Norberto Romualdez

Norberto Romuáldez y López (June 6, 1875 – November 4, 1941), often referred to as Norberto Romuáldez Sr. to distinguish him from his son with the same name, was a Philippine writer, politician, jurist, and statesman. He was the first Lopez-Romuáldez to attain national prominence, and is deemed the "Father of the Law on the National Language".[1] He was the eldest son of Doña Trinidad Lopez-Romualdez, the Romualdez grand matriarch, and uncle of First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Romualdez Marcos, the daughter of his youngest brother Vicente Orestes Lopez Romualdez.

Norberto Romuáldez
Norberto Romualdez 1975 stamp of the Philippines.jpg
Norberto Romualdez on a Philippine postage stamp (c. 1975)
24th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
In office
November 1, 1921 – April 1, 1932
Appointed byWarren Harding
Preceded byManuel Araullo
Succeeded byJosé Abad Santos
Member of the Philippine National Assembly from Leyte's 4th district
In office
September 1, 1936 – November 4, 1941
Preceded byFrancisco Enage
Succeeded byFilomeno Montejo (as member of the House of Representatives)
Personal details
Norberto Romuáldez y López

(1875-06-06)June 6, 1875
Burauen, Leyte, Captaincy General of the Philippines
DiedNovember 4, 1941(1941-11-04) (aged 66)
Palapag, Samar, Commonwealth of the Philippines
Political partyNacionalista
Mariquita Marquez
(m. 1899; died 1903)

Beatriz Duarte Romualdez
(m. 1907)


Born to the prominent Lopez clan of Leyte (originally from Granada in the Andalusian region of Spain), he is the grandson of Spanish friar and silversmith Don Francisco Lopez. Romuáldez grew up in Leyte, where the Lopez family owned vast coconut and abacá plantations, and first achieved status as a writer in the Waray language. His first Waray zarzuela was An Pagtabang ni San Miguel (The Aid of Saint Michael).

In 1908, Romuáldez wrote Bisayan Grammar and Notes on Bisayan Rhetoric and Poetic and Filipino Dialectology, a treatise on the grammar of the Waray language. The following year (1909) he founded the Sanghiran san Binisaya ha Samar ug Leyte (Academy of the Visayan Language of Samar and Leyte) for the purpose of promoting and intellectualizing Waray. Romuáldez was also fluent in other languages like Spanish, English, and Cebuano.

Romuáldez served as an Associate Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court during the American Period. He was also a participant in the 1934-1935 Constitutional Convention which resulted in the 1935 Constitution for the Philippine Commonwealth. He was later elected as assemblyman from the 4th district of Leyte through a special election in 1936.[2] He was re-elected in 1938.

Romuáldez ran for senator in 1941. However, he died on November 4, 1941, a week before the election, after an undisclosed illness.[3] A book written about his niece's life notes that he died of a heart attack in Samar.[4]


Published worksEdit

  • 1899: An Pagtabang ni San Miguel ("The Aid of Saint Michael"; drama)
  • 1908: Bisayan Grammar and Notes on Bisayan Rhetoric and Poetic and Filipino Dialectology (linguistics)
  • 1914: Tagbanwa Alphabet with Some Reforms Proposed (essays)
  • 1918: Philippine Orthography (essays)
  • 1921: An Anak han Manaranggot ("The Tuba Gatherer's Child", drama)
  • 1925: The Psychology of the Filipino (lectures)
  • 1931: Filipino Musical Instruments and Airs of Long Ago (lectures)
  • 1933: Philippine Legal and Business Forms Annotated; co-authored with Enrique P. Custodio


  1. ^ Wika wiki / BNW2007 poster
  2. ^ President, Philippines (1937). Messages of the President. Bureau of Print.
  3. ^ "Norberto Lopez Romualdez". Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  4. ^ Imelda Marcos By Carmen Navarro Pedrosa (1987)

See alsoEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Succeeded by