Chapter 8 The Campaign for Reforms

The three Filipino priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora have the unjust execution and it was a turning point of Philippine history, the reform movement. Realizing the danger of fighting for their cause on the home front, the sons of the wealthy and the well-to-do Filipino families migrated to Europe to breathe atmosphere of the old world, that initiated a sustained campaign for reforms in the administration of the Philippines. The Filipino intellectuals secretly collaborated with those in Spain and founded nationalistic societies and more than a decade the Filipino propagandists waged their war of propaganda against the Spanish authorities and friars but they failed to awaken the Government of the Peninsula to the demoralizing realities of colonial administration. But the reform movement was failure and it did not achieve its goals, led to the founding of the revolutionary Katipunan with separatist aims. 19th century, the economic development of the Philippines led to the rise of the Filipino middle class. In the previous centuries, the middle class was composed by the Spanish and Chinese mestizos, rose to a position of power in the Filipino community and eventually became leaders in finance and education. The Spanish authorities looked down upon them, for they did not belong to the inner circle of peninsulares ² Spaniards born in Spain ² whose prerogative it was to rule and govern. Spanish society in the Philippines was a sort of caste consisting of two well-defined classes: the peninsulares or Spaniards born in Spain and the insulares or Spaniards born in the Philippines. To show their contempt for the insulares, the peninsulares called the former Filipinos. The ´nativesµ, on the other hand, were invariably called indios. In their attempts to win a ´place in the sunµ, the members of the middle class started the movement for reforms. The Filipino middle class and the µnativesµ came to work hand in hand, with the former naturally leading the latter by the hand. 1869. the chance of the middle class to show their political color came when General Carlos Maria de la Torre became governor. July 12, 1869. They marched to the governor·s residence and there serenaded him. The list of the serenaders was a roster of the well- known mestizos and insularesof the period: Jose Burgos, Maximo Paterno, Angel Garchitorena, Joaquin Pardo de Tavera, Andres Nieto, Manuel Genato and others. From 1872 to 1882. The middle class led the reform movement which was temporarily silenced during the decade. When he Filipino intelligentsia, a

segment of the middle class, took over the leadership from the wealthy segment. The dissatisfaction of the Filipino men of wealth and intellect was centered around the abuses of the Spanish authorities, civil as well as clerical. Spanish citizens, the Filipinos would be represented in the Spanish Cortes and thereby their representatives in the body could propose and participatein the approval of laws beneficial to the country.

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