Jose P. Laurel has a somewhat mixed legacy for having served as President of the Japanese-sponsored Second Republic from 1943 to 1945. Whatever achievements his administration had were overshadowed by the specter of Japanese control over the country, especially with their “support” for an independent but pro-Japan Philippines, and the horrors of World War II at large, especially towards the end when fighting between the Japanese and the US-led forces brought about much death and destruction to the country. Despite this, he is regarded as a good president who had nothing but the Filipino interests at heart and did what he could in the situation prevailing that time in the face of Japanese control.
Interestingly, Laurel is also one of the few personages in history who has a preserved legacy as far as the structures associated with him are concerned, with two houses he has lived in still remain standing in the midst of the rapid urbanization in the metropolis that has brought about a rapid loss of its built heritage. Continue reading