PATRICIO G. MARIANO, NATIONALIST PLAYWRIGHT
A playwright, poet, journalist, violinist, and painter, Patricio Mariano y Geronimo was born on March 17, 1877 in Santa Cruz, Manila to parents Petronilo Mariano and Dionisia Geronimo. Patricio Mariano finished his secondary education at the Ateneo Municipal and San Juan de Letran. He pursued bookkeeping at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Liceo de Manila.
Mariano worked at the typography and stereography shop supervised by Jose Dizon, a Katipunan leader. He joined fellow Filipinos in the outbreak of the revolution in 1896. In 1898, he served as right hand man of Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, President Aguinaldo’s adviser. Mariano applied his skills obtained from his experience in the printing shop while helping the revolutionary government. He was appointed as the manager of the Imprenta de Malolos in Barasoain, Malolos, Bulacan and wrote prolifically for El Heraldo de la Revolucion and Ang Kaibigan ng Bayan.
When the Philippine-American war was finally over, Mariano went back to Manila to continue his passion for writing. He joined the staff, either as writer or editor, of the following periodicals: Los Obreros, Ang Paggawa, Katwiran, Lunas ng Bayan, El Renacimiento Filipino, and later La Vanguardia and Taliba. He was an all-around writer, he could write poetry, short stories, novels, dramas, operettas, and zarzuelas in Tagalog. Most of his creations that were either “romantic” or “symbolical” evolved in themes dealing with social conditions and hopes of the Filipinos. Apart from writing, he appeared on the stage which earned him the title “dean of Tagalog actors”.
His play Sampaguita played at the Zorilla theater in 1901 got the attention of the public and so did with his other plays like the following: Anak ng Dagat, Ang Pakakak (drama staged at the Manila Grand Opera House on July 7, 1913), and Ang Silanganan (one-act drama staged at the Rizal Theater in Tondo on December 30, 1904). He translated in Tagalog the operas Lucia de Lammermoor, the third act of La Traviata. His major achievement however was his translation of Rizal’s Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo in the vernacular. He became famous for his plays making him sought by literary organizations like the Union de Artistas, Union de Impresores, Buklod na Ginto, Aklatang Bayan, and Lupong Tagapagpalaganap ng Akademya ng Wikang Tagalog. In literature, Patricio Mariano maintained his patriotic sentiment. He helped establish the Asociacion Pro Patria.
Patricio G. Mariano caught illness caused by what appeared to be a harmless tumor in the neck. On January 28, 1935, Patricio Mariano died.