Jose P. Laurel

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3rd President of the Republic of the Philippines

[ 1943-1945 ]

– President Jose P. Laurel
October 1943

President Jose P. Laurel was born in Tanauan, Batangas. His father was an official in the revolutionary government of President Emilio Aguinaldo, and was a signatory of the 1899 Malolos Constitution. He had an interesting childhood. During his teenage years, he was indicted for attempted murder when he almost killed a rival suitor of a girl he was pursuing. He was later acquitted while he was studying law. His journey as a public servant started when he was a student, serving as a messenger for the Bureau of Forestry and later on as a clerk for the Code Committee, responsible for coding Philippine laws. It is worth mentioning that he was appointed as Undersecretary of the Interior Department in 1922, where he assumed the Secretaryship a year after. Laurel would later become a congressman, a senator  and a Supreme Court Justice before taking on the highest post in government.

He is best known for his ties with Japan, wherein he was a lawyer for the Japanese community before World War II. He maintained his close to ties to Japan before, during and after the war. The food in wartime Malacañang was, mostly vegetables harvested from the garden. During their time in Baguio, Laurel recalled that once, for over a month, they only had two kinds of meals: “tuyo and monggo,” (dried fish and mung beans) alternating with “monggo and tuyo” to go with their rice. When they were at the Mansion House, the Japanese ambassador offered to send fresh meat and canned goods to their Baguio kitchen and pantry. Everyone was overjoyed to hear this, but then J.P. Laurel politely declined saying: “We should not get used to good food. Times are hard and we might become cowardly.”

Lyceum of the Philippines University prides itself with its long and rich tradition of Academic excellence through the legacy of its founder, Dr. Jose P. Laurel. The only Philippine President to have served in all three branches of the Government, Dr. Laurel was a successful lawyer, legislator, constitutionalist, jurist, writer, scholar, statesman, philosopher, and above all things, an educator. President Laurel stepped down from the presidency after the war, having only served for two years. However, he remained in politics and was eventually elected into the Philippine Senate after.

This gorgeous hall is an homage to the elegance and wisdom of former President Jose P. Laurel.

As you enter, the first thing that captivates your senses is the gentle play of light filtering through sheer curtains, casting a soft glow over the space. Sunlight dances upon the black tiled floor, as each oriental piece stands beautifully in the space. Littered with Rattan furniture and plush cushions in neutral hues, this hall is a cozy enclave for intimate conversations or moments of solitary reflection. The oriental accent pieces blend seamlessly with the plants on each corner of the room, making for an organic indoor-outdoor feel. In this sunlit sanctuary, time seems to stand still. The heart of this room is the portrait of the former president. It is a place of quiet refuge, where the spirit of President Jose P. Laurel lives on, inspiring all who enter to embrace the principles of integrity, diversity, and dignity.

Designed by :

Jonathan Matti
February 2024