"We are called upon to decide on this momentous debate whether or not this land of ours will remain the cradle and grave, the womb and tomb of our race – the only place where we can build our homes, our temples, and our altars and where we erect the castles of our racial hopes, dreams and traditions and where we establish the warehouse of our happiness and prosperity, of our joys and sorrows."
Excerpt of President Garcia’s speech during a joint session
of the Senate and the House of Representatives
on September 18, 1946.
Carlos Polistico García was a Filipino teacher, poet, orator, lawyer, public official, political economist and guerrilla leader. He became the eighth President of the Philippines known for his "Filipino First" policy, which put the interests of the Filipino people above those of foreigners and of the ruling party.
Carlos P. Garcia was born on November 4, 1896 in Talibon, Bohol from a middle-class family that believed in giving children the best education it could afford. Garcia went through the Talibon Elementary School, Cebu High School, Siliman University for his preparatory law course, and Philippine Law School where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree.
In the law school, Garcia was holder of the Malcolm Scholarship Award for four consecutive years. He was among the topnotchers in the bar examination.
He taught law in Manila colleges, and then resigned to run for Congress in 1925. He was elected representative of the third district of Bohol and held it for six years; then elected provincial governor of Bohol for three successive terms.
He came to the notice of both President Quezon and Vice-President Osmeña, and was drafted as Nacionalista senatorial candidate in 1941. He won and he has been elected three times to the Senate until his election as Vice-President of the Philippines in 1953, leaving two years of his senatorial term unserved.
He served as President Ramon Magsaysay’s vice president. He became president of the Philippines from 1957 to 1961. He was among the founders of the Association for Southeast Asia (1963), the precursor of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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