MLQ Jr. 1926-1998

Today is my father’s seventh death anniversary. The page on him contains a column I wrote on understanding the two ways -my father’s, and his sister’s- the family chose to oppose Marcos during martial law. There’s an article by Monina Allarey-Mercado, and a more famous one by Nick Joaquin (my dad was extremely pleased by the way he got Joaquin to run the article by him for approval, so that it would be absolutely accurate). Finally, two essays by my father, one on Filipino racism, which up to quite recently was still read in some classes at the Ateneo, and another essay he wrote in Filipino, on dangerous mutations in Philippine social thought he observed in the 1960’s.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

11 thoughts on “MLQ Jr. 1926-1998

  1. Re: on filipino racism.
    Manolo the man makes perfect sense. I just wish it must be included on required reading as early as 6 grade.

  2. What a lovely article by Nick Joaquin. I visited MLQ’s remains this Saturday, and I feel like I’ve gained a lot of perspective on your grandfather’s personality between the (rather ill-kept) exhibit at the Circle and Joaquin’s writeup.

    Do they have any plans to redo the exhibit at President Quezon’s crypt, I wonder? I see a lot of potential in the place.

    I also wanted to ask you: what’s with the big caricature of President Quezon kicking Culion Island? It didn’t look too flattering to me; I thought it strange that they included it among his many portraits and tributes.

  3. Mickey, he hated Culion because he didn’t feel people with Leprosy should be kept away in an isolated island. That’s why the Tala leprosarium was established, so they could live closer to other people (and their families). Culion was a pet project of Governor-General Leonard Wood (MLQ’s nemesis). The big cartoon was a thank you from leprosy victims if you remember the inscription.

  4. Yep, I do remember the inscription – since I associated Culion with the lepers and their well-being, it looked to me as if the caricature depicted your grandfather rejecting the lepers, not helping them. I read the inscription, but I initially thought the writer was being sarcastic (!).

    So – either I’m an idiot, or there’s still some improvement needed in the way the info’s presented. (Or both.) President Quezon was a famous for his speeches – the exhibit could have some listening stations where one can listen to his fiery rhetoric, for starters.

  5. mickey, they do what they can with a shoestring budget, and all the oldies who would have pitched in to make the museum better are dead.

  6. “budget” – I figured as much. I wonder if there’s an effective mechanism to get ordinary citizens – and ordinary citizen donors – to get involved?

    “oldies” – you’re not dead yet! 🙂

  7. this may already be the 21st century but i feel that the isssue of racism is still very much relevant. just step into cafe havana and feel what i am talking about crawl up your back. many of our thinkers also argue using the statement “in the states…” or “americans are…” as though they morally better than us.

    on something closer to mlq3, i would like to know if his lolo really ran a government with many cronies. i heard from an elder that cronyism is not bad per se as was seen during the quezon presidency. it only becomes bad, he adds, when national interest is not the primary concern of the man controlling the state. tell us more please.

  8. bog:

    You have to do some reading. For example, this is the view of an American communist, James Allen (aka Sol Auerbach) from his memoirs. This is a famous profile written by an American journalist, John Gunther. And here is a piece by a Filipino journalist on corruption.

    And this is something I wrote on the subject of corruption some time back.

    Obviously every president has cronies, who are both the political friends and campaign supporters of a President. If you want to understand how presidents and their friends made money before Marcos, read what an American politician once wrote. You made money by real estate. MLQ explained it himself in a privilege speech.

  9. M.,

    I found one thing close to my heart while reading your the write-ups about your Dad:
    My Nanay shares the same birthdate, altho she was years younger than him.
    But they do share the same strength of conviction. Walang makakatalo sa takbo ng isipan ni Nanay.

    ON CRONYISM: as long as the friends or those around the President are FOR THE PEOPLE,
    there is nothing wrong with it. But when it boild down to personal aggrandizement, then TALO ANG BAYAN.

  10. ON CRONYISM: My own grandfather, an MLQ fan I suppose, used to tell me the story of how MLQ borrowed the last of AngTibay’s money in his bank account (PHP15,000, if I remember right), and soon thereafter, after MLQ won the elections, Ang Tibay got the contract for the Philippine Army’s boots. I always wondered if the story had any basis.

  11. mlq3,

    referring to nick joaquin’s article: i grew up in the outskirts of project 4 just a block away from aurora blvd. as a kid (mid 60’s to 70’s) i would “hike” with my street friends to a place we would call “lupa ni quezon” which is in the area bordered by aurora market and psba.(after psba is where the old monasterio de sta. clara used to be, but was moved to give way to the C5 overpass)

    it was still “masukal” at that time. there were a lot of santol amd mango trees that would bear their fruits in their respective season. it was perfect place for “taguan”, “baril barilan” and barkada picnics. i would practically spend whole days during summer just hanging it out in the “woods”.

    i also remember accompanying my mom and my sister to this very old spanish colonial like house, which had a long driveway surrounded by trees, just where that globe building sits now (between psba and aurora market). this was were patis pamintuan lived – she is now the famous patis tesoro. my mom would tell me that that the quezons also owned that place. i was just wondering if that beautiful place was built by your lolo or if your father ever lived there.

    i just wish those beautiful places were preserved. they were so much part of my childhood.

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