Today in Philippine History October 11, 1898, The Manila Times was founded

Posted Tuesday October 11, 2011 ()

   The Manila Times
On October 11, 1898, The Manila Times, the first daily newspaper in the Philippines, was founded by Thomas Gowan.

The Manila Times was published to meet the demand of an American paper in Manila, demand mainly from men of the United States Army who had occupied Manila.

The newspaper was founded shortly after the news that the Treaty of Paris would be signed, ending the Spanish American War and transferring the Philippines from Spanish to American sovereignty. The treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898.

Gowan hired a small printing press, Chofre y Compania, to put up the paper. The printing press was located on Calle Alix, now Legarda Street, in Sampaloc, Manila. The paper, however, had a downtown office on the Escolta.

The first issue of The Manila Times had a sheet of two leaves, or four pages, measuring about 12 by 8 inches, each page divided into two columns. The first editorial read:

"Since the United States forces have been in the Philippines, there has been a keen demand for an American newspaper here with a daily supply of American news. Several schemes have been talked about, but we have come to nothing. We have not talked about The Manila Times but we have been working, and hoped to complete the arrangements in a few days. Now we have the news of such importance that we feel compelled to publish it promptly, instead of holding it back until completion of our plans. The Manila public will readily see that news in this issue [is] of such a nature as to demand immediate publication, and to excuse defects in the manner of publishing. What The manila times lacks in quantity, it makes up in quality, today at any rate. We have made arrangements for a daily service of telegrams from the United States, and we undertake to continue that as long as the public desires. We cannot guarantee to provide as great a piece of news each day as we give today, for Paris Conferences do not sit often, and the United States does not acquire territories every day."

Before The Manila Times was born, several native newspaper were already in existence in the Philippines written in Spanish, and most of them were nationalistic and revolutionary.

At present, The Manila Times serves as the fourth largest newspaper in the Philippines in terms of circulation.

Philippine News Agency archives
The Manila Times, Project Gutenberg Self Publishing Press

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