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Garcia, Carlos Polistico

(1896-1971). Seventh President of the Philippines and a member of the Theosophical Society. Born on Nov. 4, 1896, in Bohol province, Garcia was the son of Policarpio Garcia who served as mayor of Talibon (Bohol) for four terms. He studied at the Cebu Provincial High School. He pursued his college education in Silliman University and graduated with a law degree from the Philippine Law School in 1923. He was among the top bar examinees of that year. In 1925 he ran for Congress and won for two terms. Then he served as Governor of Bohol for two terms. He ran for Senate in 1946 and served for three consecutive terms.

In 1953, he was nominated to run for Vice Presidency with Ramon Magsaysay, the former Defense Secretary who became popular for his successful dealing with communist insurgents. They won. But Magsaysay died in office in 1957 while Garcia was in Australia for an official visit. He was immediately sworn in as the President. On the same year, he ran for reelection and won. In 1961 he ran again but he lost to Diosdado Macapagal. Ten years later, Garcia was elected the President of the Constitutional Convention, with Macapagal as the Vice President. He, however, died of a heart attack on June 14 of the same year.

Garcia was known as a poet as well as a philosopher. He was sometimes referred to as “Prince of Visayan Poets.” He was deeply interested in metaphysics and shared an interest in theosophy with another prominent Boholano, Congressman Luis T. Clarin, who founded the the Dauis Lodge of the Theosophical Society (TS) in Bohol. President Garcia often spoke of the law of karma as his guiding philosophy in life: “Life is what you make it. . . . With the necessary consequences of your good deeds, you build the ladder through whose rungs you climb to sublime destiny, you build the dungeon of your own life’s imprisonment or bondage. There is no escape from the universal law of cause and effect. You always reap what you sow” (Manila Bulletin).


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