His father died before he was born, from a mortal wound inflicted by the Guardia Civil. He was raised by his mother and maternal grandfather. His parents were Gerardo Roxas and Rosario Acuna. His maternal grandfather was Don Eleuterio his older brother was Mamerto of Capiz, Antique.
Manuel Roxas was lucky to receive a full education and to his credit he excelled in his studies earning academic recognition from his schools – Manila High School, which eventually became the Araullo High School, and the University of the Philippines College of Law – where he was the class valedictorian. Roxas also topped the first bar exam getting a score of 92% : essentially becoming the first bar top notcher.
Roxas began his career in public life in Capiz eventually becoming Governor. He rose steadily in the political ranks from representative, senator, government official, and a general of the USAFE. Eventually becoming the third most popular political leader of the country following Quezon, Osmena.
He has the distinction of holding the most number of government posts in the history of the Philippine Government.
He also has the distinction of being the last commonwealth and first president of the republic.
He has also has the distinction of resolving issue of the Philippine Collaborators by granting amnesty to all those who served the Philippine Government during the Japanese occupation and who were not involved criminal activities ad crimes of atrocity. The amnesty that generated criticism even up to now was needed in order to add closure and perspective at the end of World War II and (2) freed Filipinos – like Jose Laurel, Claro Recto and others who were important cogs and intelligensia of Filipino society.
Roxas was the Filipino President who was there when the Philippines graduated from being a commonwealth into a full fledged independent republic. He was also the President who was there when the Nation was recovering from the ravages of World War II. Manila in particular was a city pulverized and brought to its knees by the battle of liberation. The damage was nearly as great as the destruction of Warsaw and Stalingrad.
The first political Roxas – the Grandfather of Mar Roxas – did not complete his presidential term. Roxas the bar top notcher, Roxas the man who occupied the most number of government positions; Roxas who was the last Commonwealth and first President of the Republic; and Roxas the USAFE General who issued an amnesty to answer the question of the Japanese collaborators who did no war crimes expired after he delivered a speech at Clark Air Base and died.
It would be one of the great what if of the Philippines History what would have happened if he had lived.