Mariano Ponce

Mariano Ponce
Mariano Ponce | @nhcpofficial

We join the Filipino people in remembering Mariano Ponce on his 106th death anniversary (23 May 1918). He made history for his involvement in the Propaganda Movement and the Revolution, and he also wrote history, especially during the latter part of his life.

Born in Baliwag, Bulacan on 22 March 1863, he finished medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid. He became the managing editor of La Solidaridad, a fortnightly newspaper that exposed the dire situation of the Philippines and proposed reforms. He also wrote articles on history and culture in the newspaper.

Seeing no progress in the campaign for reforms, he moved to Hong Kong and joined a revolutionary committee that supported those who rose against Spanish rule. He was later appointed as representative of the Philippines to Japan. He tried to secure support and recognition and was able to send a shipment of arms which was unfortunately lost in a typhoon. While in Japan, he met Chinese nationalist Sun Yat-sen and married Okiyo Udagawa, the daughter of a samurai.

He returned to the Philippines in 1907 and resumed his journalistic career as editor of El Renacimiento and founder of El Ideal. From 1909-1912, he served as Bulacan’s representative to the Philippine Assembly. In the last years of his life, he collected materials about his contemporaries, many of which were donated to the government. He also briefly served as a researcher at the National Library of the Philippines.

In his memory, the NHCP installed historical markers in 1953 and 2019. The @NHCP Museo ni Mariano Ponce helps perpetuate his memory and his contribution to nation-building.

The NHCP is the national government agency mandated to promote Philippine history through its museums, research, and publications, and to preserve historical heritage through conservation and the marking of historic sites and structures.