HomeGovernmentThe Chief ExecutiveFormer MayorsHon. Vicente C. Suarez

Hon. Vicente C. Suarez (1947-1949)

After the term of transition under the administration of Mayor Pantaleon Pelayo, President Manuel Roxas appointed Vicente Carvajal Suarez as the next mayor of Zamboanga. He was to hold office as chief executive of Zamboanga from 1947 to 1949.

Suarez was a native Zamboangueño, born in Baliwasan, Zamboanga City, on October 26, 1888, to illustrious parents. His father was Don Basilio Guerrero Suarez, an immigrant from Ermita, Manila, while his mother was a native Zamboangueña named Raymunda Carvajal.

As a child, he grew up with his four brothers and two sisters and took up his elementary and secondary education in the newly established public school system in Zamboanga during the American regime. After his graduation from high school, his parents, being affluent, decided to send the young Vicente to Manila to pursue a degree. Vicente chose to enroll in law school and became a lawyer.

During his early days as a lawyer, he met his first wife from Laguna. The couple had four children, Gustavo, Ester, Fe, and Noemi. Unfortunately his first wife died, leaving the young lawyer to take care of his four children alone.

Life as a widower was not easy for Vicente. On one of his trips to Laguna, he met a beautiful young lady with whom he started a courtship. She was Caridad Fernandez, the sister of a well-known lawyer in the country, Estanislao Fernandez. Caridad was from a well-to-do family in Laguna and was a pharmacist by profession. Vicente and Caridad decided to get married, a marriage which gave Vicente five more children, two boys and three girls. They were named Vicente, Jr., the eldest, Gloria, Renato, Inez and Nelia, the youngest. Together, Vicente and his family decided to reside in Zamboanga where he continued his law practice, slowly gaining prominence among the city’s residents.

It was his popularity with the people that propelled Vicente into a political career. In 1947 President Manuel L. Roxas appointed him mayor of Zamboanga City.

Don Vicente as an individual, valued the importance of public opinion so much so that he started the pre-war newspaper, El Criterio. It was actually the newspaper which gave him prominence in Zamboanga society. He was also the founder of the Lions Club in Zamboanga, and was the organization’s first president.

Mayor Suarez’s legacy to Zamboanga was multi-faceted, yet it can all be summed up as his passion to accomplish the sincere commitment to serve his beloved people with honesty and integrity.