Saturday, April 12, 2008

about Leon Ma. Guerrero

Hi, Gemma,
Your blog surfaced yesterday when I was googling something. Thanks for reading my book, "1904 World's Fair: The Filipino Experience." I didn't know that Leon Maria Guerrero was your great grandfather. I recently came across his name again on my research about the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. He was the Philippine Commissioner to the fair. During the dedication of the Philippine Pavilion on February 26, 1915, he delivered a speech, saying:
“People of America, the Filipinos bless you because they hope from you with the faith of a believer in their complete political emancipation. America, a nation of grand ideas, zealous deposit of saved liberties, will know how to bring to the light by its rigorous action certain fiber in the moral structure of the Filipino and make of him a human type in which there will be associated side by side those supreme ideas in which his mind has always found delight. Never will the Filipinos forget the benefits which the United States have conferred upon him in trying to eradicate evils due not to a defective moral constitution, but to the social medium in which he has developed. This exposition in San Francisco will be for the Philippines one lesson more to be added to many already learned and will serve to entrench still deeper the conviction that the world is not a vale of tears when intelligence transform it. Californians and Americans all, my people admire you because you represent a new humanity which has endeavored to combine in one single marvelous whole the ideal and the practical, without surrendering anything of the dignity that belongs to the race."
The speech was delivered in Spanish; it was translated by Charles Morales, the Director of Exhibits from Mindanao and Sulu.
Judging from your great grandfather's interviews and public speeches, I could sense his admirable traits of human decency and love of country. Congratulations for coming from a good stock. More power to your blog.
Joe Fermin

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