Felipe Encarnacion Agoncillo – The man of rare intelligence and admirable patriotism, is best remembered as a revolutionary hero, statesman and the first Philippine diplomat. After graduating from the University of Santo Tomas with degrees in Bachelor of Arts and Licentiate in Jurisprudence, both magna cum laude, he started his career by setting up a law office in Taal. He won popular acclaim for the free services he rendered his poor clients. He was brilliant, fearless and outspoken about the abuses of the Spanish oppression. He was to be exiled by the Spanish government to Jolo in April 1896, but, managed to escape to Hong Kong via Japan. He organized the revolutionary junta in Hong Kong and was eventually appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo as a diplomat representing the Philippine Republic to the United States and to the Treaty of Paris in 1898. He served as representative of Batangas in the First Philippine Assembly in 1907. He also served as Secretary of Interior under Governor General Leonard Wood. In 1930, he was chosen president for the first plenary session of the Independence Congress held in Manila. Felipe Agoncillo was born on May 26, 1859 and died on September 29, 1941. He was married to Marcela Mariño and they had five (5) children.
Si Felipe Agoncillo ay higit na tanyag sa tungkulin na “Unang Pilipino sa larangan ng Diplomasya” at isang matalino at makabayan na tao. Nagtapos siya ng Magna Cum Laude sa pag-aaral ng “Bachelor of Arts and Licentiate in Jurisprudence” sa Universidad ng Santo Tomas, at tuluyan na nagtayo ng tanggapan ng abogasya sa Taal. Naging tanyag siya dahil sa libreng serbisyo na ibinigay niya sa mga mahihirap, at sa matapang niyang paglaban sa mga pag-aabuso ng mga Kastila.
Tumakas siya patungong Hong Kong bago siya hulihin ng mga Kastila upang ikulong sa Jolo. Ibinuo niya ang “Military Junta” sa Hong Kong at sa katagalan ay tinaguriang Kinatawan siya ng Pilipinas sa Estados Unidos at sa “Treaty of Paris”ni Pangulong Emilio Aguinaldo noong
1898. Siya rin ang unang “Representatibo ng Batangas sa unang Philippine Assembly” noong 1907. Siya din angunang ”Secretary of Interior” sa ilalim ng pamamahala ng Amerikano na si “Governor General” Leonard Wood.
Noong 1930, siya ang napiling kauna-unahang pangulo ng unang “Plenary Session”ng Independence Congress” na idinaos sa Maynila.