Senator Luna was born in Manila on December 11, 1874. He was a brother of the famous Lunas from the north, Juan the artist and Antonio the general. Like his brother Antonio, he also took part in the Philippine Revolution and became a colonel in the revolutionary army.
At the Malolos Congress, he represented the province of La Union and served as treasurer of Asociacion de Paz, which hoped to enforce peace through the surrender of arms by the Filipino rebels in exchange for amnesty during the American occupation.
In 1901, Senator Luna became one of the principal members of the organizing committee of the Democratic Party and in 1903 he was appointed as an agent in the International Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri.
Senator Luna was elected governor in 1904 of La Union, which declared him an adopted son in 1905, in a resolution passed by the assembly of municipal presidents of the province. He was twice elected as representative to the Philippine Assembly representing La Union’s first district from 1907 to 1912 and from 1912 to 1916. In 1916, he was appointed governor of Mt. Province and later was appointed Senator from the 12th Senatorial district comprising the city of Baguio, Mountain Province, and Nueva Viscaya as well as Mindanao and Sulu from 1916 to 1919.
As a lawmaker, Luna who had musical inclinations, was instrumental in pushing for the bill creating a musical school, later to be known as the Conservatory of Music under the University of the Philippines, which was established in 1908.
In honor of Joaquin Luna and his more illustrious brothers, the municipality of Namakpakan in La Union, where their mother was born, was renamed “Luna” in 1907.