As part of the Baler 400 celebration and the 131st birth anniversary of President Manuel L. Quezon, the National Historical Institute brought to Baler the newly restored official car of MLQ during the commonwealth, a 1937 Chrysler Airflow limousine. The car was restored to it’s original condition by Alfred Motorworks in cooperation with Alfred Nobel R. Peres, restorer from the Vintage Car Club of the Philippines. The car was presented to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo this morning, August 19, 2009 by NHI Chairman Ambeth Ocampo.
Happy birthday to our Lolo Manuel Quezon, the Star of Baler.
And in honor of our Lolo’s birthday, I have some links here that you might find interesting:
If you’re curious how MLQ sounded like, listen to this 1922 recording of one of his speeches:
Here’s the transcript of the speech (please correct if there are mistakes):
My fellow citizens. There is one thought I want you always to bear in mind, and that is, that you are Filipinos. That the Philippines are your country and the only country God has given you. That you must keep it for yourself, for your children, and for your children’s children, until the world is no more. We must live for it, and die for it if necessary. Your country is a great country. It has a great past and a great future. The Philippines of yesterday are consecrated by the sacrifices of lives and treasures of you patriots, martyrs and soldiers. The Philippines of today are honored by the wholehearted devotion to it’s cause of unselfish and courageous statesmen. The Philippines of tomorrow will be the country of plenty, of happiness and of freedom. A Philippines with her head raised in the midst of the West Pacific, mistress of her own destiny, holding in her hand the torch of freedom and democracy. A republic of virtuous and righteous men and women all working together for a better world than the one we have at present.
And did you know that MLQ also shares the distinction of being among the Righteous Gentiles honored by the Jewish people. He shares the distinction with the more famous Oscar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg. Read this article:
With the forthcoming birth anniversary of Philippine President Manuel Luis Quezon on the 19th of August, his countrymen will mark this day as a day of remembrance for his role in instituting a National Language. And yet hardly a handful are even aware that he also shares the distinction as being among the Righteous Gentiles , honored by the Jewish people. He shares that distinction with others more prominently potrayed in cinema or history books as German industrtialist Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson in the Steven Spielberg opus). and humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg. (Richard Chamberlain in a made for television movie) , or canonized Saint Maximillian Kolbe (his story often seen on EWTN).
Every Filipino should be proud of Manuel Luis Quezon, his courage and his humanitarian spirit which deserve mention. Having opened doors for the persecuted Jews to escape from certain extermination, a grateful nation like Israel values the Philippines own Herr Oskar Schindler and honors the heroes with their rightful place among the Righteous.
We should not also forget about the feisty Brawler from Baler. If an award winning film about the siege of the last Spanish contingent in the Philippine struggle for Independence was made and set in that historic town, would anyone care to do one for a Filipino honored as a Righteous Gentile? Consider the moving line from SchindlerÂ´s List, which a grateful legion saved from extinction carved on a ring they gave their savior. “Whover saves one life, saves the whole world entire.”
These are also interesting: