Propaganda Movement

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Filipino expatriates in Europe formed the Propaganda Movement. Photographed in Madrid, Spain in 1890.

The Propaganda Movement encompassed the activities of a group of Filipinos who called for political reforms in their land in the late 19th century, and produced books, leaflets and newspaper articles to educate others about their goals and issues they were trying to solve. They were active approximately from 1880 to 1898, and especially between 1880 and 1895, before the Philippine Revolution began.[1][2]

Prominent members included José Rizal, author of novels Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo, and essays; Graciano López Jaena, publisher of La Solidaridad, the movement's principal organ; Mariano Ponce, the organization's secretary,[3] and Marcelo H. del Pilar.

Specifically, the Propagandists aims were the following:

  • Reinstate the former representation of the Philippines in the Cortes Generales or Spanish Parliament
  • Secularize the clergy (i.e. use secular or diocesan priest rather than clergy from a religious order)[4][5]
  • Legalize Spanish and Filipino equality
  • Reestablish Spanish citizenship for Filipinos
  • Reestablish the Philippines as a province of Spain[6]
  • Abolish polo y servicios (labor service) and the bandala (forced sale of local products to the government)
  • Guarantee basic civil freedoms
  • Provide equal opportunity for Filipinos and Spanish to enter government service

Dr. Domingo Abella, Director of the National Archives, has suggested that the Propaganda Movement was misnamed. He believes that it should have been called the Counterpropaganda Movement because its essential task was to counteract the campaign of misinformation that certain Spanish groups were disseminating in Spain and later in Rome (the Vatican).[7] It was a campaign of information, as well as a bid to build sympathy for political reform.

It is notable in contrast to the Katipunan, or the "K.K.K.", a Filipino revolutionary movement seeking the total independence of the Philippines from Spain. The Propaganda Movement instead sought to have the Philippines assimilated as a formal province of Spain, rather than being ruled as a colony.

The Filipinos of this movement were using "propaganda" in its Latin sense, not the pejorative connotation it has acquired in English. For instance, the Catholic institution called Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide - Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, is now translated as 'For the Evangelization of Peoples'). It was in the latter sense that the word was used by the Filipino group that sent Marcelo H. del Pilar to Spain to continue the "propaganda" on behalf of the Philippines.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schumacher, John (1997). The Propaganda Movement, 1880–1895: The Creation of Filipino Consciousness, the Making of the Revolution. Manila: Ateneo University Press. p. 333. ISBN 971-550-209-1.
  2. ^ Agoncillo, Teodoro (1990). History of the Filipino People (8th ed.). Quezon City: Garotech Publishing. ISBN 971-8711-06-6.
  3. ^ "Bulacan, Philippines: General Info: Heroes and Patriots: Mariano Ponce". Retrieved 2008-08-01.
  4. ^ "The Secularization of Priest During Spanish Period".
  5. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Secularization".
  6. ^ "The Propaganda Movement". Religion and Public Life. Harvard Divinity School. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  7. ^ Bernad, Michael (1974). "The Propaganda Movement:1880–1895". Philippine Studies. 22 (1–2): 210–211.