On this day, May 23

Mariano Ponce | Image Credit: @NHCPOfficial


On this day, May 23, in 1918, Mariano Ponce dies in HongKong on his way to visit his friend Sun Yat-sen. He left behind his Japanese wife, Okiyo Udangwa, and 4 children. He was Rizal’s friend, and advocate for recognition of Philippine independence among our Asian neighbors.

Ponce’s remains were returned with the help of his fellow masons. The wake was held at the temple of Sinukuan on Bilbao Street, Tondo, Manila. He was buried in Cemeterio del Norte (now Manila North Cemetery) on 15 June 1918. On 19 May 1951, Ponce’s remains were returned to Baliuag.

In what is called the ‘Triumvirate’ of the Propaganda Movement, del Pilar and Rizal passed away before Ponce. They were soon exalted but the town did not forget Ponce. His monuments attest to this and the places and institutions to which he was named. However, the best way to honor him is to value her own history and culture as Asian and Filipino.