October 16, 1907, the Philippine Assembly was Inaugurated
On October 16, 1907, the Philippine Assembly was inaugurated at the Manila Grand Opera House. The event was attended both by US Secretary of War William Howard Taft and the new Governor-General James Francis Smith.
Taft made a special trip to Manila for the sole purpose of attending the inaugural ceremony. He was the first civilian governor (Civil Governor) of the Philippines. The title “Civil Governor” was changed to “Governor-General” by Act of US Congress in 1905.
After it was convened, the Philippine Assembly proceeded to organize itself. The 29-year old governor of Cebu, Sergio Osmeña was chosen Speaker of the Assembly. His friend and former classmate, Manuel L. Quezon, representing the first district of Tayabas became the majority floor leader.
Both Osmeña and Quezon were only 29 years old, but both of them were experienced politicians. Quezon later to become the Vice President and President, respectively, of the new Filipino Commonwealth government in 1935. Upon the creation of the Assembly, Philippine legislature was to take after the model of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Assembly was the lower house of Philippine Legislature. The Philippine Commission was transitioned into the upper house.
Elections for members the first national assembly were held on July 30, 1907.