Antonio Luna, science and the emerging Filipino national identity

  • Benjamin Vallejo, Jr.


In this essay, I review General Antonio Luna’s science career as the first Filipino doctoral student in science sent by the colonial government on a scholarship. I review the significance of Luna’s work on malaria in the context of an emerging international research program. I discuss this public health research program within the context of the changing economic policy of Spanish Philippines after the 1762 British Invasion which resulted in the entry of technological innovations which prompted social change. These changes gave rise to a Filipino national identity which culminated in the Philippine Revolution of 1896. I also discuss the continuity of this colonial science research policy especially in health through the period of American sovereignty and the science and research policy of the Philippines in the 21st century.

Keywords: Antonio Luna; history of science; science policy; malaria, Filipino nationalism