Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Marcelo del Pilar

Marcelo H. Del Pilar

Political analyst of the Filipino colony in Spain Marcelo del Pilar known
as Plaridel was born in Kupang, Bulacan, on August 30, 1850.

Marcelo H. del Pilar (August 30, 1850—July 4, 1896) was a celebrated
figure in the Philippine Revolution and a leading propagandist for reforms in the Philippines. He was the editor and co-publisher of La Solidaridad.

He studied at the Colegio de San José and later at the University of Santo Tomas, where he finished his law course in 1880.

Enraged by the abuses of the clergy, Del Pilar defended in court the poor victims of racial discrimination. He had a mastery of Tagalog, his native language that enabled him to communicate with the masses.

In 1882, Del Pilar founded the newspaper Diariong Tagalog to propagate democratic liberal ideas among the farmers and peasants. In 1888, he defended José Rizal's polemical writings by issuing a pamphlet against a priest's attack, exhibiting his deadly wit and savage ridicule of clerical follies.

In 1888, Del Pilar went to Spain, leaving his family behind. In December 1889, he succeeded Graciano Lopez Jaena as editor of the Filipino reformist periodical La solidaridad in Madrid.
He promoted the objectives of the paper by contacting liberal Spaniards who would side with the Filipino cause. Under Del Pilar, the aims of the newspaper were expanded to include removal of
the friars and the secularization of the parishes; active Filipino participation in the affairs of the government; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; wider social and political freedoms; equality before the law; assimilation; and representation in the Spanish Cortes, or Parliament.

"Plaridel’s writings in Tagalog were forceful. Rizal’s writings in Spanish were not understood by most Filipinos."

Plaridel is the chosen "patron saint" of today’s journalists, as his life and works prized freedom of thought and opinion most highly, loving independence above any material gain. He died of tuberculosis in abject poverty in Barcelona, Spain, 1896.