Jose C. Zulueta
Jose Clemente Zulueta was born in Paco, Manila on November 23, 1876. His parents were not known because his mother died five days after his birth and his father, when he was still a child. He was adopted by a kind-hearted couple, Agustin dela Rosa and Juliana Estrada, who gave him parental care and education.
He took a course in History in the old College of San Antonio de Padua and eventually transferred to the Ateneo Municipal, where he obtained his Bachiller en Artes. He organized a study group among his friends, and every night he expounded on philosophy, arithmetic, algebra, ethics, rhetoric and poetry.
He studied law at the University of Santo Tomas where he achieved literary celebrity as a weaver of exquisite Spanish verses. His poem “Afectos a la virgen” was awarded 3rd prize in 1895 with a “lirio de plata” (silver lily) by the Academia Bibliografico Mariana, of Lerida, spain. It was published in Revista Catolica de Filipinas, VII, No.5, March 1, 1896.
He established the newspaper La Libertad, on June 20, 1898. After its initial publication, however, it was stopped by the Revolutionary government and the printing press was seized. He joined the staff of La Independencia, founded by General Antonio Luna, with M. Kaun as pen name.
He resumed his studies in 1899 after the American army occupied Manila and took the bar examination in 1902. Afterwards, he established a newspaper, La Union with Don Modesto Reyes in Manila. It was suppressed by General Elwell S. Otis because it was considered anti-American.
He taught subjects on Philippines and World History at the Liceo de Manila. He was librarian at the Centro Artistico and Club International and was designated collecting librarian by Governor Taft. The work took him to Barcelona and Madrid from 1903 to 1904.
A lawyer by profession and a politician by advocation, Zulueta became a devoted legislator in the service of the first district constituents of Iloilo Province. He was Senate President in 1953 and Provincial Governor of Iloilo in 1959. Forever young in heart, keen of mind, his impressive record as a public servant spans almost half-a-century of commitment and dedication. He is among the few Filipinos included in the World Biography, 1948 edition; and the International Who’s Who, 1952 edition.