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La Solidaridad and the Propaganda Movement

The supreme quest for freedom and independence started in Barcelona, Spain when La Solidaridad, a democratic fortnightly founded and edited by Graciano Lopez-Jaena, financed by Pablo Rianzares Bautista, a young lawyer, and supported by the Junta de la Propaganda in the Philippines, was first published on February 15, 1889.

With the policy to champion democracy and liberalism, to expose the real plight of the country, and to work peacefully for economic and social reforms, the newspaper published not only articles and essays about the economic, cultural, political, and social conditions of the country, but also current news, both local and foreign, and speeches of prominent Spanish leaders about the Philippines, and information on the achievements, social doings, and whereabouts of Filipinos at home and abroad.

The newspaper also occasionally touched on events happening in the other Spanish colonies like Cuba and Puerto Rico and also provided Filipinos a means of combating the allegations of the counter propagandistas like Wenceslao Retana, Desengaños; and Pablo Feced, Quioquiap; who were believed to have been under the pay of the friars. It became the mouthpiece of Filipino propagandists during the struggle for recognition and acceptance of the Philippines by Spain, revealed the conditions of the country prior the 1896 Philippine Revolution, and depicted the aspirations of Filipino propagandists, their hopes for reforms, and their final despair at failure to obtain them by peaceful methods.

As editor of La Solidaridad, Lopez-Jaena did not receive any monetary compensation, but was given free meals, lodging, clothing, and a modest pocket money. In 1891, he collected his speeches and articles and incorporated them in his book entitled Discursos y Articulos Varios.

In writing for the newspaper, Filipino reformists used pen names: Domingo Gomez, Romero Franco; Antonio Luna, Taga-Ilog; Jose Ma. Panganiban, Jomapa; Marcelo del Pilar, Plaridel; Mariano Ponce, Tikbalang, Naning, and Kalipulako; and Jose Rizal, Dimas Alang and Laong Laan. Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Bohemian scholar, and Miguel Morayta, a Spanish historian, also worked for the newspaper.

On October 31, 1889, Lopez-Jaena passed the editorship to Marcelo del Pilar, who left his family in the Philippines, went to Spain, and literally gave his life for the newspaper. In spite of the fact that La Solidaridad had been planned before his arrival, Del Pilar quickly became the moving spirit of the reform movement. He worked indefatigably to secure the greatest possible support for the newspaper. He contacted progressive Europeans who would fight side by side with the Filipino reformists.

Lopez Jaena was in many ways more interested in Spanish politics than in Philippine affairs, and though he could be powerful, if demagogic, speaker, he was unreliable for organized work such as a newspaper demanded. Apparently an alcoholic, he had to be bribed with drinks in order for him to write his articles, according to General Jose Alejandrino, who spent some time in Barcelona before going on to study in Belgium.

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User Comments
  1. Vladimir Paat Villegas

    On July 18, 2008 at 6:29 am

    That really is one of the reasons why the propagandists did not succeed with their “La Solidaridad”. But why did fail to collect funds worldwide? Are they not masons to have many international linkages and tell their fellows that they did not have gold?

  2. J

    On August 31, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    There were some more reasons outlined in an article of Nick Joaquin in answer to your question.
    One of them is that, the rich who have supported the cause had lost interest in the campaign when some reforms were implemented, for they thought that the battle was already one.
    Another is that some of the funds intended for the Propaganda were embezzled.
    Lastly, remember that the Philippine currency was silver, and since the silver mines were worked on in the 1870s, the value of silver has dropped, along with the value of Philippine money, which resulted in inflation. Therefore, with the depression of the economy, a lot of people were less eager to finance causes like the Propaganda.

  3. anchela

    On September 29, 2008 at 6:34 am

    i wish you could post here the events in philippine propaganda movement……..

  4. sarah geronimo

    On October 2, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    why should the propagandists use pen names? answer this!!!

  5. Codename:whiterose

    On October 19, 2008 at 11:19 am

    they use pen names because they dont want to be caught by the Spanish soldiers because they are telling bad things about the spaniards using their pen….but the ones they are writing are true…

  6. geraina

    On November 11, 2008 at 7:38 am

    yeah you’re right!!

  7. roseanne

    On November 28, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    who are some of the Filipino Reformists??

  8. kulot

    On January 31, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    some of the reformist are the following: M.H del Pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena,J.P. Rizal, Pedro Paterno,Antonio Luna, Pedro Serrano, Isabelo de los Reyes, Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo,Domingo Franco, Jose Ramos, Moises Salvador, Faustino Villaruel, Numeriano Mabini, Andres Bonifacio, deodato arrellano, bonifacio arevalo, agustin de la Rosa… just some…

  9. roffer lopez

    On August 18, 2009 at 3:48 am

    peaceful way talaga ang ginawa nila………

  10. IwannaBe

    On August 28, 2009 at 12:57 am

    they use pen name not only to protect theirselves but also to protect their families and relatives against spanish government..

  11. felipe

    On September 1, 2009 at 2:31 am

    i hope they right what are the contents of LA SOLIDARIDAD!.tnx!

  12. karole Joy A. Serapon

    On December 16, 2009 at 5:52 am

    What are the examles of pen names used by the propagandists?

  13. althea dee

    On April 27, 2010 at 9:08 am

    please give me the list of countries Dr. Rizal’s propaganda took place :) ..thanks in advance

  14. russel bassig

    On April 28, 2010 at 9:59 am

    can anyone please give me a list of pen names of all propagandists?

  15. johnmark delamata

    On October 1, 2012 at 4:42 am

    what are their pen name\’s [pls list]

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