Luis Rodríguez Varela

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Luis Rodríguez Varela, also known as "El Conde Filipino" (the Filipino count) was an early Filipino nationalist, active at the beginning of the 19th century.

A Criollo and an ilustrado who went to school in France, Varela published a series of books advocating social change in the Philippines, inspired by the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. He advocated the opening of local colleges to teach subjects such as mathematics, medicine, and navigation, as well as free primary schools for the poor. Varela also believed that foreign powers held too much sway over the Filipino economy, and he accordingly worked to limit Chinese influence on the region by bolstering local business associations.[1]

Along with José Ortega, Varela was one of several people expelled from the island by Governor Juan Antonio Martínez on February 18, 1823, when they were accused of conspiring against the ruling authority.[2]


  1. ^ Putzel, James (2001). Social capital and the imagined community: democracy and nationalism in the Philippines. In Michael Liefer (Ed.), Asian Nationalism. Routledge (UK), p. 173. ISBN 0-415-23284-8.
  2. ^ Bourne, Edward Gaylord (1903). The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803. A.H. Clark company, p. 47.