Saturday, May 8, 2010

Marcelo H. del Pilar on Stamps

Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaitan (August 30, 1850 – July 4, 1896) was a Filipino writer, journalist, and revolutionary leader of the Philippine Revolution and one of the leading Ilustrado propagandist of the Philippine War of Independence.

He served as editor of the vernacular section of the Diariong Tagalog (Tagalog Newspaper), the first Philippine bilingual newspaper, in 1882. From 1890 to around 1895, he edited and published the newspaper La Solidaridad (Solidarity), mainly through his 150 essays and 66 editorials published under the nom de plume Plaridel.

Del Pilar's militant and progressive outlook was derived from the classic enlightenment tradition of the French philosophes and the scientific empiricism of the European bourgeoisie. Part of this outlook was transmitted by freemasonry, to which del Pilar subscribed.

Considered the Father of Philippine Masonry, del Pilar spearheaded the secret organization of Masonic lodges in the Philippines as a means of strengthening the Propaganda Movement. He was made a freemason in Spain in 1889, one of the first Filipinos initiated into the mysteries of freemasonry in Europe. He co-founded Lodge Revoluccion in Barcelona and revived Lodge Solidaridad 53 when it floundered into stormy seas where he became its Worshipful Master and with Rizal as the orator. He was crowned 33° by the Gran Oriente Español.

Organized in his memory, Samahang Plaridel is a fellowship of journalists and other communicators that aims to propagate Marcelo H. del Pilar’s ideals.

This fellowship fosters within its capacity, mutual help, cooperation, and assistance among its members; dedicated to the journalistic standards of accuracy and truth, and in promoting these standards in the practice of journalism. Plaridel’s ideology of truth, fairness and impartiality is anchored on democratic principles, as these are the bastions of a society acceptable to all Filipinos.

The stamp was issued on September 23, 1963.