FFE Magazine

Sergio S. Osmena

Image from the Presidential Museum & Library

4th President of the Philippines

Term of Office: August 1, 1944 – May 28, 1946

Vice President: None

Birth: September 9, 1878

Place: Cebu City, Cebu

Death: October 19, 1961

Spouse: Estefania Chiong Veloso (died 1918) ; Esperanza Limjap (died 1978)

Children: (by Estefania Chiong Veloso:)
Vicente Osmeña
Nicasio Osmeña
Milagros Osmeña
Emilio Osmeña
Maria Paloma Osmeña
Teodoro Osmeña
Jose Osmeña
Sergio Osmeña Jr.


(by Esperanza Limjap:)
Ramon Osmeña
Rosalina Osmeña
Victor Osmeña

Filipino statesman, founder of the Nationalist Party (Partido Nacionalista) and president of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946.

He was born in Cebu, on September 9, 1878. Son of Juana Osmeña Y. Suico. His birth place was a medium sized house of wood with tin can roofing. He was brought up in a wholesome atmosphere. He was enrolled by his mother in a private school of Miguel Logarta, a local lawyer-educator, not long before the latter discovered how intellectually gifted his young pupil was, later he entered the Seminary College of San Carlos for his secondary course. In 1892, he finished his studies in San Carlos. To pursue his studies he come to Manila and studied at Letran, he first met Manuel L. Quezon, one of his classmates. He took up law at the University of Santo Tomas, although his studies was interrupted by the war conflict between Spain and America, he and the rest of his classmates were allowed by the Supreme Court to take the examinations in that year of 1903, he got an average of 95.66% second placer in the bar examination.

A lawyer, he espoused the cause of independence through peaceful means as editor of the Cebu newspaper El Nuevo Dia (New Day), which he founded in 1900. Upon the return of governor Climaco from the United States, in 1904 the United States colonial administration appointed him governor of the province of Cebu and fiscal (district attorney) for the province of Cebu and Negros Oriental. Two years later he was elected delegate to the Philippine National Assembly and founded the Nationalist Party, which come to dominate Philippine political life.

Osmeña remained leader of the Naitonalists until 1921, when he was succeeded by Manuel L. Quezon, who had joined him in a coalition. Made speaker of the House of Representative in 1916, he served until his election to the Senate in 1923. In 1933 he went to Washington D.C. to secure passage of the Hare-Hawes-Cutting independence bill, but Quezon differed with Osmeña over the bill’s provision to retain U.S. military bases after independence. The bill, vetoed by the Philippine Assembly, was superseded by the Tydings McDuffie Act of March 1934, making the Philippines a commonwealth with a large measured of independence. The following years Osmeña became vice president, with Quezon as president. He remained vice president during the Japanese occupation when the government was in exile in Washington D.C. On the death of Quezon in August 1944, Osmeña became president. He serve as president until the elections of April 1946, when he was defeated by Manuel Roxas, who became the first president of the independent republic of the Philippines.

Osmeña thereafter retired to his hometown in Cebu, where he spent the remaining of his life, until he died on October 19, 1961 at the age of 83, with his death the nation lost a towering Molave of the race.

First wife Doña Estefania Veloso. Most of their eight children are now deceased. One of those alive is Mrs. Paloming Osmeña Charnley, retired in Cebu City. For his second wife, Doña Esperanza Limjap, are Rosie Osmeña Valencia is involved in Manila Society. Ramon and Victor live in Cebu.

(By Charles Keng / The Presidents, Republic of the Philippines by Rheno A. Velasco. 1996)

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