Monday, January 30, 2012

The Pride of Capizeño : Manuel Acuña Roxas

   Manuel Acuña Roxas is the 3rd and the last President of the Commonwealth and the first of the Republic of the Philippines. He was born on January 1, 1892 at Roxas City, Capiz making him to be one of the famous native Capizeños and Bisaya during his generation. He was raised by his parents Gerardo Roxas Sr. and Rosario Acuña at Roxas City, Capiz during his early years of life.

  He received his early education in the public schools of Capiz, and at age of 12 he attended St. Joseph’s Academy in Hongkong. But after homesickness, he went back to Capiz then he eventually moved to Manila High School (later named the Araullo High School), graduating with highest honors in 1909. 

              Roxas began his law at a private school but on his second year, he enrolled at University of the Philippines, where he was elected president of both his class and the student council. In 1913, Roxas obtained his law degree, graduated as class valedictorian, and subsequently topped the first bar examinations with a grade of 92%, becoming the first ever bar topnotcher of the Philippines.
              The late president exercised authority for thirty-six years as public official in various positions. He started in 1917 as a member of the municipal council of Capiz where he became the youngest governor of the province were his potential for national leadership became evident when he was elected President of the National League of Governors.

          Moving on a next level in 1946, he decided to run for the position of presidency where the height of the last Commonwealth elections, subjected for replacing Sergio Osmeña office. Senate President Roxas and some of his friends bolted from the Nacionalista Party and founded their own Liberal Party. Roxas then became the standard-bearer for presidency for the Liberal Party and Elpidio Quirino for vice-president and on April 23, 1946, Roxas and Quirino won the ticket.

            However, he did not finish his term that was expected to end by 1950 because he died of myocardial infarction. On the night of April 15, 1948, Roxas died at Clark Field, Pampanga thus, making him remarkable to the people as one of the short termed president of the Republic of the Philippines lasting one year, ten month and eighteen days in service. On April 17, 1948, two days after Roxas’ death, Vice-President Elpidio Quirino took the oath of office as President of the Philippines, per line of succession.
            In his honor, his birthplace was named Roxas City – now the capital of Capiz and known as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines” and some various places were also named after him. Another commemoration to the late president under the supremacy of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, he was placed on the one hundred Philippine peso bill and first appeared upon the release of the Pilipino series notes in 1969.

  I even visited his birthplace just to make sure that I’m not a stranger on my own province. The house is located at Rizal Street, Roxas City, Capiz and it is owned, managed and preserved by the Albar family.

  The two-storey house is a mixture of concrete and wood. At the ground or the base part, you can see some of the antique jars, glasswares and souvenirs in which part of it are their collections from the past. On the other hand, the second floor or the upper part is full of antique furnitures, old books and paintings they had.

    The feeling of being inside the house was so great because you can feel that as if you were really there during those times he spend his moments on that house. It was such a nice feeling to visit that house because you can really feel that as if you’re an inventor of the world’s greatest time machine.

   The house is open for every tourist who would like to visit the birthplace of President Manuel A. Roxas. The base part is free of charge while the upper part, there is an entrance fee which is only P 20.00 per person. I can say you’ll have a wonderful experience once you’ll visit the place and I can say it is worth spending for.

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