Biography of Pedro Alejandro Paterno (1858-1911)

Politician, writer and intellectual, filipino, born in Manila on February 27, 1858 and died in 1911, which was the main representative of the ideological current favorable to the Philippines under the sovereignty of Spain. It exerted a significant influence among the Philippine Creole class at the end of the 19th century as opposed to the figure of José Rizal.

Coming from a wealthy family, Paterno studied at the Athenaeum of the Philippine capital before travelling to Spain to complete his academic training. He received his doctorate in civil and Canon law at the University of Salamanca, entering into contact with the filipino student circle, who by then was in the peninsula. Until the appearance of Rizal, Pedro Paterno somehow played the role of the Philippine Creole elite reference, although not much less left the political mark him not exerted its influence on the emergence of a nationalist ideology. Its proven moderate character and remarkable prestige that enjoyed among the Spanish elite of Manila motivated to be called by the Governor Fernando Primo de Rivera to mediate in the peace negotiations with the Philippine revolutionaries (July 1897). Showing great diplomatic skill, Paterno carried out successfully its mission, for as a result of which signed the peace of Byak-Na-Bato (December 1897), which temporarily ended the hostilities.

During the Spanish-American war he returned to act as arbitrator in order to first avoid the outbreak of civil conflict and later, the prolongation of the siege of Manila, although on this last occasion its surrender offer was rejected by the Spanish Governor Basilio Agustín. In reward for services rendered, the Spanish Government decorated him with the Grand Cross Isabel La Católica. In September 1898 he was appointed President of the Philippine Congress in Malolos, and in May of the following year replaced Apolinario Mabini at the head of the Government of the independent Philippine Republic. Pedro Paterno was the author of the novel Ninay, the most representative work of Filipino literature in the language Spanish during the period prior to 1898.