Graciano Lopez Jaena was born on December 18, 1856 in Jaro, Iloilo. He came from a lowly family which has strong values in education and religion. He studied at the Seminario Tejaro and at an early age: he was placed under the care of Reverend Francisco Jayme who enhanced and developed his skills in speech. Since his ambition was to become a doctor, he tried to enroll at the University of Santo Tomas but was deprived of access due to lack of requirements. His encounter with other less fortunate Filipinos opened his eyes to the maltreatment and abuses of the Spaniards. He campaigned to voice out the injustices and wrongdoings of the Spanish colonizers. "Fray Botod", the story' of a fat and corrupt priest angered the friars more, thus his life was put in danger. He flew to Spain to avoid conflict but continued his battle. He pursued his study of medicine at the University of Valencia but did not complete the course and instead shifted to journalism. Lopez Jaena, the orator and journalist was best remembered for being the founder and the.first editor of "La Solidaridad", in Barcelona, on February 15, 1889. Along with Marcelo H. del Pilar and Jose Rizal, he was one of the pillars of the Philippine reform movement which eventually galvanized the country's struggle for freedom during the late 19th century. He died a poor man but had he lived longer. his accomplishments would have doubtless been greater. Jaena died of tuberculosis on January 1896 in Barcelona, Spain. Jose Rizal
Dr Jose Protacio Rizal was born in the town of Calamba, Laguna on 19th June 1861. The second son and the seventh among the eleven children of Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso. Rizal was a prolific writer and was anti-violence. He rather fight using his pen than his might. Rizal's two books "Noli Me Tangere" (Touch Me Not) which he wrote while he was in Berlin, Germany in 1887 and "El Filibusterismo" (The Rebel) in Ghent, Belgiun in 1891 exposed the cruelties of the Spanish friars in the Philippines, the defects of the Spanish administration and the vices of the clergy, these books told about the oppression of the Spanish colonial rule. These two books made Rizal as a marked man to the Spanish friars. In 1892 when Rizal returned to the Philippines, he formed La Liga Filipina ,an non violent reform society of patriotic citizen and a forum for Filipinos to express their hopes for reform, to promote progress through commerce, industry and agriculture and freedom from the oppressive Spanish colonial administration. In 1896, the Katipunan, a nationalist secret society launched a revolt against the Spaniards, although Jose Rizal had no connection with the organization, his enemies were able to linked him with the revolt. To avoid being involved in the move to start a revolution, he asked Governor Ramon Blanco to send him to Cuba but instead he was brought back to Manila and jailed for the second time in Fort Santiago. Marcelo H. Del Pilar
Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaytan was a celebrated figure in the Philippine Revolution and a leading propagandist for reforms in the Philippines. Popularly known as Plaridel, he was the editor and co-publisher of La Solidaridad. He tried to marshal the nationalist sentiment of the enlightened Filipino ilustrados, or bourgeoisie, against Spanish imperialism. 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, fleeing from clerical persecution, 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.
Andres Bonifacio (1863-1897), a Filipino revolutionary hero, founded the Katipunan, a secret society which...