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Mariano Ponce: Founder of La Solidaridad
Posted by Brando Dimagiba on 12/03/2010 02:13 PM

Mariano Ponce was noted for his works and contribution in the Philippine Revolution. Born on March 23, 1863 in Baliwag, Bulacan Mariano began his schooling in his hometown and finished his secondary education at Juan Evangelista in Hugo Ilagan and Escolastico Salandanan in Manila. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at San Juan de Letran and later transferred at the University of Sto. Tomas to pursue medicine.

In 1887, Mariano left for Europe and continued his studies on medicine at the Central University of Madrid. There he joined Rizal, del Pilar and the other Propagandist in pushing the fight against the Spaniards. He was the co-founder of La Solidaridad along with Lopez Jaena. He was also the head of the Literary Section of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipina, created to aid the Propaganda Movement where he served as secretary.

His works on La Solidaridad includes a daily editorial on history, politics, sociology and travel under a variety of alias. His most common names are Naning, his nickname; Kalipulako, named after Lapu-Lapu; and Tigbalang, a supernatural being in Pilipino folklore.

When the revolution broke out, he was imprisoned for 48 hours on suspicion of having associations with the mutiny. He then moved to France to evade another imprisonment and later sailed to Hong Kong where he became secretary of the Junta Revolution. One of his tasks in the movement was to make a draft of the framework of the revolutionary government. In 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo selected him as a representative of the First Republic of Japan.

He went to Yokohama on June 29, 1898 to petition for aid and purchase ammunition for the Filipino Army. During his stay he met and befriended Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, founder and first President of the Chinese Republic and Jose Ramos Ishikawa, a Japanese-Filipino. Unluckily, the weapons and ammunition that he bought did not reach the country due to a typhoon off the coast of Formosa.

Mariano returned to Manila with his wife, a Japanese girl named Okiyo Udanwara. In 1909 he was made director of El Renacimiento and was one of the founders of El Ideal, organ of the Nacionalista Party. Later he was elected assemblyman for the second district of Bulacan and Speaker Osmeña appointed him chairman of the Committee on Libraries of the Philippine Assembly.

Mariano Ponce died on May 23, 1918 in the Civil Hospital on Hong Kong. His remains lie on Cementerio del Norte, Manila.

TAGS: mariano, ponce, founder, la solidaridad, katipunan, national hero

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