Carlos P. Garcia

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Carlos Polistico Garcia (November 4, 1896 – June 14, 1971) was the 8th President of the Philippines (1957-1961). His administration was known for its "Filipino First" policy, which put the interests of the Filipino people above those of foreigners and of the ruling party.

Early life and career

Garcia was born in Talibon, Bohol to Policronio Garcia and Ambrosia Polistico (who were both natives of Bangued, Abra). He grew up with politics, with his father serving as a municipal mayor for four terms.

Garcia acquired his primary education in his native Talibon, then took his secondary education in Cebu Provincial High School. He briefly took law courses at Silliman University in Dumaguete City. He then studied at Philippine Law School and earned his degree in 1923. He was among the top ten in the bar examination.

Rather than practice law right away, he worked as a teacher for two years at Bohol Provincial High School. He became famous for his poetry in Bohol, where he earned the nickname "Prince of Visayan Poets" and the "Bard from Bohol".

He started his political career in 1925, scoring an impressive victory running for congressman representing the third district of Bohol. He was elected for another term, but served only until 1931 when he successfully ran for governor of Bohol. He served as provincial governor for two terms. He became a member of the House of Representatives in 1946, and was elected three times to the Senate for three consecutive terms from 1941 to 1953.

Vice Presidency

Garcia was the running mate of Ramon Magsaysay in the presidential elections of 1953. He was appointed Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs by President Ramon Magsaysay, for four years concurrently serving as vice president.


He assumed the presidency after Ramon Magsaysay died in a plane crash on March 17,1957, and was reelected later the same year, in the Philippine general election, 1957, for another full-term.

During his administration, he acted on the Bohlen-Serrano Agreement which shortened the lease of the US Bases from 99 years to 25 years and made it renewable after every five years. He also exercised the Filipino First Policy, for which he was known. This policy heavily favored Filipino businessmen over foreign investors. He was also responsible for changes in retail trade which greatly affected the Chinese businessmen in the country.

At the end of his second term, he ran for reelection in the Philippine general election in November 1961, but was defeated by Diosdado Macapagal, who served as Vice President under him, but belonged to the opposing Liberal Party—in the Philippines the President and the Vice President are elected separately.


After his failed reelection bid, Garcia then retired to private life, living as a private citizen in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. On June 1, 1971, Garcia was elected delegate of the 1971 Constitutional Convention and chosen as its president. However, he died of a heart attack on June 14, 1971 at the age of seventy-four.

Recognizing his efforts as the Philippine president who hailed from Bohol, he is featured as the lone star in the Bohol provincial flag.



  • Minority leaders of the Senate of the Philippines
  • Filipino politicians
  • Presidents of the Philippines
  • Lists relating to the Philippine presidency
  • Vice Presidents of the Philippines
  • Government
  • 1896 births
  • 1971 deaths
  • Filipino anti-communists
  • People from Bohol
  • Boholano people
  • Senators of the Philippines
  • Philippine presidential candidates
  • Filipino lawyers
  • Filipino Firsts