Apolinario Mabini, Isabelo de los Reyes, and the Emergence of a “Public”

Abstract

The paper sketches the factors behind the emergence of a “public” in the late nineteenth century, and locates in this context the distinctive careers of Apolinario Mabini and Isabelo de los Reyes. The activities of Mabini and de los Reyes were enabled by the emergence of a “public sphere” in the colony, at the same time that their activities helped define and widen a sphere that had become more distinctly ‘national’ in character.
Complicating the Habermasian characterization of a “bourgeois public sphere,” the paper calls for a fuller study of the more popular agencies, sites, media, and networks in the formation of a public in nineteenth-century Philippines.