Sunday, January 1, 2012


Diario de manila ia an influential Spanish-language daily newspaper in the Philippines during the Spanish regime founded by Manuel Moreno, and later bought by Ramirez Campaña, which covered both local and foreign news.


The Spanish-language daily broadsheet newspaper Diario de Manila was conceptualized and founded by Manuel Moreno on October 11, 1847. Its first issue was released on January 1, 1848. It ceased publication in 1852 but was reopened in 1860 by printing press owners Manuel Ramirez and Baltazar Giraudier with Jose Felipe del Pan (1821-1891) as editor-in-chief.

Under the publishing enterprise Ramirez Campaña, whose headquarters were based in Intramuros, Manila, and business and editorial offices in Binondo, Diario de Manila became quite influential. It covered both local and foreign news. It became the major competitor of La Esperanza, the first Philippine daily in Spanish founded by Felipe de la Corte, in just about more than a year of publication, and in a time when several newspapers in Spanish came into existence. The publication lasted for nearly four decades up to the end of the Spanish regime.


Jose Felipe del Pan, became the editor-in-chief of Diario de Manila from its reopening in 1860 up to his death on November 23, 1891. Under his helm many notable contributors, both Spaniards and Filipinos, worked with the newspaper.

The most prominent among Diaro de Manila’s journalists is Filipino nationalist Isabelo de los Reyes (1864-1938). He wrote several articles for the broadsheet, including “Invasion de Limahong” (“Invasion of Limahong”), which appeared on November 1882. He eventually became associate editor of the newspaper.

Baltazar Giraudier, Spanish-Filipino writer, artist, printer and co-founder of the Diario de Manila, and who also wrote for another newspaper, the illustraciones Filipinas, was commissioned by Spanish Governor-General Malcampo to draw the landscape of Jolo. He was accompanied by Malcampo to Jolo during an organized military expedition on February 1876 against the Muslim pirates who had been receiving substantial amount of arms and ammunitions during the previous years. Giraudier’s resulting drawings of the landscape of Jolo, which appeared on the newspaper, were considered to be among the best lithographic illustrations of Jolo.

In 1897, an article titled “El Gran Problema de las Reformas en Filipinas” (“The Great Problem of Reforms in the Philippines”) was published in Diario de Manila. It was written by Camilo Milan y Villanueva, former governor of several provinces in the archipelago and government adviser. It raised and laid down the issues for instituting reforms in the country.

Jesuit priest, Fr. Jaime Nonell, published an article which described observations of the typhoon that occurred on September 1865 done by Fr. Francisco Colina. The article prompted the establishment of the Observatorio Meteorologico del Ateneo de Municipal de Manila.

Spanish diplomat and writer of plays, operas and novels, Enrique Gaspar de Rimbau, also wrote articles for Diario de Manila while he was serving as consul in Hongkong.


On July 7, 1892, the revolutionary movement Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan nang manga Anak nang Bayan or Katipunan was founded by Andres Bonifacio. It laid down three fundamental objectives: Political, moral and civic. The political objective consisted in working for the separation of the Philippines from Spain.The moral objective revolved around the teaching of good manners, hygiene, good morals and attacking obscurantism, religious fanaticism, and weakness of character. The civic aim espoused the principle of self-help and the defense of the poor and the oppressed.

In 1894, after more than two-and-a-half years, the Katipunan took a step further to propagate its teachings and principles and to win more adherents to its side through the establishment of a printing press. One difficulty encountered was the lack of funds to purchase even a small printing press.

Two Katipuneros from the Visayas, Candido Iban (1863-1897) and Francisco del Castillo, who came from Australia, had one thousand pesos between them for having won in a lottery. With a magnificent gesture, the two bought the small printing press of Bazar El Cisne from Antonio Salazar for four hundred pesos.

Unfortunately, the printing press lacked many types, particularly that of the letter “a,” which is the much-employed letter in Tagalog. Emilio Jacinto (1875-1899), the “Brain of the Katipunan,” who is much interested in the press, borrowed twenty pesos from his mother and bought some of the letter types from Isabelo de los Reyes. It was, however, not enough, the printing press was still inadequate to make any printing job. The problem was solved by four Katipuneros working at the printing establishment of the then popular daily Diario de Manila. They stole some types from the printing plant and gave them to Dr. Pio Valenzuela (1869-1956). They conducted their activities under the unsuspecting eyes of the management, who were mostly active members of the Spanish colonial reserve forces. Most of their secret activities took place during the two-and-a-half hour lunch breaks when the Spanish personnel took their meals and their siesta.

Valenzuela suggested the name Kalayaan (Freedom) for Katipunan’s newspaper, and Bonifacio at Jacinto approved it. It was agreed that Jacinto will be its editor but that the name of Marcelo H. del Pilar be made a front as the editor. It was also agreed that to fool the Spanish authorities as to the place of printing, “Yokohama” should be placed on the masthead. The first printing, although run through several difficulties, was successful. The second printing was, however, stopped when the Spanish authorities raided the printing press.

On August 19, 1896, Katipunan member Teodoro Patiño, who said he was the one being blamed for the missing types on the printing plant of Diario de Manila, told the story about the Katipunan to his sister, Honoria, who was then living with nuns in a Mandaluyong orphanage. Honoria was deeply disturbed by his brother's revelation and decided to inform the orphanage’s Mother Superior, Sor Teresa de Jesus, about the existence of the secret society. Sor Teresa in turn reported it to Fr. Mariano Gil, the parish priest of Tondo, who accompanied by several Guardias Civiles immediately searched the premises of Diario de Manila and found evidences of the Katipunan’s existence. They quickly informed Governor-general Narciso Claveria, who ordered the printing press to be padlocked.


1. Agoncillo, Teodoro A., Milagros C. Guerrero, History of the Filipino People, R. P. Garcia Publishing Co., Quezon City, 1984.
2. “First Newspapers in the Philippines,” RR’s Philippine Almanac – Book of Facts, 1990. ISBN 971-588-000-2
3. “Newspapers in Philippine History,” Filway’s Philippine Almanac, Quezon City, 1991. ISBN 971-121-156-4

4. Zaide, Gregorio F., Sonia M. Zaide, Philippine History and Government, All-Nations Publication, Quezon City, 2002. ISBN 971-642-192-3

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