Jose Ma. Panganiban

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Jose Ma. Panganiban y Enverga (b. February 1,1863-d. August 19,1890) was a propagandist whose life was tragically cut short, an event that caused great mourning in the Filipino community in Madrid. He wrote articles for La Solidaridad, under the pen names "Jomapa" and "J.M.P."

Early Life

Jose Ma. Panganiban was born on 1 February 1863 in Mambulao, Camarines Norte, a town which was subsequently renamed after him. His parents were Vicente Panganiban, originally from Hagonoy, Bulacan, and Juana Enverga. He was schooled at home by his mother, a native of Mauban, Quezon, who taught him the "cartilla", "caton", and catechism.

When his mother prematurely died, Jose Ma. Panganiban was sent to the capital town Daet to study. He was enrolled by his father in the diocesan seminary of Nueva Caceres, now Naga, Camarines Sur excelling and completing his philosophy course in 1882. He was sent to Manila to study at Colegio de San Juan de Letran and obtained a bachelors degree with the financial help of the clerical rector of the seminary, Fr. Santoja.

Panganiban later studied medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. While at the University in 1887, he wrote Anatomia de Regines which was recognized as one of his brilliant literary works. His papers on general pathology, therapeutics and surgical anatomy was also awarded prizes. An anthology of his works was gathered by Fr. Gregorio Echevarria, rector of University of Santo Tomas, and sent to be exhibited at the 1887 Exposicion General de Filipinas in Madrid.

Activities for the Propaganda Movement

In May 1888 Jose Ma. Panganiban continued his studies at the University of Barcelona, Spain, where he met other Filipino propagandists agitating for reforms in the colony. He joined reformist groups such as the Asociacion Hispano-Filipina and La Solidaridad because he believed in instituting reforms in the Philippines, and used the pen names "Jomapa" and "J.M.P."

On 25 April 1889 Panganiban signed a petition addressed to the Spanish Minister of Colonies, requesting Filipino representation in the Spanish Cortes.

Being one of the writers of the La Solidaridad, he called the attention of the Spaniards on the freedom of the press and criticized the educational system in the Philippines. His works were recognized by Jose Rizal who even said "He was a true orator, of easy and energetic words, vigorous in concepts and of practical and transcedental ideas". Among the articles he published were "El Pensamiento", "La Universidad de Manila: Su Plan de Estudio", and "Los Nuevos Ayuntamientos de Filipinas". He continued to write popems and short stories, including "Ang Lupang Tinubuan", "Noches en Mambulao", "Sa Aking buhay", "Bahia de Mambulao", "La Mejerde Oro", "Amor mio", "Clarita Perez" and "Kandeng".

Panganiban contracted tuberculosis and apologized to Rizal that he couldn't help further in the movement. He confided in Rizal that, "If I only have the strength I had before, I will work with you unto the bitter end". He died of a pulmunary ailment in Barcelona on 19 August 1890 at his boarding house at Rambla de Canaletas 2.

Jose Rizal eulogized Panganiban as an "excellent companion of labor and difficulty... endowed with uncommon talent, with privileged intelligence, and with indefatigable industry, (he) was one of the sacred, legitimate hopes of his unfortunate country.... What should be grieved iat is the thought that he died without finishing the noble mission which his exceptional faculties had destined for him."


The town of Mambulao, Camarines Norte was renamed after its great son by Act No. 4155 issued on 1 December 1934. The historian Domingo Abella located Panganiban's remain in a Barcelona cemetery and brought them back to the Philippines.

See Also



  • Quirino, Carlos. Who's Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
  • Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 1. QC. Filipinos, 1955.
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. Great Filipinos in History. Manila: Verde Bookstore, 1970.
  • Ponce, Mariano "Jose Maria Panganiban y Enverga." La Solidaridad, Sept 30 1890.



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