Born Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaitán
August 30, 1850
Bulacán, Bulacan, Philippines
Died July 4, 1896 (aged 45)
Alma mater Colegio de San José
Universidad de Santo Tomás
Occupation Writer, journalist, lawyer
Organization La Solidaridad
He began his studies in the school of José Flores; he then passed to the Colegio de San José, and then to the Universidad de Santo Tomás. A disagreement with the parish priest of San Miguel, Manila, concerning baptismal fees, in 1870, caused a regrettable break of eight years in the fourth year in the study of his profession, jurisprudence. Out of school, he worked as oficial de mesa in Pampanga and Quiapo. After finishing law in 1880,he worked for the Manila Royal Audiencia.
Considered the Father of Philippine Masonry, del Pilar spearheaded the secret organization of masonic lodges in the Philippines as a means of strengthening the Propaganda Movement. He became a freemason in 1889 and became a close friend of Miguel Morayta Sagrario, a professor at the Universidad Central de Madrid and Grand Master of Masons of the Grande Oriente Español
Del Pilar was an indefatigable writer. His fluency in both Spanish and Tagalog enabled him to compose a series of anti-friar pamphlets in Tagalog. He wrote Dasalan at Tocsohan (Prayerbook and Teasing Game), a satire on the friars' hypocrisy, licentiousness and cupidity, which consists of parodies of the Sign of the Cross, the Act of Contrition, the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the catechism. He also wrote pamphlets that characterized the friars as exploitative and repressive, such as La Soberanía Monacal en Filipinas (Monastic Sovereignty in the Philippines), Ang Cadaquilaan ng Dios (God's Goodness), and La Frailocracia Filipina (Frailocracy in the Philippines). The long poem Sagót ng España sa Hibíc ng Filipinas (The Response of Spain to the Pleas of the Philippines) was an answer to Hermenegildo Flores' Hibíc ng Filipinas sa Inang España (The Plea of the Philippines to Mother Spain), which portrayed the exploitation of indios (natives) under the friars. His Caiigat Cayó (Be Like the Eel) is also well-known. In it he defended Rizal's Noli Me Tangere, and attacked the friars as traffickers in religion. As a parodist, del Pilar was at his best at Pasióng Dapat Ipag-alab nang Puso nang Tauong Babasa (Passion That Should Inflame the Heart of the Reader), where he uses popular 'sacramental' forms for his anti-friar attacks. In short poems such as Dupluhan, del Pilar gave an inflammatory content to the form of the duplo.