With Jewish refugees leaving Europe to escape persecution, one of the countries that came to their rescue was the Philippines.
President Manuel L. Quezon understood the gravity of the situation, and 10,000 visas were earmarked for their safe passage to the Philippines.
Quezon also built a housing community for Jewish refugees in the suburb of Marikina in 1939, allotting as well a farm and a settlement area in Mindanao.
Around 1,300 Jews arrived in the Philippines. More could have been saved had the war not broken out.
In 1942, the Philippines was invaded by Japan, and Quezon and his government were forced into exile.
The story is recalled in the critically acclaimed film Quezon’s Game, which is set to open in Canadian theatres this January.
“A true story of Holocaust heroism during World War II in the Philippines by Filipino President Manuel L. Quezon—who rescued as many persecuted Jews as Oskar Schindler at a time when most countries were turning their backs—the release of Quezon’s Game also marks the landmark 75th anniversary on Jan. 27 of the liberation of Auschwitz, the Nazi’s most-notorious concentration camp,” states a promotional news release.
Quezon’s Game is a Star Cinema/ABS-CBN Film production in association with iWant and Kinetek.
The film was directed by Matthew Rosen, a British national who has been residing in the Philippines since 1986.
Rosen and his Filipino wife, Lorena ‘Lori’ Rosen, who co-produced the film, heard the story from members of the Jewish Association of the Philippines.
“The story behind Quezon’s Game remains a reflection of the Filipino people today, a warm and welcoming culture,” Rosen said in the release.
The film opens on January 24, 2020 in the following: provinces of Alberta (cities of Calgary, and Edmonton), British Columbia (Vancouver, and Surrey), Manitoba (Winnipeg), Ontario (Mississauga, Scarborough, and Toronto), Quebec (Montreal).
Quezon’s Game also screens on January 31 in the following: Alberta (Grande Prairie, and Red Deer),
British Columbia (Kelowna, New Westminster, and Victoria), Ontario (Kitchener-London, Ottawa, and Vaughan), Saskatchewan (Regina, and Saskatoon), and Yukon (Whitehorse).