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Home NEWS Events The LMG Centennial History in 100 tweets

The LMG Centennial History in 100 tweets

Writer and diplomat Leon Ma. Guerrero's 100th birth year will be celebrated in an interactive exhibit from March 25 to April 12, 2015 at the Ayala Museum. Co-presented by Filipinas Heritage Library, the exhibit will feature 100 tweet-length pieces of his work, as well as books and memorabilia. The exhibit will open with an invitation-only event on March 24 (the day of his birth) at 6pm, and will run on Museum hours from 9am to 6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays. Admission is free, giving the public a chance to re-connect with one of the foremost nationalists of his era.

He is known to a generation of students as the translator of Noli and Fili and the biographer of Rizal. His book The First Filipino won first prize in the Rizal Centennial Biography Contest in 1961. His essays in Spanish, published under the title El Si y El No, won the Premio Zobel two years later.

In 1954, President Ramon Magsaysay appointed Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Leon Maria Guerrero, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, the first Philippine Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Guerrero was also ambassador to Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

The New Statesman of London described him as “…a unique member of his profession. His speeches are so fresh, so sensible, so free from the conventional emptiness of official utterances…” Amb. Guerrero established the Philippine Society of London, whose members included British businessmen and firms with interests in the Philippines, British subjects interested in our culture, and Filipino residents in London.

Amb. Guerrero placed a marker on No. 37, Chalcot Crescent, the house where Rizal lived while annotating Antonio de Morga’s Suceso de las islas Filipinas in London. After 7 years on British soil, Amb. Guerrero was sent to Spain in 1962 where he represented the Philippines until 1966. He was instructed to make representations with the Spanish government for copies of official documents about the North Borneo question.

From 1966 to 1973 Guerrero was ambassador to India, Nepal, and Afghanistan and to Mexico from 1973 to 1976; he was concurrently ambassador to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, El Salvador, Cuba, Venezuela, and Colombia. In 1977, he was sent to Yugoslavia.

He was also a member of the Philippine delegation to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and Chairman of the Philippine Delegation to the Sugar Conference in Geneva in 1968.

In 1968, during the Philippine-Malaysian debate over Sabah, when the Philippine panel appeared to be at the mercy of Malaysian barrister Ghazalie bin Shafie, the Philippine government summoned Amb. Guerrero to bring the talks to a dramatic finish. According to Francisco Tatad, then a young reporter for the Manila Times, “Guerrero overcame the Malaysians by sheer eloquence and sartorial elegance…”

On his retirement in 1982 he was awarded the Gawad Mabini for his service to the country in foreign relations, becoming only the third individual to whom it had been given. After his death that same year his work continued to be published by his family under the imprint of Guerrero Publishing. His books are distributed locally by Anvil Publishing and are available worldwide via Amazon and other leading e-book services.

The inspiration for the design of the LMG Centennial exhibit is explained by his son David Guerrero: “Given his lifetime of writing books, speeches and essays – and his early training as a journalist – it felt appropriate to use Twitter for samples of his work. I have a feeling he would have liked it for its brevity, and potential for wit.”

Also to be featured in the show is the latest audio recording of Guerrero’s translation of the Noli, as read by acclaimed British actor Richard E. Grant. Discussions around some of the themes raised by the tweets – and their historical context – are expected to be held online and at the event.

For a preview of the tweets, follow @wefilipinos or look for the hashtag #lmg100tweets. For further information, please email rsvp@guerreropublishing.com and see www.guerreropublishing.com. An iOS app of the Noli is available on the Apple Store.