Asociacion Hispano-Filipino

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The Asociacion Hispano-Filipino (known in English as the Hispano-Filipino Association) was formed on 12 January 1889 in Madrid, Spain. Its primary aim was to push forth reforms that could improve the living conditions in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era.

History of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino

One of the goals of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino was to persuade the Spanish Cortes to open its doors to Filipino representatives. This was of utmost importance, because only full-blooded Spaniards had the power to propose and approve decisions that ultimately affected the entire country. Oftentimes, these decisions favored personal interests that were disadvantageous or even harmful to the natives, particularly those who were not privileged enough to attain proper education.

Another goal that the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino championed was the passage of the Maura Law. The institution of this law in the Philippines meant that the citizens would enjoy greater political autonomy. The provinces of both Luzon and Visayas were divided and then subdivided; each division had an assigned overseer. Each town was governed by a municipal council comprised of five people. Some of their responsibilities were the following: (1) handled public health and education, (2) backed local industries, (3) maintained buildings and public services, (4) collected taxes that would in turn finance government projects, (5) recorded vital information such as monetary accounts, and (6) implemented public works.

As made obvious by the name, the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino had mixed members; some were liberals who hailed from the Spanish elite, while others were from affluent Filipino families, or were simply lucky enough to have raised funds for the trip to and then eventual stay in Spain.

Those who belonged to the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino identified themselves as reformists. They were aware of the fact that they needed to pool all available resources in order for their sociopolitical goals to be recognized by the Spanish government. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, a society known as La Propaganda was in charge of collecting donations from members (mostly from the middle class) that were to be forwarded to the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino. It was said, though, that internal corruption soon disrupted the operations of La Propaganda, and spelled its termination.

Yet despite the rigorous campaigns done by the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino, the Spanish government failed to consider any of these as Spain at that time was also politically turbulent, and the friars were far too influential both in the Philippine colony and in the motherland.

Notable Figures of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipino

The renowned Filipino reformists who joined Asociacion Hispano-Filipino were the following: Graciano López Jaena, Marcelo H. del Pilar, José Rizal, Antonio Luna, Mariano Ponce, Jose M. Panganiban, and Eduardo de Lete. Some of them were also members of the La Solidaridad, a newspaper organization established in Spain. Its articles were focused on exposing the abuses of the Spanish authorities stationed in the Philippines, and also on promoting sociopolitical changes for the good of the Filipino people.

As for the Spanish members, Miguel Morayta and Felipe de la Corte stood out. Morayta was a professor at the Universidad Central de Madrid, while de la Corte was an author of several books regarding the Philippines.


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