MANILA — Zeneida Quezon Avanceña, the last surviving daughter of the late President Manuel L. Quezon, passed away on Monday, according to his family.
She was 100, her grandson Manuel Luis "Manolo" Quezon III said.
"She passed away surrounded by her children, at home, achieving one of the devoutest wishes of the faithful --a true Christian death, at peace with her Maker and the world," he said.
The cause of death is unknown as of posting time.
In his tribute, Manolo shared an archived footage of Avanceña, fondly known as Tita Nini, with her late father and sister Baby.
Officials expressed their grief for Avanceña's death and condoled with her family.
"Most of Tita Nini’s 100 years were as a family woman and staunch ally of justice and human rights. She always carried her family’s legacy with grace and added her own pursuits befitting the needs of the time," Sen. Kiko Pangilinan said in a statement.
Pangilinan praised her for her contributions during Martial Law and her support for him during his first electoral campaign, despite her old age.
"She lent her name and gravitas to difficult valuable causes, including those of political detainees. She made such an impact. After the Marcos dictatorship was toppled, she became a member of the Presidential Human Rights Committee, together with Senators Ka Pepe Diokno and Lorenzo Tañada," he recalled.
Avanceña's legacy will "live on in its pages," Pangilinan said.
"Her sacrifices and contributions, along with the rest of their family, will always be remembered. Maraming salamat po Tita Nini, and may you rest in peace," he said.
Former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda meanwhile said "a light has dimmed once more, the country orphaned by her passing."
"A pillar of strength during the dark days of martial law. She never wavered when the country needed a voice & spoke by marching with the youth, despite her age," he said in a tweet.
Former Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño described Avanceña as "kind and gracious with very strong convictions."
Born on April 9, 1921, "Tita Nini" was the second daughter of President Quezon and Doña Aurora. The couple had 4 children.
She married journalist-diplomat Felipe Buencamino III in 1947 but was widowed after the latter, along with Doña Aurora and Avanceña's elder sister, Maria Aurora, were killed in an ambush by the guerilla movement Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon (Hukbalahap).
In 1951, she married her second husband, Alberto Avanceña.
Since then, she has been involved in human rights and social justice causes, her family said.
FROM THE ARCHIVES