President Emilio Aguinaldo
Due to his leadership skills, Emilio Aguinaldo earned the title of the “General” who led his Filipino revolutionaries to victory. He won many battles against the Spanish Government and became the popular figure amongst the Filipino revolutionaries because of his many success in battles. In 1897, the newly formed Revolutionary Government during the Tejeros Convention elected Aguinaldo as its president. After the events in the Truce of Biak-na-Bato in December 1897, he resumed his pursuit of independence in Spanish colonialism. After the war, Aguinaldo installed a provisional dictatorship; and after the meeting in Malolos Congress and drafting the constitution of the new Republic of the Philippines, on June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo became the first president of the Republic of the Philippines.
President Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon was known after he got the law degree in University of Santo Thomas in 1903. He constructed a law firm in Tayabas, Quezon City, his hometown, and earned an income $500 a month. When he was a lawyer, he has this peculiar set of fees to his service. He usually charge higher fees to the rich for his services while the poor were charged for free of service or pro bono. He then became popular in the Philippines for his benevolence.
He is the instrument why Jones Act was passed in the US Congress in 1916 that pledged that the Philippines will get its independence, however it doesn’t have a specific date. The act provide more autonomy in the Philippines. He also fought for the passage of Tydings-McDuffie Act in 1934 which provides the full independence of the Philippines. He then became the first president of the Commonwealth on September 17, 1935.
President Jose P. Laurel
Jose P. Laurel’s fame spread like a wildfire when he fought the Governor-General Leonard Wood. His high-spirited nationalism lit the fire between Laurel and Governor-General Wood whom many Filipinos viewed as unsympathetic to the cause of freedom. He was also the cause of the “Cabinet Crisis” in 1923 when he resigned as a Secretary of the Interior which sparked his fellow Filipinos to resign from their cabinet positions. According to an analyst, his resignation was a form of protest against Governor-General Wood reinstating an American police he had previously suspended for being corrupt.
After the invasion of Japanese, he became a puppet president for the Japanese. He was known as the traitor or collaborator for the Japanese however his role as the leader in this time was to minimize the aggressiveness of the Japanese and soften the blow of the enemy occupation.
President Sergio Osmeña
After the death of the late President Manuel Quezon due to tuberculosis, Sergio Osmeña became the next president on August 01, 1944 after General Douglas MacArthur handed over the reins of the civil government prior to the victorious battle against Japanese. Osmeña then rallied and unite Filipinos to fight the remaining Japanese resistance. On February 27, 1945, the Commonwealth Goverrnment was re-established in Manila.

President Manuel Roxas
On the outbreak of war between the Philippines and the Japanese, Manuel Roxas refused to flee with Quezon to United States. Roxas then supported the Filipino soldiers in Bataan and Corregidor until he was captured by the Japanese in 1942. He was forced to serve in the puppet government which was led by Jose P. Laurel and accepted the position as a chairman of the Economic Planning Board.
When the Japanese are retreating, Roxas escaped from the Japanese high command. Due to General Douglas MacArthur’s intervention, Manuel Roxas’ name was cleared as a collaborator of the Japanese even though he served the Japanese during their occupation. He then was elected as the President of the Senate on June 9, 1945. Roxas left the Nacionalista Party and formed the Liberal Party. He was backed up by the United States and supported him during his campaign. He won against Sergio Osmeña that makes him the last president of the Commonwealth and the first President of the Republic of the Philippines when it was inaugurated on July 4, 1946.
Manuel Roxas was described as a pro-American for he supported the Bell Trade Act of 1945 in exchange of rehabilitation money in order for the Philippines to stand up after the war with the Japanese.
President Elpidio Quirino
Elpidio Quirino was Manuel Roxas’ vice president. When Manuel Roxas died due to heart attack in April 1948, Elpidio Quirino assumed the presidency on April 17, 1948. During this year, he has only two goals: reconstructuring the nation and restoring the faith and confidence of the people. However, he received allegations and charges from the rival party, the Nacionalista party, but was exonerated of all charges due to lack of evidences.
Elpidio Quirino, being a statesman, a political leader who promotes public good and boosts the economy of the Philippines, he was re-elected as a President in November 1949.
President Ramon Magsaysay
Because of the allegations and charges that were thrown to Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay left the Liberal Party and joined the Nacionalista Party to be elected as a president against Elpidio Quirino. He won the 1953 Presidential elections with the help of the US.
Unlike the other Presidents before him, Ramon Magsaysay was labelled as the “Champion of the Common Man, “Man of the Masses”, “The Male Celebrity” and the “People’s President”. By his conduct and example he raised the ideal and measure of inspired and dedicated service to all citizens, especially the lowly among them, as the true measure of presidential leadership and public service. More than any Filipino president, Magsaysay exemplified the human model of “Servant Leadership.” (Abueva, 2014)
Ramon Magsaysay is peacemaker by nature. Because he intuitively knows what people want, or feel, he can be extremely diplomatic and tactful. Patient and cooperative that he is, Ramon works well with groups and somehow finds a way of creating harmony among diverse opinions.
President Carlos P. Garcia
Carlos P. Garcia was the running mate of Ramon Magsaysay in 1953 Presidential elections and both of them won. After the death of Ramon Magsaysay’s death on a plane crash on March 17, 1957, Garcia succeeded as a President. In the 1957 elections, Garcia won and became the fourth president of the Republic of the Philippines.
Garcia, prior to his presidency, became famous for his involvement in foreign policy. As Secretary of Foreign Affairs, he opened formal reparation negotiations in an effort to end the nine-year technical state of war between Japan and the Philippines, leading to an agreement on April 1954. During the Geneva Conference of 1954 on Korean unification and other Asian problems, Garcia, as chairman of the Philippine delegation, attacked communist promises in Asia and defended the U.S. policy in the Far East. In a speech on May 7, 1954–the day that the Viet Minh defeated French forces at the Battle of Diên Biên Phu in Vietnam– Garcia repeated the Philippine stand for nationalism and opposition to Communism.
Garcia acted as chairman of the eight-nation Southeast Asian Security Conference held in Manila in September 1954, which led to the development of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
When Garcia assumed office as a President, he exercised the Filipino First Policy. This policy favoured Filipino businessmen over foreign investors especially American investors. US has its eye to Garcia for he is a threat for the US’ interests.
President Diosdado Macapagal
Diosdado Macapagal, came from a poor family, ally the masses in the villages and towns, he elaborated a familiar motif in his speeches: “I come from the poor…Let me reap for you the harvest of the poor. Let us break the chain of poverty…”
When Diosdado Macapagal became the President of the Philippines on November 14, 1961, his inaugural statement “I shall be president not only of the rich but more so of the poor. We must help bridge the wide gap between the poor man and the man of wealth, not by pulling down the rich to his level as Communism desires, but by raising the poor towards the more abundant life.” He then served the Filipinos with dignity and pride.
President Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos is a stimulating person. He brighten social gatherings with his fresh and original ideas. His conversation tends to be sprinkled with novelty and wit. Ferdinand has a quick tongue and charisma. He is probably an excellent salesman. There is a lot of nervous energy within him looking for an outlet.
Marcos loves his freedom and he sees this life as an ongoing adventure. He is upbeat and optimistic. This is infectious for those Ferdinand Marcos meets. As a result, Ferdinand inspires others.
He has a strong and attractive body, with good muscle tone. Ferdinand’s movements are supple, graceful, and athletic.
Ferdinand Marcos likes to dress fashionably and can get away with more colorful clothes. However, he should be aware of the value of quality and the power of modesty.
Marcos has a kind of swashbuckling personality. People see him as the adventurer that he is. They expect the unexpected from him, and when they do not – Ferdinand often surprises them.
Ferdinand Marcos has a quick and eclectic mind. He attracts information from all directions, but he can be a bit superficial, skimming over the surface of a wide diversity of subjects. This may cause Ferdinand to be a bit of a dilettante. He can get away with it much of the time, but for his own success and happiness, Marcos should try to ground knowledge and deepen his understanding.
Ferdinand Marcos’ versatility and adaptability make him capable of getting the most out of virtually every opportunity in life. He decides quickly on a course of action and his timing is usually good. Ferdinand radiates with the potential for success, which attracts others who can further him along his path.
On his first term, he managed to get the hearts of the Filipinos. The lives of every citizen greatly improved and that is the reason why he was re-elected as a President. However, in his second term, people got disappointed and dismayed due to the declaration of Martial Law.
President Cory Aquino
Cory Aquino was the symbol of Democracy in the Philippines. She fought with other revolutionaries against the reign of Ferdinand Marcos. She has great compassion and seeks to be of service to others. She is a healer, and capable of giving comfort to those in need – she will frequently offer a shoulder for others to cry on. But actually, Cory’s mission in life is to develop the tools that allow her to be truly helpful to others rather than just a sympathetic ear.
In 1986, Marcos proposed a snapped elections wherein Cory Aquino desperately wanted to run against Marcos. Ferdinand Marcos used his available resources to get the votes of the people, however, the people kept allegiance to Cory Aquino. As a result, Cory Aquino became the first female president of the Philippines.
President Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel Ramos was chosen by Cory Aquino as her candidate for 1992 Presidential Elections. He was with less than 25% of the entire vote. Despite of that, within his first year in service, he was able to win the side of majority of his people and developed confidence in the government. He gained their support through a strategy of reconciliation and a strong hands-on leadership. The restoration of democracy was a long, difficult task, while at the same time Ramos had to attend to major economic and social problems that had grown during the Marcos years.
Under Ramos’ presidential leadership, the Philippines became known as the “Asian Tiger.” He was widely credited for reviving the country’s economy, and it grew at a brisk pace of seven percent annually through the mid-1990s. Admirers of his business-like approach called him “Steady Eddie,” and many foreign investors poured money into the country. He also ended crippling regulation of the telecommunications, banking, insurance, shipping and oil industries. Meanwhile, Ramos quieted long-standing troubles with Communist guerrillas, right-wing military offices and Muslim separatists, making life in the Philippines more stable than it had been in decades.
President Joseph Estrada
Aside from Ramon Magsaysay, Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada captivated the country by being known as a “man for the masses.” Empathizing with the plight of the masses has been his gift. His ability to connect with people made him one of the most popular presidents of the republic, despite the many controversies that have been hurled against him. He was known due to his roles in t movies that helped him shape his name as the “champion of the oppressed.”
His tag-line was “Erap para sa Mahihirap.” His administration worked towards the creation of pro-poor programs.

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