Manuel Roxas became the first president of the Republic of Philippines, on May 28, 1946, after the country got its independence. At that time, the most important task for him was the reconstruction of the war-torn country, which was further complicated by the activities of the Communist-dominated 'Hukbalahap' guerrillas in central Luzon.
These elements were finally brought under control after a vigorous attack, which was launched by the minister of national defense, Ramon Magsaysay, who later served as the president from 1953 until his death in the plane crash of 1957. Here are some of the Presidents of the Philippines.
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel Luis Quezon was the second president of the Philippines, and held term from November 15, 1935 to August 1, 1944. He was born in the small town of Baler, in the province of Tayabas. Quezon learned Spanish at the age of five, Latin, Geography, and Religions, by the age of seven.
After completing his B.A. degree at the age of 16, from the Colegio of San Juan de Letran, he studied law and jurisprudence at the University of Santo Tomas. Quezon started his political career in 1905, when he competed for the post of Governor.
He served as the Governor for two years, before being elected as a representative in the newly established Philippine Assembly. He was appointed as the Resident Commissioner between 1906 and 1916. In 1916, he became a member of the senate, and was elected as the Senate President two years later.
In 1922, he became the leader of the Nacionalista Party, and it was approximately 36 years of service before he was elected president, during the Japanese invasion. Quezon played an important role in obtaining Congress' passage in 1916 of the Jones Act.
The Jones Act gave the Philippines greater autonomy, and created a bicameral national legislature modeled after the U.S. Congress. He died on August 1, 1944, in New York.
Elpidio Quirino assumed the presidency of the Philippines on April 17, 1948, and the next year, he was elected president on his own right, for a four-year term. He was the candidate of the Liberal Party, and became president after defeating Jose P. Laurel of the Nacionalista Party. Quirino was born on November 16, 1890, in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
After his graduation from the College of Law, University of the Philippines, in 1915, Quirino worked as a law clerk in the Philippine Commission. He then became secretary to Senate President Manuel Quezon, and in 1919, he won the post of Congressional Representative from Ilocos Sur.
In 1925, Quirino was elected to the Senate, and was appointed as Chairman of the Committee on Accounts and Claims, and of the Committee on Public Instruction. Quirino became Secretary of Finance in 1934. After the outbreak of the Second World War, Quirino refused to join the puppet government of José Laurel.
Thus, he was captured and imprisoned by the Japanese military police. His wife, two daughters, and a son were killed by the Japanese forces, during the Battle of Manila in the Second World War. Quirino succeeded Manuel Roxas as the President of the Philippines, in 1948. He died on February 29, 1956, in Quezon City.
Corazon Aquino was the eleventh President of the Philippines, and held the term from February 25, 1986 to June 30, 1992. She was born María Corazón Cojuangco-Aquino, on January 25, 1933, in Paniqui, Tarlac. After her high school, she moved to New York to study at the Notre Dame Convent School and the College of Mount Saint Vincent.
Aquino studied Liberal Arts, and in 1953, she graduated with a B.A., majoring in French and a minor in Mathematics. She also volunteered in the presidential campaign of Thomas Dewey, who eventually lost to Harry Truman. After her husband's assassination, Aquino participated in many of the mass actions that were staged in the following two years.
She won the presidency and widespread international acclaim as an icon of democracy. She was selected as the Woman of the Year in 1986, by the Time Magazine, and was also nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize the same year.
She was born on April 5, 1947, in San Juan in the province of Rizal. She is the daughter of former Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal. After attending Assumption Convent for her elementary and high school education, she graduated in 1964, and then studied for two years at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.
She earned her B.A. degree in Economics from Assumption College, graduating magna cum laude, in 1968. She was a professor of economics, and entered government in 1987, as Assistant Secretary and Undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry. She became President of the Philippines on January 20, 2001.
As the president, Arroyo faced the problem of guerrilla activities by separatist Islamic fundamentalists in the south of the country. Being a practicing economist, she has made economy the focus of her presidency.
According to the National Economic and Development Authority figures, economic growth in terms of gross domestic product has averaged 5.0% during the Arroyo presidency from 2001 up to the first quarter of 2008.
This is higher than in the administration of the previous recent presidents: 3.8% average of Aquino, 3.7% average of Ramos, and 3.7% average of the Joseph Estrada administration. The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in three decades in 2007, with real GDP growth exceeding 7%.
He earned his Bachelor's with Economics major from Ateneo de Manila University in 1981, and went to the USA to join his family in exile. He returned to his home country in 1983, post his father's assassination, and worked in the private sector.
He started his political career in 1998 after being elected to the House of Representatives. Following his mother's death in 2009, he successfully ran for the 2010 presidential elections, and assumed office on June 30, 2010. His term ends on June 30, 2016.