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The 13th president of the Philippines, was born on April m19,1937 in Tondo, a ghetto area of Manila and once a home of the toughies and poorest of the poor, to Engr. Emilio Ejercito (deceased) and Maria Marcelo.His father worked for the government. Joseph's mother, a simple housewife, studied music at the Colegio de Santa Rosa.

After high school, Joseph decided to study engineering to follow in the.footsteps of his father. But inhis third year at Mapua, he decided to try the movies. Displeased with his decision to drop out from college, his parents forbade him to use his family name, which forced him to adopt m"Estrada" (Spanish for street) as a screen name, and "Erap" ("Pare" or friend spelled backwards) as a nickname. During his movie career, he played the lead role in more than a hundred movies and produced more than 70 films. He was the first FAMAS Hall of Fame awardee for Best Actor (1981) and also became a Hall of Fame awardee as a Producer (1983).

Estrade entered politics when he ran for Mayor of San Juan in 1968. He was only proclaimed mayor in 1969, after he won electoral protest against Dr. Braulio Sto. Domingo. As mayor (1969-1986) Estrada named after the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in Public Administration. He was also named Most Outstanding Mayor and Foremost Nationalist (1972) and Most Outstanding Metro Manila Mayor (1972).

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