Manuel L. Quezon quotation: "I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans."

Born in the small town of Baler in the province of Tayabas (Tayabas was renamed Quezon while Baler and several other towns are now part of the Auroro province which detached from Quezon) to Lucio Quezon and Maria Dolores Molina. Manuel Luis Quezon was educated at an early age learning Spanish at the age of five and Latin, religion, geography, and Spanish grammar by age seven. Quezon had finished a Bachelor of Arts degree with the highest honours at age 16 at the Colegio of San Juan de Letran. He went on to study law and jurisprudence at the University of Santo Tomas but cut off to join the Philippine-American War for Philippine independence. He returned to his studies after the capture and surrender of Emilio Aguinaldo.

In 1905, he ran for governor of Tayabas and served two years before being elected a representative in the newly established Philippine Assembly. Between 1909 - 1916 he was the appointed Resident Commissioner to the US. He was entitled to speak but not vote in the US House of Representatives. It was during this time that he pushed for and fought for Philippine independence. Through his efforts, he obtained the passage of the Jones Act in the US Congress which granted Philippine independence but did not give a specific date as to when it would take effect.

Quezon returned to Manila in 1916 to be elected into the Philippine Senate. Two years later he was Senate president. In 1922, Quezon became leader the of Nacionalista Party. In 1934, he returned to the US and negotiated for passage of the Tydings-McDuffie Act which set the date for full Philippine independence. The date set was 1946. For the ten years in the run-up to independence, a commonwealth government was provided for. In 1935, Quezon was elected as president of the Commonwealth government and Sergio Osmeņa as vice-president. Both were re-elected to their respective posts in 1941.

During his presidency, Quezon tackled the problem of landless peasants in the countryside. Other major decisions include reorganisation of the islands military defence, approval of recommendation for government reorganisation, promotion of settlement and development in Mindanao, tackling foreign strangle-hold on Philippine trade and commerce, proposals for land reform and the tackling of graft and corruption within the government. Quezon and Osmeņa established an exiled government in the US with the outbreak of the war and the threat of Japanese invasion. During his exile in the US, Manuel Quezon died of tuberculosis in Saranac Lake, New York.