Tuesday, February 7, 2012

64. MALABON – the Home of LA INDEPENDENCIA and LA LIBERTAD Revolutionary Papers

Two of the most outstanding newspapers  brought forth by the Philippine Revolution were the  “La Libertad” (Ang Kalayaan) which was published  on June 19,1898 in Longos, Malabon, with Don Epifanio de los  Santos as its editor and published by Clemente Jose Zulueta and the  other being the “La Independencia” published on Sept. 3, 1898.  Both papers were printed in the Agustinian Order-owned “Asilo de Huerfanos” printing  press in Longos.

Photo of Gen. Antonio Luna, he was the
founder of “La Independencia.” newspaper
La Independencia was established on September 3, 1898, by General Antonio Luna, who had been educated in Manila and in Europe .  With many of the journalists of the earlier  period  dead, the new paper attracted younger Filipinos whose schooling had been interrupted  by the Revolution.

It is noteworthy that the birthplace of the revolutionary papers  “LA  INDEPENDENCIA”  and  “ LA LIBERTAD” was Malabon.  The original printing press , housed in a building in Longos called “Asilo de Huerfanos”, was administered by the Augustinian  Order.  When the Filipino soldiers took over the printing press, “La Independencia” became the  official mouthpiece of the Philippine Republic under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo against  the American colonizers.

The paper’s “Asilo de Huerfanos”  masthead was effectively replaced by “Asilo De Malabon”  The place also served as the headquarters of the 4th Zone under Gen. Pantaleon Garcia.

As Antonio Luna was busy in the battlefield, he left the running of the paper to such youths as Fernando Ma. Guerrero., Cecilio Apostol, Jose and Rafael Palma, Epifanio de los Santos and Jose Abreu.  Apolinario Mabini, adviser to Emilio Aguinaldo President of the first Philippine Republic, was one of the outstanding contributors.

The story of  La Independencia is one of the most thrilling episodes of the  revolution.  As the Americans carried the war to the provinces the newspaper had to  move from one place to another, always one step ahead of  the advancing Americans.  For some time it was printed in a railroad car seized  by the Filipinos from the Spaniards.  The same railroad car was the headquarters of the hard-pressed revolutionary army.  According to Palma , sometimes the types were set by hand  in a banca.

The lyrics of the Philippine National Anthem, the inspired work of Jose Palma, were first published in La Independencia.

La Independencia lived for a year, a most worthy contribution of our heroes to Philippine Journalism, to the cause of nationalism, and to their ceaseless struggle for freedom. By Jorge T. delos Santos

LA INDEPENDENCIA Newspaper from the collection of Jorge Delos Santos
Photo postcard of La Independencia staff, with their pen names.

FRONT row (L to R):  Fernando Ma. Guerrero (Fulvio Gil), Joaquin Luna, Cecilio Apostol (Catulo)
MIDDLE row (L to R): General Antonio Luna (Taga-Ilog), Florentina Arellano, Rose Sevilla, Salvador del Rosario (X or Juan Tagalo)
BACK row (L to R):  Mariano del Rosario (Tito-Tato), Clemente Jose Zulueta (M. Kaun), Jose C. Abreu (Kaibigan), Epifanio de los Santos (G. Solon), Rafael Palma (Hapon or Dapithapon).

LA INDEPENDENCIA Newspaper was printed in ASILO DE MALABON, also known as ASILO DE HERFANOS

Pages of La Independencia Newspaper

Also check out My Malabon’s blog article and photos on this site Asilo de Huerfanos: remembrance of Malabon's historical heritage  


  1. Re: The photo postcard of the La independencia staff, I have an original photo of it, Florentina Arellano being my great-grandmother, she is the mother of my maternal grandfather Donato Nable y Arellano.

    1. Augustus, if you ever see this, could you send me an email? I will be putting together a comprehensive history of the Arellano family descended from Juan and Mamerta de la Cruz, who became Arellano and Velasquez in 1849. Write to me at shulamis@verizon.net Pamela Hitchcock

  2. Hi! Would you have the full collection of La Independencia? I'm looking for all the December 1898 issues. I hope you can help me on this. Marking salaam po. --- Jorge

  3. Hello, do you know when and where the photo postcard of La Independencia was taken?