Trivia about the First Philippine Assembly

The Philippine Assembly was established in the Philippines pursuant to the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902 otherwise known as the Philippine Bill of 1902. A general election of members of the Philippine Assembly was held on July 30, 1907. The Nacionalista Party, the party that advocated “immediate and complete independence” headed by Sergio Osrnefia, captured the majority of the 80-seat Assembly.

On October 16, 1907, the inaugural session of the First Philippine Assembly was held at the Manila Grand Opera House in Sta. Cruz, where William H. Taft, U.S. Secretary of War, delivered the inaugural address. Right Reverend Jorge Barlin, first Filipino bishop of Nueva Caceres, delivered the invocation. Its first session was held at the Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros in the afternoon of the same day. Sergio Osrnefia of 2nd District, Cebu, founder of the Nacionalista Party, was unanimously elected Speaker of the Assembly. The establishment of the Philippine Assembly is the realization of the Filipino people’s aspiration for self-determination.

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