Teodoro Kalaw

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Teodoro M. Kalaw
09272jfTeodoro Kalaw Monument National Library Philippines Ermitafvf 09.jpg
Statue to Kalaw at the National Library of the Philippines
Secretary of the Interior
In office
Preceded byRafael Palma
Succeeded byJose P. Laurel
Member of the Philippine Assembly from Batangas's 3rd district
In office
Preceded byGregorio Catigbac
Succeeded byFidel A. Reyes
Director of the National Library of the Philippines
In office
In office
Personal details
Born(1884-03-31)March 31, 1884
Lipa, Batangas, Captaincy General of the Philippines
DiedDecember 4, 1940(1940-12-04) (aged 56)
Manila, Commonwealth of the Philippines
Spouse(s)Pura Villanueva

Teodoro Manguiat Kalaw (March 31, 1884 – December 4, 1940) was a Filipino scholar, legislator, and historian.[1][2]

Teodoro Kalaw (Batangas Provincial Capitol).
National Library of the Philippines

Early life[edit]

He was born in Lipa, Batangas on March 31, 1884. He was the third child of police chief Valerio Kalaw and Maria Manguiat. His siblings are Filipino scholar and political scientist Maximo, and two sisters, Rosario and Manuela.[3][4]

He finished his secondary studies at Instituto Rizal in Lipa, Batangas, and finished his bachelor's degree in arts with honors at Liceo de Manila.[2] He took up his law degree at Escuela de Derecho, where he was mentored by Rafael Palma and Juan Sumulong. In 1905, he topped the bar examinations, having obtained "grade of 100 percent in civil law and three other subjects".[3]

He served as secretary of then Philippine Assembly Floor Leader Manuel L. Quezon until 1908.


While pursuing law, Kalaw became a writer for El Renacimiento, with Rafael Palma and Fernando Ma. Guerrero. In October 1908, Interior Secretary Dean C. Worcester filed a libel suit against the paper for their editorial entitled, “Aves de Rapiña” (Birds of Prey). The case led to the closure of the paper. On January 1910, the court meted out prison sentences against Kalaw and publisher Martin Ocampo. Both Kalaw and Ocampo were pardoned by Governor General Francis B. Harrison in 1914.[3][5]

Political career[edit]

In 1909, Kalaw was elected the youngest member of the Philippine Assembly at age 25, representing Batangas's 3rd district. During his term, he sponsored bills supporting internal migration and agricultural development and maintenance of public schools through municipal taxation.[3]

At the end of his term in 1913, he was appointed secretary to the Philippine Assembly. In 1916, he was appointed the first director of the National Library, earning him the moniker "Father of the Philippine Library System". He would serve as its director once more from 1929 to 1939.[2][5]

In 1920, he was appointed Interior Secretary. His term as secretary was cut short on December 21, 1922, when Senate President Manuel L. Quezon appointed him as executive secretary and chief adviser of the Commission on Independence.[3]


He became a Mason in 1907, then later became grand master at age 31 in 1928. On June 15, 1932, he was made a 33° Mason in the Scottish Rite of Masonry.[6] He became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Philippines from 1928-1929.[7]

Kalaw was a member of the Academy of Political Science, American Social and Political Science; Sociedad Americana de Derecho Internacional; Real Academia Hispano Americano de Ciencias y Artes, of whose Philippine Section he became president in 1925; Associacion Hispano-Filipina, and the Philippine Library Association.[3]

He was conferred an honorary fellowship to the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity.[8]


He died on December 4, 1940 at the Philippine General Hospital.

Personal life[edit]

Kalaw was married to Pura Villanueva-Kalaw. His son, Teodoro Kalaw, Jr., became a prominent businessman and was married to Philippine senator Eva Estrada Kalaw. His daughter, Maria Kalaw Katigbak, was a Philippine Senator from 1961-1967.

Works and writings[edit]

  • La Campaña de Kuomintang
  • Reformas en La Enseñanza del Derecho
  • La Constitucion de Malolos (1910), a critical analysis of the Malolos Constitution
  • Teorias Constitucionales (1912), theories and analysis of nationhood, government, and constitution
  • The Constitutional Plan of the Philippine Revolution (1914)
  • La Revolucion Filipina (1914)
  • Manual de Ciencia Politica (1918)
  • Ang Pinagtatalunang Akta ng Katipunan (1930)
  • Las Cartas Politicas de Apolinario Mabini (1930)
  • Epistolario Rizalino (1930-1937)
  • Gregorio H. Del Pilar: Heroe de Tirad (1930), biography of Gregorio H. Del Pilar
  • Aide-de-Camp to Freedom (1940)


  1. ^ Spanish Three (in Spanish). Rex Bookstore, Inc. p. 127. ISBN 978-971-23-2318-8. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  2. ^ a b c "Kalaw, Teodoro M." CulturEd: Philippine Cultural Education Online. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "About Teodoro M. Kalaw". The Philippine Diary Project. 2016-02-01. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  4. ^ Agpalo, Remigio E. (2012-04-18). "The Political Science of Dr. Maximo M. Kalaw". Philippine Political Science Journal. 16 (31–32): 21–38. doi:10.1080/01154451.1990.9754162.
  5. ^ a b "Teodoro M. Kalaw: Portrait of a nation-builder". The Manila Times. 2020-03-24. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  6. ^ "Teodoro M. Kalaw Memorial | The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines". grandlodge.ph. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  7. ^ "MW Teodoro M. Kalaw Sr. | The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippines". grandlodge.ph. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  8. ^ Tujan, Antonio (2018-11-19). "'We gather light to scatter'". Daily Tribune. Retrieved 2020-06-25.

External links[edit]