Manuel Luis Quezon, the boy from Baler, Tayabas, who became President of the Philippine Commonwealth was born on Aug. 19, 1878, to parents who were schoolteachers. He studied at San Juan de Letran where he became a popular student, athlete, class orator and leader. He graduated with bachelor of arts degree and a surveyor-land appraiser title.
He was studying law at the University of Santo Tomas when the Philippine revolution interrupted his studies. He joined the insurgents and rose to the rank of major; after the war, he finished law and became a lawyer in 1903.
Quezon practiced law, was named Mindoro provincial fiscal; then he joined the Nationalista party, was elected councilor, then governor, he became Philippine resident commissioner to the U.S. obtained from the U.S. Congress the Jones Law promising Philippine independence. Upon return to the Philippines, he was senator.
Quezon was elected president of the senate and became instrumental in passing nationalistic bills. He headed missions to U.S. to seek Philippine independence. He didn’t like the Hair-Hawes-Cutting independence law, so he personally went to Washington and got the Tydings-McDuffie independence act which resulted in the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth with him as first President on July 4, 1946.