Remembering Manuel Luis Quezon

By Herbert Vego

ON Saturday (August 19, 2023) our nation will remember the 145th  birthday of the late Manuel Luis Molina Quezon, the first President of the Philippine Commonwealth, who was born on August 19, 1878. In fact, we remember Quezon throughout August for being the National Lung Month in accordance with the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ Presidential Proclamation No. 1761, signed on July 24, 1978.

It was because Quezon died of tuberculosis, in his time a fatal lung disease, three weeks before turning 66 on August 1, 1944.

He is well-remembered for his most famous quotation: “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to one run like heaven by the Americans.”

It was the essence of his speech delivered before the United States Congress in May 1910 when he was resident commissioner of the Philippine Assembly.  Quezon was clamoring for the grant of independence from US colonialism.

His critics who were batting for annexation of the Philippines to the United States – just like Hawaii in 1898 – raised the issue of Quezon’s “ambition” to become the first President of the Philippines.

Indeed, in September 1935, Manuel Quezon was elected President of the Philippine Commonwealth.

By then, the US Congress had passed the Tydings-McDuffie Law providing for absolute Philippine independence to take effect in 1946.

Jumping from 1946 to the present, do we think Quezon was correct in preferring our country “run like hell by Filipinos to one run like heaven by the Americans”?

I guess the corrupt “runners” think so, but we who feel the heat disagree.

That’s why I sent my nurse/son to work in the United States.

A fresh female medical technologist wants to follow.



IN a forum with the Iloilo media, the executives of Go Hotel confirmed its rising occupancy rate. There are days when all its 167 rooms within Robinson-City Proper are fully booked.

In a chit-chat with this writer, no less than Nonito Antonio Cuizon (marketing director of Robinson Land Corp.) expressed surprise at the fast business and residential growth of Iloilo City.

“Metro Manila and Cebu City are now very congested,” he opined. “Both the business and residential sectors now tend to come to Iloilo City.”

“It must be because of the hellish population congestion and heavy traffic in Metro Manila,” I added my two cents’ worth.

However, so many subdivisions in the suburbs have mushroomed that they now occupy what used to be productive rice lands, thus aggravating rice shortage.

When Jerry Treñas was elected mayor in 2019, Iloilo City had a population of 466,000. Today, it is approaching 500,000.

That fast growth could be the reason why, in its first three years of operation here, MORE Electric and Power Corp. has skyrocketed its number of customers from 62,000 to 92,000 households.

Inspired by that demonstration of economies of scale, MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro told CEO Magazine Asia, “I see the power sector as an ever-growing industry. For as long as people need electricity, and people’s lifestyles are more dependent on electricity for gadgets, this industry will always have a place.”



THE “unity” between groups identified with Senator Loren Legarda and Governor Rhodora “Dodod” Cadiao has crumbled.  It is said that Loren could no longer “stomach” cases of graft and corruption attributed to Cadiao.

Cadiao, out on bail,  has been indicted by the Sandiganbayan for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. The criminal case stems from her refusal to pay P1.6 million to Antonio dela Vega for representation and transportation allowances (RATA) and other benefits from 2016 to 2018.

Dela Vega had been unceremoniously transferred from the Antique Provincial General Services Office in the capital town of San Jose to a satellite office in far-away Culasi.

I am not taking side with either Legarda or Loren.  Suffice it to say that they are bound to clash in 2025.  Unless convicted, “graduating” Governor Cadiao is expected to challenge Loren’s brother, Congressman Antonio Agapito Legarda, in 2025.

Cadiao would have as her gubernatorial bet the rich incumbent vice-governor, Edgar Denosta.

Rumored to be Legarda’s candidate for governor is former Valderrama Mayor Ray Roquero; and the amiable SP Maye Plameras for vice-governor.

But wait, according to my friend and kabayan Joe Escartin, outgoing SP Pio Sumande might also throw his cap on the political ring.

Say mo, Inday Sally? Sadyahon ta dya ah.