On December 19, 1839, Jose Ma. Basa, a successful merchant who donated money for the smuggling of Dr. Jose Rizal’s novels to the Philippines, was born in Binondo, Manila to Matias Basa and Joaquina San Agustin.
Basa, a reformist group member who was accused of participating in the 1872 revolt which led to the execution of three Filipino priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora (Gomburza), was exiled (along with several others) in the Marianas, where he stayed for two years before moving to Hong Kong with his family.
Basa and the others who were accused in the 1872 revolt were given pardon under the condition that they would not return to the Philippines. Hence, Basa’s home in Hong Kong was turned into a temporary house of some of the exiled Filipinos.
In 1898, when General Emilio Aguinaldo established a junta in Hong Kong, Basa served in the general’s committee and was appointed as the Director of Justice.
When the Spanish-American war broke out in the Philippines, at a time when America was “the” example of democracy, Basa thought that this democracy can be passed on to the Philippines. Consequently, Basa, being obsessed with American annexation, pledged his wealth and fortune to the American government as a form of allegiance. This came to the surprise of many, as Basa, a reformist fighting to get rid of a colonizer, was willing to be colonized yet by another.
Basa died in Hong Kong on July 10, 1907 at the age of 67. On April 18, 1915, 8 years after his death, his remains were brought back to the Philippines and interred at Manila’s North Cemetery.
Philippine News Agency
Via / kahimyang