Mariano Ponce

Mariano Ponce (March 22, 1863 – May 23, 1918), was a Filipino physician, writer and active member of the Propaganda Movement. In Spain, he was among the founders of La Solidaridad and Asociacion Hispano-Filipino. Among his significant works was Efemerides Filipinas, a column on historical events in the Philippines which appeared in La Oceania Española (1892–1893) and El Ideal (1911–1912). He wrote Ang Wika at Lahi (1917), a discussion on the importance of a national language. He served as Bulacan's representative to the Philippine Assembly.

Mariano Ponce
Filipino Ilustrados Jose Rizal Marcelo del Pilar Mariano Ponce.jpg
José Rizal (left), Marcelo H. del Pilar (middle), and Mariano Ponce (right)
Mariano Ponce

(1863-03-22)March 22, 1863
DiedMay 23, 1918(1918-05-23) (aged 55)
Other namesNaning, Kalipulako, Tikbalang
Known forPhilippine Revolution
Political partyNacionalista


The Mariano Ponce House and Commemorative Marker at Baliuag, Bulacan.

Ponce was born in Baliwag, Bulacan where he completed his primary education. He later enrolled at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and took up medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. In 1881, he traveled to Spain to continue his medical studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid.

There he joined Marcelo del Pilar, Graciano López Jaena, José Rizal and other Propagandists in an anti-Spaniard movement. This espoused Filipino representation in the Spanish Cortes and reforms in the Spanish colonial authorities of the Philippines. He was the co-founder of La Solidaridad with fellow co-founder Graciano López Jaena. Ponce was also the head of the Literary Section of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipina, created to aid the Propaganda Movement where he served as secretary.[1]

In La Solidaridad, his works included daily editorials on history, politics, sociology and travel. He also created himself many alias as well. His most common names are Naning, his nickname; Kalipulako, named after Lapu-Lapu; and Tigbalang, a supernatural being in Filipino folklore.[2]

Ponce was imprisoned when the revolution broke out in August 1896 and was imprisoned for forty eight hours before being released. Fearing another arrest, he fled to France and later went to Hong Kong where he joined a group of Filipinos and Filipino-Chinese, who served as the international front of the Philippine revolution.

In 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo chose him to represent the First Philippine Republic. Ponce was tasked to draft a framework of the revolutionary government. In 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo selected him as a representative of the First Republic to Japan. He traveled to Japan to seek aid and purchase weapons. During his stay he met with the founder and First President of the Chinese Republic; Sun Yat-Sen. Through discussions and negotiations, Dr. Sun and Ponce became close friends. Dr. Sun introduces Ponce to a Filipino-Japanese man named José Ramos Ishikawa, who assists Ponce in purchasing weapons and munitions for the revolution. But the shipment did not reach the Philippines due to a typhoon off the coast of Formosa.[2]

Mariano returned to Manila with his wife, a Japanese girl named Okiyo Udanwara.[3] In 1909, he was made director of "El Renacimiento" (The Renaissance). He also joined the "Nacionalista Partido" (National Party) and established "El Ideal" (The Perfect), the party's official organization. Ponce later ran for a seat in the Philippine Assembly and was elected assemblyman for the second district of Bulacan. Ponce wrote his memoirs, "Cartas Sobre La Revolución" (Letters on the Revolution), he died in the Government Civil Hospital in Hong Kong, on May 23, 1918. His remains were formerly interred in the Cementerio del Norte, Manila. [4] He is currently interred in the Ponce family mausoleum in Baliwag, according to local historian Rolando Villacorte.


  1. ^ Archived June 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Ponce: Founder of La Solidaridad
  2. ^ a b Mariano Ponce: Founder of La Solidaridad
  3. ^ "Cultural Heritage". Retrieved October 14, 2012
  4. ^ "Mariano Ponce". Retrieved October 14, 2012

Brando Dimagiba (2010). Mariano Ponce: Founder of La Solidaridad

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