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El Periodismo Filipino 1881-1910: The First Century of Philippine Journalism

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El Periodismo Filipino: The First Century of Philippine Journalism

In El Periodismo Filipino, Spanish scholar and critic Wenceslao E. Retana documents a century of journalistic enterprises that captured the struggle of Filipinos to express themselves freely and independently. Retana's book is comprised of "bibliographical notes, biographical entries, critical notes, extracts, and anecdotes" that are served up as fascinating potpourri of the progress of Filipino intellectuality and enlivened with his scathing and oftentimes witty commentary.

In the book Retana shares with us numerous engaging stories, including that of a private printing press owned by Dona Remiga Salazar, the first Filipina printer and publisher; a publishing duo composed of the liberal Spaniard Francisco Calvo y Munoz and Marcelo del Pilar who jointly established a left-of-liberal mouthpiece; Isabelo de los Reyes, founder of the first thoroughly Filipino periodical; and Jose Anacleto Ramos Ishikawa, a wealthy English-educated mestizo who fronted a fine bookstore cum subversive literature purveyor. Alongside these tales we read of printing innovations such as the first illustrated weekly, Illustracion Filipina, and the rise of a cadre of print workers, editors, managers, typesetters, lithographers, and engravers, who would coalesce into a radical organization for change