Jorge B. Vargas
Jorge B. Vargas was a lawyer and youth advocate born in Bago City
Bago City
Bago City is a second class city in the province of Negros Occidental in the Philippines. According to the August 1, 2007 census, it has a population of 159,933 people. The city is located 21 kilometers south of the provincial capital, Bacolod City....

, Negros Occidental
Negros Occidental
Negros Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is Bacolod City and it occupies the northwestern half of Negros Island; Negros Oriental is at the southeastern half...

, Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. He graduated valedictorian
Valedictorian is an academic title conferred upon the student who delivers the closing or farewell statement at a graduation ceremony. Usually, the valedictorian is the highest ranked student among those graduating from an educational institution...

 from Negros Occidental High School in 1909 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree in 1911 and a Bachelor of Law degree with honors in 1914, both from the University of the Philippines
University of the Philippines
The ' is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through Act No...

. He was a founding member of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation
Philippine Olympic Committee
The Philippine Olympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee of the Philippines.-About the POC:The POC is a private, non-governmental organization composed of and serve as the mother organization of all National Sports Associations in the Philippines...

 (now the Philippine Olympic Committee
Philippine Olympic Committee
The Philippine Olympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee of the Philippines.-About the POC:The POC is a private, non-governmental organization composed of and serve as the mother organization of all National Sports Associations in the Philippines...

) in 1911 and served in its Executive Committee in 1918. He served as its second Chairman from 1935 to 1955. He was also the first Filipino member of the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...


Government service

After being admitted to the Philippine Bar
Bar association
A bar association is a professional body of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both...

 in 1914, he was appointed as law clerk in the Philippine Commission. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to the position of Chief Clerk of the Department of the Interior in 1917.

In 1918 he served as the legislative secretary to Speaker Sergio Osmeña
Sergio Osmeña
Sergio Osmeña y Suico was a Filipino politician who served as the 4th President of the Philippines from 1944 to 1946. He was Vice President under Manuel L. Quezon, and rose to the presidency upon Quezon's death in 1944, being the oldest Philippine president to hold office at age 65...

 of the House of Representatives
House of Representatives of the Philippines
The House of Representatives of the Philippines is the lower chamber of the...

 and in 1919 was appointed by President Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel L. Quezon
Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina served as president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines from 1935 to 1944. He was the first Filipino to head a government of the Philippines...

 as his Executive Secretary
Executive Secretary (Philippines)
The Executive Secretary of the Philippines is the head and highest ranking official serving in Cabinet of the Philippines and the head of the Office of the President of the Philippines. The office-holder has been nicknamed as the "Little President" due to the nature of the position...

, becoming the first in the country to serve in such a position.

Vargas was designated by Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon as mayor of the Greater Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 area in 1941. His responsibilities included administering the open city
Open city
In war, in the event of the imminent capture of a city, the government/military structure of the nation that controls the city will sometimes declare it an open city, thus announcing that they have abandoned all defensive efforts....

 upon the arrival of occupational troops of the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 on January 2, 1942.

By 1942, Vargas became chairman of the Japanese-sponsored Philippine Executive Commission
Philippine Executive Commission
The Philippine Executive Commission or PEC was established on January of 1942 with Jorge B. Vargas as its first Chairman. The PEC was created as the temporary care-taker government of the Greater Manila area and eventually of the whole Philippines during the Japanese occupation of the country...

. During the collaborationist Second Philippine Republic
Second Philippine Republic
The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , was a state in the Philippines established on October 14, 1943 under Japanese occupation....

, he was once asked by the Japanese to assume the Presidency, but he declined. He instead served as the regime's Ambassador to Japan. In that position, he was quoted shortly before Japanese troops were driven from Manila as stating that "we know Japan is destined for sure victory and prosperity for ages to come."

Vargas served as Chairman of the National Planning Commission from 1946–1954 and was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines from 1961-1965. In 1960, the Republic of the Philippines conferred on him the Legion of Honor
Philippine Legion of Honor
The Philippine Legion of Honor was established by President Manuel Roxas, through Philippine Army Circular No. 60 dated July 3, 1947. The Philippine Legion of Honor was patterned after the Legion of Merit of the United States of America, and was meant to honor both civilians and members of the...

 with the rank of Commander.

Scouting involvement

Vargas’ involvement with Scouting started in 1935 when he became a member of the executive board of the Philippine Council of the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

. Together with other Philippine Scouting advocates he became one of the charter members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines
Boy Scouts of the Philippines
The Boy Scouts of the Philippines is the national Scout organization of the Philippines. Its mission is to imbue in the youth the love of God, country, and fellow men; to train young people to become responsible leaders; and to contribute in nation-building.The BSP was chartered under...

 in 1936.

Upon the death of Manuel Camus in 1949 he was unanimously chosen by the National Executive Board to serve as the BSP's President and Chief Scout. He served the position of National President until 1961. He became a member of the World Scout Committee of the World Organization of the Scout Movement
World Organization of the Scout Movement
The World Organization of the Scout Movement is the Non-governmental international organization which governs most national Scout Organizations, with 31 million members. WOSM was established in 1920, and has its headquarters at Geneva, Switzerland...

 from 1951 to 1957.

Vargas was awarded the Bronze Wolf in 1959 and received other awards including the Silver Tamaraw (Philippines), Silver Fox (Canada), Silver Ibex (Austria), Silver Wolf (UK), and the White Eagle (Japan). He also became the first recipient of the Tanglaw ng Kabataan (Light of the Youth) Award of the BSP in 1961.
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