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As president of the Philippines, Manuel Quezon accepted many evidences of his country's regard. Officials of the Quezon regime gave him a yacht and the use of 100-year-old Malacanan Palace, named new streets and buildings for him as fast as they were constructed. When the Philippines Congress met last autumn, after the liberation of the islands, it voted his widow a pension of 1,000 pesos a month, almost automatically.

But when the first check was delivered last week, delicate, greying Mrs. Aurora Aragon de Quezon immediately sent it back. With it went a letter which demonstrated why thousands of Filipinos regard her as a combination queen-mother and patron saint.

"I feel that on account of ... countless war widows and orphans ... I should waive collection of a pension . . ." the letter stated. "I cannot, in good conscience, receive ... Government assistance when so many of my less fortunate sisters and their children are not yet taken care of. . . ."

.The letter also helped to explain the late President's profound admiration for his quiet, dignified wife. Wrote Mrs. Quezon:

"I know [if I accepted] I would not be keeping faith with the memory of my beloved husband. . . ."