Who Were the Filipino Propagandists?

The Filipino propagandists were a group of 19th century Filipino reformists who sought awareness of Spanish abuse in the Philippines, which was a province of Spain. They did not seek independence, but rather Spain's equal treatment of Philippine and Spanish citizens and human rights in general.

The movement arose out of the execution of three priests who allegedly conspired in the uprising of naval yard workers. However, since many early voices in this movement had profited as a direct result of changes implemented by Spain, it was difficult to push for reforms. Therefore, the movement's prominent characteristic was one of peaceful tactics with the intention of influencing change. The propagandists worked throughout Europe as well as in the Philippines. Among their goals was the recognition of the Philippines as a province of Spain, equal status for the citizens of each, representation for Philippine citizens in the Spanish Cortes, and protection of human rights.

The reformists never sought independence from Spain, believing that Spain would step in to correct the deplorable conditions. This movement produced many noteworthy artists, such as satirical orator Lopez Jaena and novelist Jose Rizal, the latter was executed as a result of the enemies he made with his work. The propagandists, especially the writers, led to more active groups later, such as the secret revolutionary society Katipunan, that did seek independence, leading to the Philippine Revolution.