León María Guerrero III

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León María Guerrero III as the Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom (1954-1962)

León María Ignacio Agapito Guerrero y Francisco (b. March 24, 1915, d. June 24, 1982), better known simply as Leon Ma. Guerrero III, was a Filipino diplomat and novelist, and was one of the foremost Filipino nationalists of his era. A partner in the law practice of senator Claro M. Recto, he became Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs during the Magsaysay administration. His then controversial advocacy of 'Asia for the Asians' and espousal of a realistic re-examination of relations with the United States are now commonly accepted as being ahead of their time.

Early life[edit]

"Leoni," as his family called him, was born on March 24, 1915 in Ermita, Manila to one of the nation's most prominent families.[1] [2] His father was the famed Dr. Alfredo Leon Maria Guerrero, and his mother was Filomena Francisco, the first Filipino woman pharmacist.

His paternal grandfather, for whom he was named, was Leon María Guerrero, the distinguished botanist, Malolos Congress delegate, and member of the first Philippine Assembly. His sister, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil would also be grow up to be a journalist and, later one of the pre-eminent figures of Philippine letters.

Later life[edit]

On retirement he was the country's senior career diplomat having served as Ambassador in London, Madrid, New Delhi, Mexico City and Belgrade. On June 19, 1982, only a few days before he died, he received the, Gawad Mabini, the highest award in the Philippine Foreign Service.

He held the rank of Knight Grand Cross of the Knights of Rizal. Among his many works are internationally acclaimed translations of José Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El filibusterismo. He also wrote the biography of Rizal: The First Filipino.

Works[edit]

  • Twilight in Tokyo 1946
  • Passion and Death of the USAFFE 1947
  • Report from Europe 1951
  • Alternatives for Asians 1957
  • An Asian on Asia 1958
  • The First Filipino 1962 (Awarded first prize in the Rizal Biography Contest under the auspices of the José Rizal National Centennial Commission.)
  • El Si y El No. 1963. (Winner of the Premio Zobel)
  • Las Dos Muertes de General Aguinaldo (1964)
  • Two Friars in Exodus (A Contribution to Studies in Philippine Church History) 1969
  • The Philippine Revolution by Apolinario Mabini 1969
  • Today Began Yesterday 1975
  • We Filipinos (Posthumous anthology of his writings) 1984

Translations[edit]

  • Noli Me Tangere, by José Rizal 1961
  • El Filibusterismo, by José Rizal 1962

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Guerrero, León Maria III (1963). The First Filipino: A Biography of Jose Rizal. Manila: National Historical Institute of The Philippines. 
  2. ^ Nakpil, Carmen Guerrero (December 2006). Myself, Elsewhere. San Juan, Manila: Circe Communications Inc. p. 191. ISBN 978-971-93760-0-2.