"Goodwill towards all nations shall be the golden rule."
Inaugural Address as President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, November 15, 1935
“The Philippines has a great past, a great present and a great future.” A Wartime Message: To My People
Author's Note: In memory and honor to the great leader whose birth anniversary is August 19. Things seem easy and life is not as challenging as it was with our forebears who knew war and survived it. Less and less of their kind can be found today. Now and then it would be good to revive some valuable memories from them for the new generation.
President Quezon delivers Inaugural Address as President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, November 15, 1935, Old Legislative Building
Inaugural Address of His Excellency Manuel L. Quezon
President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
As we enter the threshold of independent nationhood, let us pause for a moment to pay tribute to the memory of Rizal and Bonifacio and all the heroes of our sacred cause in grateful acknowledgment of their patriotic devotion and supreme sacrifice.
Fellow countrymen: The government which we are inaugurating today is only a means to an end. It is an instrumentality placed in our hands to prepare ourselves fully for the responsibilities of complete independence. It is essential that this last step be taken with full consciousness of its significance and the great opportunities that it affords to us.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------“Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affections, and the sources of your happiness and well-being. Its defense is your primary duty. Be ready at all times to sacrifice and die for it if necessary… Live up to the noble traditions of our people. Venerate the memory of our heroes. Their lives point the way to duty and honor.”
“Value your honor as you value your life. Poverty with honor is preferable to wealth with dishonor. Be truthful and be honest in thought and in action. Be just and charitable, courteous but dignified in your dealings with your fellowmen.”
Manuel L. Quezón, the first President of the Philippine Commonwealth
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Under the Commonwealth, our life may not be one of ease and comfort, but rather of hardship and sacrifice. We shall face the problems which lie in our path, sparing neither time nor effort in solving them. We shall build a government that will be just, honest, efficient, and strong so that the foundations of the coming Republic may be firm and enduring—a government, indeed, that must satisfy not only the passing needs of the hour but also the exacting demands of the future. We do not have to tear down the existing institutions in order to give way to a statelier structure. There will be no violent changes from the established order of things, except such as may be absolutely necessary to carry into effect the innovations contemplated by the Constitution. A new edifice shall rise, not out of the ashes of the past, but out of the standing materials of the living present. Reverence for law as the expression of the popular will is the starting point in a democracy. The maintenance of peace and public order is the joint obligation of the government and the citizens. I have an abiding faith in the good sense of the people and in their respect for law and the constituted authority. Widespread public disorder and lawlessness may cause the downfall of constitutional government and lead to American intervention. Even after independence, if we should prove ourselves incapable of protecting life, liberty, and property of nationals and foreigners, we shall be exposed to the danger of intervention by foreign powers. No one need have any misgivings as to the attitude of the Government toward lawless individuals or subversive movements. They shall be dealt with firmly. Sufficient armed forces will be maintained at all times to quell and suppress any rebellion against the authority of this Government or the sovereignty of the United States.
There can be no progress except under the auspices of peace. Without peace and public order, it will be impossible to promote education, improve the condition of the masses, protect the poor and ignorant against exploitation, and otherwise insure the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property. I appeal, therefore, to every Filipino to give the Government his loyal support so that tranquility may reign supreme in our beloved land.
Our Constitution established an independent judiciary by providing for security of tenure and compensation of judges. But independence is not the only objective of a good judicialy. Equally, if not more important, is its integrity which will depend upon the judicious selection of its members. The administration of justice cannot be expected to rise higher than the moral and intellectual standards of the men who dispense it. To bulwark the fortification of an orderly and just government, it shall be my task to appoint to the bench only men of proven honesty, character, learning, and ability, so that everyone may feel when he appears before the courts of justice that he will be protected in his rights, and that no man in this country from the Chief Executive to the last citizen is above the law.
We are living today amidst the storm and stress of one of the most tragic epochs of history. Acute unemployment and economic distress threaten the stability of governments the world over. The very foundations of civilized society are shaken. The common man alone can save humanity from disaster. It is our duty to prove to him that under a republican system of government, he can have every opportunity to attain his happiness and that of his family. Protection to labor, especially to working women and minors, just regulation of the relations between the labor and capital in industry and agriculture, solicitous regard on the part of the government for the well-being of the masses are the means to bring about needed economic and social equilibrium between the component elements of society.
A government draws the breath of life from its finances, and it must balance its income and expenditures as any other going business concern if it expects to survive. It is my duty, then, to see that the Government of the Commonwealth live within its means and that it stands foursquare on a well-balanced budget.
The larger expenditures which the grave responsibilities ahead of us will entail, including national defense, must be borne by taxation. So long as we are able to meet those responsibilities from our present income, we shall not impose new taxes. But we are among the least taxed people in the world and, therefore, when necessity arises, we should be willing to accept the burden of increased taxation. Liberty and independence can be possessed only by those who are ready to pay the price in life or fortune.
To enable us more adequately to meet the new responsibilities of the Commonwealth and to raise the living conditions of our people, we must increase the wealth of the Nation by giving greater impetus to economic development, improving our methods of agriculture, diversifying our crops, creating new industries, and fostering our domestic and foreign commerce. I trust that the forthcoming trade conference between representatives of the United States and the Philippines will result in a more just and beneficial commercial relation between the two countries.
The establishment of an economical, simple, and efficient government; the maintenance of an independent civil service; the implantation of an adequate system of public instruction to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, and vocational efficiency; the safeguarding of the health and vigor of the race; the conservation and development of our natural resources—these and other matters of equal import are touched upon at length in the platform of the Coalition and in my speech of acceptance of my nomination, and it is unnecessary for me to reiterate my views regarding them. Having been elected on the virtuality of that platform and the policies enunciated by me in the course of the presidential campaign, I renew my pledge faithfully to carry them into execution.
Goodwill towards all nations shall be the golden rule of my administration. The peoples of the earth are interdependent, and their prosperity and happiness are inseparably linked with each other. International brotherhood and cooperation are therefore necessary. Amity and friendship, fairness and square deal in our relations with other nations and their citizens or subjects, protection in their legitimate investments and pursuits, in return for their temporary allegiance to our institutions and laws, are the assurances I make on behalf of the new Government to Americans and foreigners who may desire to live, trade, and otherwise associate with us in the Philippines.
In the enormous task of fully preparing ourselves for independence, we shall be beset with serious difficulties, but we will resolutely march forward. I appeal to your patriotism and summon your nobility of heart so that we may, united in the common endeavor, once more dedicate ourselves to the realization of our national destiny. I face the future with hope and fortitude, certain that God never abandons a people who ever follow His unerring and guiding Hand. May He give me light, strength, and courage evermore that I may not falter in the hour of service to my people!
Source: J. Eduardo Malaya, Jonathan E. Malaya (2004). …So Help Us God: The Presidents of the Philippines and Their Inaugural Addresses. Anvil Publishing, Inc
By President Manuel L Quezon
My fellow citizens: There is one thought which I want you to have in mind, and that is that you are Filipinos; that the Philippines is your country and the only country God has given you; that you must keep it for yourselves, for your children, and for your children’s children, until the world is no more and that you must live for it and die for it, if necessary.
Your country is a great country. It has a great past, a great present and a great future.
The Philippines of yesterday was consecrated by the sacrifices of lives and pleasure of your patriotic martyrs and soldiers. The Philippines today is honored by the wholehearted devotion to its cause of unselfish and courageous statesmen. The Philippines of tomorrow will be the country of plenty, of happiness, and of freedom; it will be 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 and pointing the way to the teeming millions of Africa and Asia now suffering under alien rule, a Philippines.
Heir in the Orient to the teachings of Christianity: and a republic of virtuous and righteous men and women all working together for a better world than the one we have at present.~
Quezon advising General MacArthur monument; Roosevelt signing the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, March 23, 1935. Manuel Quezon at Roosevelt's side.Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was president of the Philippine government-in-exile in Washington DC during WW II. This message inspired Filipinos to continue their fight for the restoration and preservation of freedom.
MLQuezon Monument, QC; -Nilapastangan ng mga walang puso sa pamamagitan ng pagbuhos ng pintura ang Monumento ni dating commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon, Baler, Aurora (Internet)