Manuel L. Quezon III is a speechwriter, political, strategic, and crisis communications specialist, a historian, a TV host, an opinion writer, book conceptualizer and editor, and a blogger.
As a practitioner of political communications, he has served as speechwriter and writing consultant to two presidents and a number of public and private sector figures. His government service engaged him in crisis communications and public online communications efforts.
He is a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a lecturer in journalism in the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He is a contributor to other publications Spot.ph. He is a Fellow of Social Weather Stations.
As former Undersecretary/Officer-in-Charge for the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, he oversaw the establishment of the government’s crisis communications protocols, and the promotion of corporate identity practices. As former Editor-in-Chief of the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, he oversaw the development of online communications for the Official Gazette and the Presidential Museum and Library websites, among other significant initiatives. During the Aquino administration, he initiated efforts to strengthen communication links among Cabinet members, and preserving Cabinet papers.
He was the former Assistant Managing Editor of the Philippines Free Press, and host of the ABS-CBN News Channel cable show, The Explainer. Since 1994, he has been an editor, consultant, and freelance communications strategist. Among his notable distinctions are the Presidential Medal of Merit of the Republic of the Philippines in 2016, the 2015 Freedom Flame from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the “Opinion Writer of the Year” for 1994 and 2005 by the Rotary Club of Manila’s Journalism Awards, and the First Prize for the English Essay category of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 1997.
His professional interests and endeavors have centered upon mapping out and understanding the Philippine presidency, national electoral history, and Philippine protocol and heraldry. He put together the Honors Code of the Philippines, the defining system and regulation for Presidential Awards in 2003.
His exposure to and undertakings in new and evolving media, Open Data and e-publications, the preservation and online publication of historical documents, photographs, and other media, in book conceptualization and production, political communications and speechwriting, and journalism make him a sought-after commentator and expert in these fields as well as history and politics.
Awards and Distinctions
Presidential Medal of Merit, 2016
Freedom Flame Award, Friedrich Neumann Foundation, 2016
Opinion Writer of the Year, 1994 and again in 2005, RCM Journalism Awards, Rotary Club of Manila
Shared distinctions for the books Malacañan Palace: The Official Illustrated History and Assembly of the Nation: A Centennial History of the House of Representatives of the Philippines 1907-2007 which were finalists for the National Book Awards; Baler won the National Book Award in 2008.
Special Prize for non-literary writing, Philippines Free Press Literary Awards, 1998
Monthly winner (July 1998), LRP Journalism Awards
Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, First Prize for the Essay in English, 1997
Honorable Mention, short story category, 1994 Student’s Literary Contest, Dept. of English, U.P. Diliman
Bishop’s Prize (for highest service to the school) Brent International School, Manila, 1989
Previous media work:
ANC: Host and writer: The Explainer, and The Explainer Dialogues, 2006-2010. Contributing writer for Korina Sanchez. The Explainer also returned as a mid-news weekly segment and weekly online column from 2016-2018.
Philippines Free Press: (on leave) Assistant Managing Editor from January, 1999; Editorial writer from September, 1996, until 2010.
Philippine Daily Inquirer: Editor, Inquirer Briefing section, 2016-2018. Host, Quezon’s Avenue, a current-affairs program from Monday to Friday, 9-10 AM webcast on Inquirer.net (May-June, 2010); Head, Speaker’s Bureau (March, 2005-June, 2010); contributing editor February, 2004-February, 2005.
Colegio de San Juan de Letran; Lecturer, Opinion and Editorial Writing, 1st. Semester, 2007-2008; Lecturer, Proofreading and Copyediting, 2nd Semester, 2007-2008; Lecturer, Online Writing and Research, 1st Semester, 2008-2009
Ayala Museum: History Curator from March, 2004 to March, 2005
TODAY Newspaper: Editorial writer, from August, 1995 to January, 2004
contributor to the following defunct publications: Internet World Magazine 1997-98; Business Revue Southeast Asia Magazine and Banking and Finance Digest Magazine (1994-1995)
Other pieces have appeared in:
DemocracyPost; Foreign Affairs; Rogue Magazine; Philippine Tatler Magazine; Katipunan Magazine; i Magazine; The American Israelite; Liberal Philippines; Mega Magazine ; Manila Inc.; In Style Magazine ; Chimera ; Parent’s Magazine; Women’s Today; Real Estate Magazine; PSSC Social Science Information; The Philippine Collegian
Previous Government Service:
Presidential Communications Development Strategic Planning Office: Undersecretary, August 2010-2016
Consultant, Office of the President of the Philippines, July-August, 2010
Adviser to the Philippine Chancellery of Philippine Orders and State Decorations, March 2004-July 2005
Presidential Assistant for Historical Affairs (Assistant Secretary) and Deputy Head of the Chancellery of Philippine Orders and State Decorations, January 2003-February 2004
Consultant, Presidential Museum, Malacañan Palace, August 2002-December 2002
Technical Assistant, Office of the President of the Philippines, January 2001-August 2002
Speechwriter, Office of the Vice President of the Philippines, 1999-2001
Speechwriter, speechwriting pool of Sen. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, 1997-1998
Consultant, office of Senator Raul S. Roco, 1996-1997
Other freelance work and writing/research projects for Jaime Zobel de Ayala, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Sen. Francisco Pangilinan, Sen. Manuel Roxas II, Sen. Ma. Anna Madrigal, the late Enrique Zobel and the late Sen. Raul Roco.
Co-convenor, Black & White Movement
Sustaining Member, Philippine Tuberculosis Society, Inc.
Member, Distinguished Order of Quezon, Inc. (A private civic association similar to the Knights of Rizal)
Member, Philippine Council for Foreign Relations
Co-convenor, One Voice
Former member of the board, Drug Abuse Research (DARE) Foundation, Inc.
Former member of the board, National Institute for Policy Studies (NIPS)
Convenor for the Sub-Committee on Public Information, PSB Advocacy and Public Information, Governance and Organization Committee, PSB Project
Former Member of the board, Heritage Conservation Society , a non-governmental organization dedicated to the advocacy of the preservation of the nationâ€™s build heritage.
Former member of the board & former Vice President, Quezon City Parks Development Foundation, Inc. (A non-government organization tasked with the development and maintenance of the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City and related socio-civic projects)
Member, and past president (1992-95), Brent School Manila Alumni Association. Brent International School, Manila
Former member Brent School Manila Management Committee (1992-93)
Big Brother and Empowered Sisters: The role of new communication technologies in democratic processes, Collegium for Development Studies, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, April 16-17, 2008
THE LIBRARY IN A CHANGING AGE OF INFORMATION, 29th GABRIEL A. BERNARDO MEMORIAL LECTURE SERIES, March 14, 2008, Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman
South East Press Alliance (SEAPA) Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace: A Conference of Asian Bloggers, Podcasters, and Online Media, April 18-21,2006 at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Makati City
Stanley Foundation, Challenges to Democracy in Southeast Asia: Rethinking US Policy, October 20-22, 2005 Airle Center, Warrington, VA, USA