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Felipe Agoncillo

Don Felipe Encarnacion Agoncillo, a man of rare intelligence and admirable patriotism, is best remembered as a revolutionary hero, statesman, and the first Philippine diplomat. After graduating from the University of Santo Tomas with degrees in Bachelor or Arts and Licentiate in Jurisprudence, both magna cum laude, he started his career by setting up a law office in Taal and won popular acclaim for the free services he rendered his poor clients. He was brilliant, fearless and was outspoken about the abuses of the Spanish oppression.

He was to be exiled by the Spanish government to Jolo in April 1896, but, managed to escape to Hongkong via Japan. He organized the revolutionary junta in Hongkong and was eventually appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo as a diplomat representing the Philippine Republic to the United States and to the Treaty of Paris in 1898.

In 1905, he took the bar examination and established a precedent with a rating of 100%, a feat unduplicated to this day. He served as representative of Batangas in the First Philippine Assembly in 1907. He also served as Secretary of Interior under Governor General Leonard Wood. In 1930, he was chosen president for the first plenary session of the Independence Congress held in Manila.

Don Felipe Agoncillo was born on May 26, 1859 in Taal, Batangas and died September 29, 1941. He was married to Marcela Marino and has five (5) children: Lorenza, Gregoria, Eugenia, Marcela and Maria.