Only twice before had Filipinos tasted the excitement of electing a President. Never before had they enjoyed the privilege of making a choice. As he went to the polls in last week's close, tropic heat, a Filipino might reasonably feel both elated and nervous.

The national political temper portended a roisterous day of balloting. On Luzon, cub planes buzzed in the skies, looking for suspicious gatherings. Jeeps loaded with soldiers patrolled the rutted roads. Elderly, cautious President Sergio Osmena remained secluded in Manila's sprawling white Malacafian Palace. An armed guard surrounded the hideout of the opposing candidate—flamboyant, fiery Manuel Roxas...

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