Free Press: The Manuel L. Quezon That I Know (Excerpt)

The Manuel L. Quezon That I Know
(By A Friend)

Philippines Free Press, July 27, 1929

IN THE belief that I am one of the most intimate friends of the senate president, the editor of the Free Press asks me to write about Mr. Quezon and to reveal some intimate events of his life. Because of the dictates of delicacy, I refrain from allowing the use of my name.

I first met Mr. Quezon seventeen years ago upon one of his periodic returns from the United States. It was at this time that President Quezon was beginning to wear down the dislike for him of American residents here and was fast making friends amongst them just as he had made American friends in Washington….

…The other incident concerns a Filipino, the son of one of the most powerful men in the Philippine Islands during the Spanish regime, who had moved to Washington with his wife and three or four children. The temptations of the capital city were too much for him and he was sliding down hill fast. For a period of two or three months he lived on the generosity of Mr. Quezon and other Filipinos residing in Washington. Whenever he came to Mr. Quezon  for help, he was given some money, but one day Mr. Quezon remarked to me he thought he was not doing the man any good by giving him money. The next time he came for help Mr. Quezon refused to give him money and told him, “I am going over to your house and talk to your wife.” He called me and the two of us went to the Filipino’s home and we saw there a picture of desolation. It seemed that the children and the wife had not had anything to eat for two days. He used the telephone, had some milk, bread and butter brought in immediately, and after the wife and children had taken some food Mr. Quezon asked the wife to make a budget of her monthly expenses for food and rent right then and there. When the budget was drawn up, Mr. Quezon called the real estate agent and guaranteed the rental for three months and called the grocery stores and likewise guaranteed the food bills for three months. Then he pulled out a revolver from his pocket, gave it to the young Filipino and said, “I am sick and tired of your promises to behave. There will not be another centavo to cash for you. If you had any spunk in you, you would take this revolver, go somewhere and shoot yourself, or else go to Mexico, join the rebels and become a general in the Mexican forces. Then I might be glad to shake your hand again after you had recovered your self-respect.” The Filipino broke down and cried as we left the house. The man’s reformation was fast and within two months he got a job as Spanish instructor in a famous academy and I understand is now a noted professor of languages and is making good money.


Philippines Free Press
Author: Philippines Free Press

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