were not popular in America. Here are some of the more famous of his quotes and my thoughts on them;
“My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins.”
This thought of Loyalty should strike home to most Filipinos. One trait that Filipinos have been noticed for is there loyalty especially loyalty to their heritage, culture and family are strong but in many ways some Filipinos just don’t employ Quezon’s thoughts about “the end of party loyalty and the beginning of country (meaning kapwa Filipino) loyalty. Sometimes Filipino loyalty to one’s party never stops for either right or wrong reasons.
“Social Justice is far more beneficial when applied as a matter of sentiment, and not of law.”
This is certainly one of his quotes where he shows his benevolence towards issues and where he shows the he is noble and shows nobility.
“I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.” When Quezon came to America leaving the Philippines to be overrun by the Japanese Imperial Army, he was actually angry at America because he had felt that Gen. Douglas MacArthur kidnapped him and sent him to American for his protection.
“Pray for me so that I can return to the Philippines. I feel so weak that I’m afraid I cannot make it”. Quezon in his later days wanted to go back to the Philippines but he was real sick and eventually succumbed to his illness. While in exile in America, he was extremely sad for the plight of the Filipinos and Americans under the Japanese Imperial Army. The rigors of travel and his poor health during those times may have made him lose all hope of returning to the Philippines, something he desperately wanted to do.
“I’d rather be called “Quezón the Letranite” than “Quezón the President”.” This quote kind of shows his extreme humility about having the most powerful position in the Philippines. If there were only more like him today in the Philippine Government, maybe our political outlook will seem better off than they are now.
Manuel Quezon was well regarded by both Filipinos and Americans. In many ways Filipinos were highly regarded as a great people by many American who went to the Philippines as US Government officials or as American Military personnel. One classic story often told by many West Point graduates prior to World War II was the race,upon the closure of the graduation ritual, to the sign-up sheet for their initial tour of duty. Many of the new graduates put down their desire to be sent to the Philippines. According to several of the West Point Officer’s I have met, they often expressed their happiness of going to the Philippines prior to the Japanese Army invasion and enjoying the hospitality of the Filipino people, the beauty of the Country and Manila and the resemblance of life in Manila often comparing it to living somewhere in Hawaii. According to one American officer, he felt it was much better than going to Hawaii or the Caribbean.
Since the arrival of the Americans, the Philippines was governed much as part of the Western United States and when Manuel Quezon became the President of the Republic of the Philippines, the country was on the verge becoming much like the Western world. President Quezon instilled the American way of life and was prominent in encouraging Filipinos to have nobility, honor, pride and be hardworking in their everyday lives in all things. I saw all these virtues in all the Filipinos I met in my childhood days growing up in Southern California and I saw more of these virtues with the many first generation Filipinos I met while in college in the Philippines in the early seventies.
Today, there are many changes seen in the way things were done in the 1930’s, 40’s and even up to the 50’s, some good and some not so good in my view. But we have to learn the good virtues taught by great men like Manuel L. Quezon and keep
using them and teaching them to our next generations.
In this and in future articles, I wish to instill to all generations these fine teachings from a great President and Filipino. Bye for now and keep your eyes and ears open for more articles like this from the PinoyWatchDog team.