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Mariano Ponce Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Mariano Ponce passes away in 1918.

Mariano Ponce was a Filipino doctor and revolutionary.

Ponce was born in Buliwag, Bulacan on March 23, 1863. There he completed his primary education. He went on to Colegio de San Juan de Letran, a Roman Catholic learning institution founded in 1620. After Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Ponce enrolled in the University of Santo Tomas to study medicine. In 1881 he traveled to Spain to continue his studies at Unversidad Central de Madrid.

In 1881 while living in Spain, Ponce joined with Marcelo Del Pilar, Graciano López Jaena, José Rizal and other Propagandists in the anti-Spaniard movement. The goal of the Propagandists was to bring awareness to Spain of the need for reforms regrading representation for the Philippines in the Spanish Cortes and the Spanish colonial authorities of the Philippines.

With Graciano López Jaena, Ponce co-founded La Solidaridad which sought to bring awareness in Spain of the needs of it's colonies. They also produced a newspaper with the same name. In the paper Ponce wrote stories of history, travel, politics and sociology. When publishing his stories he gave himself many aliases. Two of the aliases he used were Kalipulako which was one of the names Lapu-Lapu was known by and Tikbalang a creature from Philippine folklore.

Lapu-Lapu is believed to have been the first person in the Philippines to have resisted the Spanish and is presumed to have killed Ferdinand Magellan. The Tikbalang was a mythical creature living in the mountains with a distorted body. Part animal, generally a horse, it led travelers astray.

In 1896 when the revolution in the Philippines broke out, Ponce was imprisoned for 48 hours. After he was released he fled to Hong Kong via France. In Hong Kong he joined Filipinos and Filipino-Chinese to form the International front of the revolution.

In 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo chose Ponce to represent the First Philippine Republic. He was tasked to put together the framework of the revolutionary Government. He was also sent to Japan as a representative of the First Republic to Japan. There he met the first president of the Chinese Republic and was able to buy arms for the revolution. Unfortunately the weapons were lost off the coast of Formosa in a typhoon.

Back in Manilla, Ponce established "El Ideal" (the Perfect), the official organization of the National Party. He later ran for and was elected to a seat in the Philippine Assembly.

Ponce passed away on May 23, 1918 in the Government Civil Hospital in Hong Kong.

Ponce was a member of Logia Revoluccion and Logia Solidaridad No. 53 under the Gran Oriente Español. He also recieved his 33°.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.