Trivia about Graciano Lopez Jaena

Graciano Lopez Jaena was born on December 18, 1856 in Jaro, Iloilo. He came from a lowly family which has strong values in education and religion. His father Placido Lopez, is a general repairman while his mother, Maria Jacoba Jaena is a seamstress. He studied at the Seminario Tejaro and at an early age: he was placed under the care of Reverend Francisco Jayme who enhanced and developed his skills in speech. Since his ambition was to become a doctor, he tried to enroll at the University of Santo Tomas but was deprived of access due to lack of requirements. While in the city, he worked as a trainee at San Juan de Dios Hospital but due to poverty he was forced to return home to Iloilo and continued his practice there. His encounter with other less fortunate Filipinos opened his eyes to the maltreatment and abuses of the Spaniards. He campaigned to voice out the injustices and wrongdoings of the Spanish colonizers. “Fray Botod”, the story’ of a fat and corrupt priest angered the friars more, thus his life was put in danger. He flew to Spain to avoid conflict but continued his battle. He was the leader in the literary faction and became its speaker, He pursued his study of medicine at the University of Valencia but did not complete the course and instead shifted to journalism.

Lopez Jaena, the orator and journalist was best remembered for being the founder and the.first editor of “La Solidaridad”, in Barcelona, on February 15, 1889. Along with Marcelo H. del Pilar and Jose Rizal, he was one of the pillars of the Philippine reform movement which eventually galvanized the country’s struggle for freedom during the late 19th century. He died a poor man but had he lived longer. his accomplishments would have doubtless been greater. Jaena died of tuberculosis on January fO, 1896 in Barcelona, Spain.

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