The desire to form a purely Filipino organization was fulfilled with the
establishment in Barcelona on December 13, 1888 if La Solidaridad.
This organization was a sort of rival of Morayta''''s Madrid group although
the two organizations joined together in a petition addressed to the Minister
of the Colonies asking for representation in the Cortes, abolition of
censorship of the press, and prohibition of the practice of deporting
citizens merely through administrative orders.
The president of La Solidaridad was Rizal''''s cousin, Galicano Apacible.
Among the other officers were Graciano Lopez-Jaena, vice-president, and
Mariano Ponce, treasurer. Rizal, in London at the time, was named Honorary
President. Unfortunately, Apacible could not hold the wrangling reformists
together. It took the prestige of Rizal and the political wisdom of
del Pilar to unite the Filipinos in Spain and to coordinate their
But finally, in February 15, 1889, the Filipino propagandists were able to
get together behind a new publication which they called La Solidaridad,
and which for its more than five years of its existence became the principal
organ of the propaganda movement. It was founded on February 15, 1889 and
existed up to November 15, 1895. Its first editor was Graciano Lopez-Jaena
but he was soon succeeded by Marcelo H. del Pilar. La Solidaridad
was a political propaganda paper with a liberal, reformist orientation
dedicated to the task of fighting reaction in all its forms.
Certainly an important factor limiting the influence of the propagandists
was the fact that they wrote in Spanish, a language virtually unknown to the
masses. Furthermore, censorship seriously limited the inflow of such
reading matter and made possession of it very risky.
But despite all the foregoing, the influence of the Propaganda on the
revolution cannot be discounted. True, La Solidaridad itself,
Rizal''''s novels, and other propaganda material had limited circulation,
but these reached the local ilustrados who in most instances came to lead
the revolutionary forces in their provinces. The fund-raising efforts of
local committees and masonic lodges and the clandestine attempts to
distribute these materials involved more individuals in the campaign
The very attempts of the government to stop the entry of
La Solidaridad and prevent its distribution highlighted the lack
of freedoms that the propagandists were condemning.
If readership was small, seepage of information to other groups
certainly occurred. And because what the propagandists wrote were accurate
reflections of reality, a feeling of empathy developed wherever news of their
work was heard. The articulation of their own feelings of oppression
heightened the ferment of the people and herein lay the continuity
between reformism and revolution despite their diametrically opposed
means and goals.
On February 15, 1889, the first issue of La Solidaridad came out
and its editorial expressed its aim:
Our aspirations are modest, very modest. Our program, aside from being
simple, is clear: to combat reaction, to stop all retrogressive steps,
to extol and adopt liberal ideas, to defend progress; in a word, to be
a propagandist, above all, of democratic ideas in order to make these
supreme in all nations here and across the seas.
The aims, therefore, of La Solidaridad are described as to collect,
to gather, libertarian ideas which are manifested daily in the field
of politics, science, art, literature, commerce, agriculture and
We shall also discuss all problems relating to the general interest
of the nation and seek solutions to those problems in high-level and
* * *
With regard to the Philippines, since she needs the most help, not being
represented in the Cortes, we shall pay particular attention to the defense
of her democratic rights, the accomplishment of which is our