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Mariano Ponce
Mariano Ponce was born in Baliuag, Bulacan, on March 23, 1863, the eldest of the seven children of Mariano Ponce and Maria Collantes de los Santos. He had his early schooling in his home town and finished his secondary education in the private school of Juan Evangelista, Hugo Ilagan and Escolastico Salandanan in Manila.

Afterwards, he enrolled at the college of San Juan de Letran where he obtained his Bachiller en Artes in 1885. Then he transferred to the Sto Tomas University to study medicine. In 1887, he left for Europe and registered at the Central University of Madrid, where he finished his medical degree in 1889.

He joined Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Lopez Jaena, and other patriots in the crusade for the needed Philippine reforms. He assisted Lopez Jaena in founding La Solaridad in Barcelona on February 12, 1889. He headed the Literary Section of the Asociacion Hispano-Filipina, a society of Liberal Spaniards and Filipinos, founded to help the Propaganda Movement, of which he was elected Secretary. As managing editor, he wrote regularly for La Solidaridad on history, politics, sociology and travel under various pseudonyms, some of which were Naning, Kalipulako, and Tigbalang.

When the revolution broke out in 1896, he was imprisoned in Barcelona for 48 hours on suspicion of having connections with the uprising. In 1898, Aguinaldo appointed him as diplomatic representative of the First Republic to Japan where he met his Japanese wife, Okiyo Udanwara. While enrooted to China to visit his old friend, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, whose biography he published in 1914, he died in the Civil Hospital in Hong Kong, on May 23, 1918. His remains are now in the Cementerio del Norte, Manila.
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