Felix Roxas y Fernandez
Felix Roxas y Fernandez (1864-1936) was a mayor of Manila and a prominent member of the Roxas family. His father was the first Filipino architect Felix Roxas y Arroyo and his mother was Concha Fernandez.
Felix Roxas led a very colorful life and had several careers. Don Felix spent his early years on Hacienda Calauang, Laguna with his mother and sister. The hacienda belong to his second-degree uncle Don Jose Bonifacio Roxas. In 1871 he moved to Manila to study at the Ateneo Municipal. He was a contemporary of Jose Rizal. In 1881 he finished a degree at the Ateneno, after which he left for further studies in Spain. In 1885 he finished his degree in civil engineering.
The following year he returned to Manila to study law at the University of Santo Tomas. In 1889 he worked part-time for his distant relative Jacobo Zobel y Zangroniz at the Compañia de Tranvias. In 1894 he finished his law studies. In 1896 he began work for the colonial government, but his civil career was cut short because of the start of the revolution and because two of his cousins Don Pedro Pablo Roxas and Don Francisco L. Roxas who were consejeros in the administration had been implicated in abetting the revolution. Don Felix obtained a permission for passage to Spain from Governor-General Ramon Blanco.
On October 1896 he sailed for Paris on Isla de Luzon and he was joined in Paris by his cousin Pedro Pablo Roxas. On January 9, 1897 he received news in the Parisian newspapers that his cousin was executed. With the triumph of American forces in Manila on August 13, 1898, Don Felix became a witness to the negotiations conducted in Paris by the Filipino, American and Spanish teams to obtain the Treaty of Paris.
Return from Exile
In June 1900 he returned to the Philippines to marry Carmen Moreno Lacalle. Because of his work as editor of Democracia on behalf of the Federalists he was appointed governor of Batangas on May 2, 1901. He was also appointed a judge of the Court of First Instance, 5th judicial district (Rizal, Bulacan, and Bataan). In 1904 he became a judge of the Court of Appeals at the Bureau of Customs. He eventually became the mayor of Manila from September 19, 1905 to January 15, 1917. He is then appointed undersecretary of education.
Among his illustrious relatives were:
- his grandfather Antonio Roxas y Ureta and his grand uncle Domingo Roxas y Ureta, the progenitor of the Roxas-Ayala-Soriano-Zobel families
- his uncles the painter Felipe Roxas y Arroyo and Rafael Roxas y Arroyo, the progenitor of the Manila Araneta clan
- his first cousin the reluctant martyr of Bagumbayan Francisco L. Roxas, who was executed 2 weeks after Jose Rizal on January 11, 1897.
- His second cousin Pedro Pablo Roxas, one of the most prominent and richest Filipinos of the era.
In historical circles he is well known for his memoirs "The World of Felix Roxas", which was a compilation of his various newspaper writings. It serves as a valuable insight into the world of the ilustrado class.
He died in 1936.
- Felix Roxas. The World of Felix Roxas. Manila: Filipiniana Book Guild, 1970.