Claro M. Recto

The Tiaong Historical Notable
Claro M. Recto

• Claro M. Recto was born in Tiaong, February 8, 1890.
• Graduated from Ateneo de Manila maxima cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
• Bachelor of Laws, University of Sto Tomas, Class Valedictorian, 1913
• A politician and lawyer, jurist, poet, playwright, essayist, and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation.
• The award-winning one-act comedy, La ruta de Damasco (1913), followed by Solo entre las sombras (1917) established his reputation as a dramatist.
• Admitted to the United States Supreme Court Bar, 1924
• Founded the Partido Democrata, and in 1928, temporarily retired from politics to practice and teach law, a move he eventually found tedious and restrictive.
• Senator of the Philippines: 1931-1935, 1941-1946, 1953-1960.
• Supreme Court Associate Justice 1935-1936.
• In 1957, failed in his bid for the Philippine presidency running against then Vice President Carlos Garcia.
• Zobel Prize Winner for literature.
• A nationalist, he was one of the most vocal proponents for Philippine autonomy.
•¨The father of the Philippine Constitution and the last Filipino justice appointed by an American president.
• Known as the Great Dissenter because of his positions on foreign policies of different Philippine presidents.
• Considered the "finest mind of his generation," molding his contemporaries and succeeding generations through his speeches and writing, and in his wake, a political climate and legacy of nationalism that inspired icons of nationalism like Tañada, Diokno, Constantino, Salonga.
• Died October 2, 1960, Rome, Italy.

From a 1957 election speech: . . . I call upon my countrymen to remember that we have not always been so low and so ignoble, that our nationalist revolution of 1896 was indeed the first blow struck against an imperialist power and that the words and deeds of Rizal, Bonifacio, Del Pilar and Mabini once stirred the hearts of liberty-loving men all over Asia. Our national salvation lies first in reasserting the ideals of our heroes in their fight for emancipation, and second in changing the course of our economic efforts by giving emphasis to nationalist industrialization.

As Claro M Recto's birthplace, Tiaong, Quezon is designated a National Historical Site. But alas, even in this town, Recto is the "unknown" and "unappreciated" hero, mostly known for the park erected in his honor, graced by a monument and a mural that celebrates his life's milestones and the February "Recto Day" celebrated by the High School named after him. Sadly, Claro M Recto's legacy - his life's accomplishments, his spirit and passion, the fervent nationalism that ruled his life and inspired many in its wake - is fading and barely remembered.

Suggested Readings
Wanted: a new Claro M. Recto
Philippine Inquirer: 2/15/2007

Additional Sources
(1) Claro M. Recto: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(2) Supreme Court E-Library
(3) Claro M. Recto 1890-1950