The jewel-set incription reads: "AL MARTIR DE LA PATRIA D. ANTONIO CANOVAS DEL CASTILLO." The ribbon around the portrait reads: "A LA DUOUESA DE CANOVAS DEL CASTILLO TRISTE RECUERDO DE FILIPINAS AGRADECIDA GENIO ELOCUENCIAA HISTORIA POLITICIA FORTALEZA PATRIOTISMO VIRTUD."
Antonio Canovas del Castillo (1828-1897) was a Spanish statesman and prime minister. His support of Spain's Bourbon dynasty and General Martinez Campos helped bring about the restoration of Alfonso XII after the downfall of the shortlived First Republic. He served as prime minister from 1874 until 1885, and wrote the Constitution of 1876. He was assassinated by the Italian anarchist Angiolillo in 1897.
The Philippines were a colony of Spain for more than 300 years. The Spanish-American War brought an end to Spain's rule in the Philippines in 1898, just a year after the assassination of Antonio Canovas del Castillo.