General Carlos P. Romulo
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“I am a Filipino born to freedom, and I shall not rest until freedom shall have been added unto my inheritance—for myself and my children and my children’s children—forever.” Biography
Carlos P. Romulo in 1970s
At his 80th birthday celebration
Carlos Peña Romulo once wrote that each of his careers “might have been lived in a different country and a different age.” Soldier, journalist, educator, author, and diplomat, he was a definitive world figure of the 20th century.
Romulo grew up in the town of Camiling in the province of Tarlac in northern Philippines. He was born within the Spanish walled city of Intramuros, Manila, on January 14, 1898, at the twilight of one colonial regime and the dawning of another. His father, Gregorio, fought in the revolution for Philippine independence against Spain and, until surrender, America. The bitterness of the conflicts left an impression on the young boy—marking “the beginnings of a rebel,” as he called it—and he made a promise never to smile at an American soldier.
His levelheaded father eventually welcomed American schoolteachers who came to Tarlac to teach English, however, becoming the first of the town’s elders to learn the language. Likewise, the young Romulo’s hatred abated not only because of his father’s example but also because he became friendly with an American sergeant.
His father’s dream of an independent and democratic Philippines lived on. One of the last to take his oath of allegiance to America, the elder Romulo learned to accept the foreign power’s rulings except—as the young Romulo recounts in his memoirs—“in the manner of the flag.”
“The American law says we cannot display our flag in any public place,” Gregorio Romulo told his family. “Well, my bedroom is not a public place.”
In World War II Romulo was aide-de-camp to General Douglas...
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