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ANDRES BONIFACIO

Andres Bonifacio (November 30,1863 – May 10,1897)

Portrait of Andres BonifacioAndres Bonifacio was born on November 30, 1863 to Santiago Bonifacio and
Catalina de Castro in Tondo located in Manila Philippines. He was a Filipino revolutionary hero who
founded the Kataastaasan Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) or Katipunan a
secret society devoted to fighting the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. He was the first one to have
a clear vision of what a Filipino nation should be—The Father of the Filipino Nation. He would later be
known as Supremo; destined to change the history of the Filipino people.

Bonifacio was not born and raised a plebeian, his mother was half-Spanish and he was privately tutored
by a certain Guillermo Osmeña. But things became tough for him when his parents died when he was 14
years old forcing him to quit his studies and look after his 5 younger brothers and sisters. He earned a
living as a craftsman and seller of canes and fans and then he became clerk and agent for a foreign
commercial firm, Fleming and Company. In spite of his lack of formal education, he taught himself to
read and write in Spanish and Tagalog, and was actually so good at it that he later got a job as a clerk-
messenger for the German trading firm Fressel and Company. It was said that Bonifacio was interested in
Western classic rationalism and read the works of Victor Hugo, Jose Rizal, and Eugene Sue. He had a
deep interest in reading books on the French Revolution and the lives of the presidents of the United
States and acquired a good understanding of the socio-historical process. Although it must be argued
that the main thing that made his later organizing activities successful would be his savvy to appropriate
local consciousness and ancient Filipino concepts to the Katipunan—Inang Bayan, sandugo, kapatiran,
kaginhawaan, and katimawaan or kalayaan. His passion for changing the plight of his countrymen under
colonialism encouraged him to join La Liga Filipina. La Liga Filipina was organized in July 3, 1892 by Jose
Rizal with the purpose of uniting the people under “one compact homogenous body” which is the
nation, instituting reform, education and cooperation, building the nation in the grassroots.

Rise of the Katipunan

Traditional swordFour days after the establishment of the Liga, July 7,1892, the arrest and banishment of
Jose Rizal the day before made it practically nonexistent as an organization. Andres Bonifacio along side
Ladislao Diwa, Teodoro Plata and others decided to continue the struggle and formed the Kataastaasan
Kagalanggalang ang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) or Katipunan at the home of Deodato
Arellano in Calle Azcarraga, Manila. A small room lit only by a table lamp they signed a solemn compact
with blood drawn from their forearm to symbolized the birth of the Katipunan the sandugo was not just
a blood pact but a pledge to love each compatriot as brothers and sisters as the ancients did when they
consolidate the bayan—kapatiran.

Only when people have mabuting kalooban (good intentions, thus the Kartilya) for each other, will true
kaginhawaan (total well-being) and kalayaan (freedom) be attained. Thus it must be said that the
Katipunan was not just a mere organization that wanted to unite the people to topple the Spanish
Empire, but wanted a true unity of mind and hearts among the Tagalogs (Taga-ilog, river people,
referring to peoples/mga bayan from the whole archipelago) under one Inang Bayan seeking the
enlightened and straight path, an original Filipino concept of the nation. After two previous Supremos,
the humble founder of the Katipunan Andres Bonifacio finally agreed to be Supremo of the Katipunan.

Andres-Bonifacio

An Excursion to the Mountains


As a theater actor himself, Bonifacio had a favourite character to play—Bernardo Carpio, the mythical
Tagalog king trapped in between two mountains who will soon be freed to fight and free the people from
the bondage of colonialism. On Good Friday of 1895, he went to the caves of Mt. Tapusi, Montalban,
Rizal with his men. They wrote through charcoals on the walls of the caves “Naparito ang mga Anak ng
Bayan, hinahanap ang Kalayaan. Mabuhay ang Kalayaan.” (The Sons of the People came here searching
for freedom. Long live freedom!) Definitely, it was not a coincidence why he chose that time place for
this, a declaration of independence: The Katipunan will be the Bernardo Carpio who will free Inang
Bayan. They are willing to sacrifice their lives for the altar of freedom.

Mt. Tapusi, Montalban

Mt. Tapusi, Montalban

Kartilya ng Katipunan (Katipunan Code of Ethics) – by Emilio Jacinto

Ang kabuhayang hindi ginugugol sa isang malaki at banal na kadahilanan ay kahoy na walang lilim, kundi
man damong makamandag.

(Life which is not consecrated to a lofty and sacred cause is like a tree without a shadow, if not a
poisonous weed.)

Ang gawang magaling na nagbubuhat sa pagpipita sa sarili at hindi sa talagang nasang gumawa ng
kagalingan, ay di kabaitan.

(A good deed that springs from a desire for personal profit and not a desire to do good is not kindness.)

Ang tunay na kabanalan ay ang pagkakawang-gawa, ang pag-ibig sa kapwa at ang isukat ang bawat kilos,
gawa’t pangungusap sa talagang Katuwiran.

(True greatness consists in being charitable, in loving one’s fellow men and in adjusting every movement,
deed and word to true Reason.)

Maitim man o maputi ang kulay ng balat, lahat ng tao’y magkakapantay; mangyayaring ang isa’y higtan
sa dunong, sa yaman, sa ganda; ngunit di mahihigtan sa pagkatao.

(All men are equal, be the color of their skin black or white. One may be superior to another in
knowledge, wealth, and beauty but cannot be superior in being.)

Ang may mataas na kalooban, inuuna ang puri kaysa pagpipita sa sarili; ang may hamak na kalooban,
inuuna ang pagpipita sa sarili kaysa puri.

(He who is noble prefers honor to personal gains; he who is mean prefers personal profit to honor.)
Sa taong may hiya, salita’y panunumpa.

(To a man with a sense of shame, his word is inviolate.)

Huwag mong sayangin ang panahon; ang yamang nawala’y mangyayaring magbalik; ngunit panahong
nagdaan na’y di na muli pang magdadaan.

(Don’t waste away time; lost riches may be recovered, but time lost will never come again.)

Ipagtanggol mo ang inaapi at kabakahin ang umaapi.

(Defend the oppressed and fight the oppressor.)

Ang taong matalino’y ang may pag-iingat sa bawat sasabihin; at matutong ipaglihim ang dapat ipaglihim.

(An intelligent man is he who is cautious in speech and knows how to keep the secrets that must be
guarded.)

Sa daang matinik ng kabuhayan, lalaki ay siyang patnugot ng asawa’t at mga anak; kung ang umaakay ay
tungo sa sama, ang patutunguhan ng inaakay ay kasamaan din.

(In a challenging path of life, the man leads the way and his wife and children follow. If the leader goes
the way of evil, so do the followers.)

Ang babae ay huwag mong tingnang isang bagay na libangan lamang, kundi isang katuwang at karamay
sa mga kahirapan nitong kabuhayan; gamitin mo nang buong pagpipitagan ang kanyang kahinaan at
alalahanin ang inang pinagbuhata’t nag-iwi sa iyong kasanggulan.

(Think not of woman as a object merely to while away time but as a helper and partner in the hardships
of life. Respect her in her weakness, and remember the mother who brought you into this world and
who cared for you in your childhood.)

Ang di mo ibig gawin sa asawa mo, anak at kapatid, ay huwag mong gagawin sa asawa, anak at kapatid
ng iba.

(What you do not want done to your wife, daughter and sister, do not do to the wife, daughter and sister
of another.)

Ang kamahalan ng tao’y wala sa pagkahari, wala sa tangos ng ilong at puti ng mukha, wala sa pagka-
paring kahalili ng Diyos, wala sa mataas na kalagayan sa balat ng lupa: wagas at tunay na mahal na tao,
kahit laking-gubat at walang nababatid kundi sariling wika; yaong may magandang asal, may isang
pangungusap, may dangal at puri; yaong di napaaapi’t di nakikiapi; yaong marunong magdamdam at
marunong lumingap sa bayang tinubuan.

(The nobility of a man does not consist in being a king, nor in the highness of nose and the whiteness of
the skin, nor in being the priest representing God, nor in the exalted position on this earth, but pure and
truly noble is he who, through born in the woods, is possessed of an upright character; who is true to his
word; who had dignity and honor; who does not oppress and does not help those who oppress; who
knows how to look after and love the land of his birth.)

Paglaganap ng mga aral na ito at maningning na sumikat ang araw ng mahal na Kalayaan dito sa kaaba-
abang Sangkapuluan at sabugan ng matamis niyang liwanag ang nangagkaisang magkalahi’t
magkakapatid ng ligayang walang katapusan, ang mga ginugol na buhay, pagod, at mga tiniis na
kahirapa’y labis nang natumbasan.

(When these doctrines spread and the Sun of beloved liberty shines with brilliant effulgence in these
unhappy isles and sheds its soft rays upon the united people and brothers in everlasting happiness, the
lives, labors, and suffering of those who are gone shall be more than recompensed.)

Bolo-sword-Bayani-art

Bolo Sword

Andres-Bonifacio-Katipunan-Bayaniart

Andres Bonifacio (Maypagasa) • Katipunan (Kataastaasan Kagalanggalang ang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng
Bayan)

The Cry of Caloocan

The Spaniards discovered the Katipunan on August 19, 1896. Upon their discovery, Bonifiacio and many
katipuneros from Manila escaped the systematic search of the Spaniards, leading to the Katipuneros
fleeing to a barrio in Caloocan, Balintawak. On August 24, 1896, Bonifacio rallied the Katipuneros for an
emergency meeting. Armed poorly with bolos, bamboo spears, paltiks (makeshift guns), and few old
Remington rifles; the meeting was off to a good start. Bonifacio welcomed the attendance of 500-1,000
patriots and informed them of the urgency for beginning the revolution. This episode in the revolution
would later be referred to as The Cry of Balintawak; alternatively referred to as The Cry of Pugadlawin,
Kangkong, or Bahay Toro—all of these places within the area of Caloocan.

Their opposition produced a heated debate between those who favored the uprising, thus plunging the
meeting into turmoil. According to Aurelio Tolentino, theater actor and friend of Andres Bonifacio.
Angered by the raging debate among his men, Bonifacio inspired these words, “Kalayaan o kaalipinan?
Kabuhayan o kamatayan? Mga kapatid: Halina’t ating kalabanin ang mga baril at kanyon upang kamtin
ang sariling kalayaan!”(Freedom or slavery? Life or death? Brothers and sisters let us rise and fight the
oppressors with their guns and canons of for it is the only way to truly achieve our freedom!) Bonifacio
then took out his cedula (community tax certificate) and tore it to pieces shouting, “Mabuhay ang
Katipunan!”(Love live the Katipunan!) An act of defiance of Spanish rule become the finest day in
Philippine history.

1896 Cry of Caloocan

Battle of Pinaglabanan

On August 30, 1896 Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto led a group of Katipuneros to attacked the El
Polvorin (powder depot) of San Juan which was well defended by well-armed and trained Spanish
artillerists and infantrymen. Bonifacio and the Katipunan was able to capture the powder depot and
water station. Over 150 Katipunero died. The news of the battle reverberated throughout the arkipelago.
The town of San Juan del Monte was transformed into a national symbol of unity, freedom and a shrine
of Filipino courage.

Bayani-art-Battle-of-Pinaglabanan

The Battle of Pinaglabanan

Andres Bonifacio as a Military Strategist

Traditional swordSome of Bonifacio’s critics and a number of historians had argued that because he
lacked formal education he automatically did not have a military strategy. They also said that Bonifacio
lost all his battles. As compared to the Cavite generals who won battles in their province during the onset
of the revolution, Bonifacio didn’t have military success. But recent scholarship in the past two decades
emphasized that Bonifacio and his men, even before the revolution up until 1897, were setting up
networks of camps called reales in the mountains and forests where they could retreat after their
battles. This made it possible that even when he was defeated in battles such as the battle of
Pinaglabanan, the Katipuneros where not wiped out completely. According to Dr. Zeus Salazar, the
concept of reales were taken from the ancient Filipino strategy of Ilihan, where the old bayan will
designate a high place where they would evacuate in case of natural calamities like tsunamis, or an
attack. Salazar also said that Bonifacio was beyond the tactical aim of freeing only one province of the
revolution, he wanted the national government to fall by planning to attack the seat of power—
Intramuros, Manila, midnight of 29-30 August 1896, where it will be surrounded on all sides and will also
be attacked from the inside. Unfortunately, the 500 soldiers from mestizo officers were arrested the
morning of the attack, and the forces from the south coming from Cavite did not arrive, despite a
number of skirmishes that happened around the area. If only the Katipunan was not discovered, they
could have been more prepared for a Manila offensive with the benefit of the element of surprise.
Bonifacio’s timing in wanting to start the revolution was also proper since a large part of the Spanish
colonial military was deployed in Mindanao trying to bring down the Moro Sultanates. When these
forces were returned to Manila to become reinforcements, even the victorious Cavite towns fell one by
one to the Spaniards. What saved General Aguinaldo after Bonifacio’s death were the network of reales
set-up by Bonifacio until he reached the Real of Biak-na-Bato where he negotiated peace with the
Spaniards. According to Dr. Milagros Guerrero, an expert on the Katipunan:

As commander-in-chief, Bonifacio supervised the planning of military strategies and the preparation of
orders, manifests and decrees, adjudicated offenses against the nation, as well as mediated in political
disputes. He directed generals and positioned troops in the fronts. On the basis of command
responsibility, all victories and defeats all over the archipelago during his term of office should be
attributed to Bonifacio. The claim by some historians that “Bonifacio lost all his battles” is RIDICULOUS.

Katipunan

Katipunan-2

Katipunan-3

Katipunan-4

Katipunan
Twilight in Cavite

Due to conflict, the Katipunan were split into two groups, Magdiwang and Magdalo in Cavite, Luzon.
Cavite became a major province of the Revolution, and the Katipuneros. Baldomero Aguinaldo, headed
the Magdalo group, which was stationed in Kawit. General Mariano Alvarez led the Magdiwang group,
which was stationed in Noveleta. The two groups fought in a separate battle, where later, Emilio
Aguinaldo, brother of Baldomero Aguinaldo took over the Magdalo group. To try to fix the division, the
Magdiwang group invited Bonifacio in his capacity not just as the Supremo of the Katipunan but as
President of the Haring Bayang Katagalugan, as he was elected by acclamation in the establishment of
the revolutionary government on August 24, 1896 at Caloocan. A government which preceded that of
General Emilio Aguinaldo, making Bonifacio as according to historians Milagros Guerrero, Ramon Villegas
and Emmanuel Encarnacion the First President of the Philippines. So what happened next in Cavite is
argued by some as a coup d’etat to a legitimate leader by a number of elite generals.

Katipunan seal with Andres Bonifacio's signature

Katipunan seal with Andres Bonifacio’s signature

Tejeros Convention

Tejeros_convention_1While Aguinaldo was favoured as leader by the Magdalo faction, Bonifacio was
recognized as the leader of the Katipunan by the Magdiwang faction. An assembly was held in Imus,
Cavite on December 31, 1897 to settle the leadership issue but was not successful. Then on March 22,
another assembly was held at Tejeros (known as the Tejeros Convention) to elect officers of the
revolutionary government. Aguinaldo won as president while Bonifacio was [elected] as the Director of
the Interior. However, Daniel Tirona objected that the position should be occupied by a person with an
education. Bonifacio, clearly insulted, demanded that Tirona retract his remark. Supremo then drew a
pistol to challenge Tirona in a duel as gentlemen during those times do when their “amor-propio” was
hurt, but stopped when Ricarte grabbed his arm. Bonifacio rejected the elections and declared it void.
Bonifacio later formed the Naic Military Agreement, essentially creating a government contending
Aguinaldo’s. Soon after, Bonifacio was captured, stood trial, and was sentenced to death by a War
Council of Aguinaldo’s government for treason and sedition. Aguinaldo initially commuted the sentence
to deportation but later reversed the commutation upon pressure from Mariano Noriel and Pio Del Pilar.
On orders from General Noriel, Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio Bonifacio was secretly
executed at the foothills of Mt. Buntis by Major Lazaro Makapagal on May 10, 1897.

Supremo’s Legacy

Bonifacio was unjustly accused of betraying the new republic led by Emilio Aguinaldo. His remains are
buried in an unmarked tomb. As the years passed, the great Supremo’s story has been forgotten until his
memory was diminished to a footnote in the history books of our time. He was not merely a
revolutionary; he was a man who put his life on the line to see his people free. Bonifacio was not just a
supreme chief of some secret society; he was the Father of the Filipino nation who was determined to
bring his people together in the name of solidarity and freedom. He serves not just as a champion for
the sake of bravery and bravado: he is an example of a just, hopeful, and humane hero amidst the
desolate condition of his country–thus his nom de guerre–Maypagasa (There is Hope).

Author, Margarita Mansalay

( Additions by Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, Assistant Professorial Lecturer of History of the De La
Salle University )

> Check out some Andres Bonifacio products.

Andres Bonifacio Katipunan

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( https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/113049)

Andres Bonifacio: beyond the textbooks

LUCI LIZARES

December 1, 2016

ON WEDNESDAY, November 30, the country honored Andres Bonifacio with a national holiday. Not many
heroes share that respect.
Andres Bonifacio is often depicted in a camisa chino with a red scarf and forging into battle with a bolo.
Was he just a peasant, an indio, based on the usual image?

Andres Bonifacio was the eldest child of Santiago Bonifacio, who was a tailor, a boatman, and a politician
– a Teniente Mayor of Tondo, Manila. His mother was Catalina de Castro, born of a Spanish father and a
Filipino- Chinese mother making Andres, a mestizo. Catalina worked as a supervisor in a cigarette factory.
So, his lineage does not qualify him as a peasant or an indio. His father with enough means afforded
Andres a private tutor. However, when his parents died of illness, he stopped school to feed and support
his siblings singlehandedly.

He was self-taught and well-read on different topics from medicine to law, to Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere”
and “El Filibusterismo.” He could speak Spanish and Tagalog and English as well.

Industrious and resourceful, he sold canes and paper fans, but also held a variety of office jobs. He
worked as a broker and agent for multinational companies like the British trading firm Fleming and
Company, then for the German trading firm, Fressell and Company. He had a great penmanship and
would often do poster-making jobs. Andres was an actor in the theatre. He later on wrote the Dekalogo
(Katipunan’s teachings), “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog,” and the compelling poem “Pag-ibig sa
TinubuangLupa”?

Andres Bonifacio was married twice. Little is known of his first wife, Monica. They were married for 10
years but were childless. She died of leprosy.

Then he met the 18-year-old Gregoria de Jesús, (Oriang), 11 years his junior. She was the daughter of a
prominent landowner from Caloocan. Gregoria's parents were not too accepting of Andres as he was a
freemason. But they were married through a Catholic ceremony in Binondo Church and on the same day,
through Katipunan rites. They had one son named Andres Jr., who died of small pox in infancy.
“Lakambini” was a title first referred to Oriang.

In August 1896, before the revolution, Bonifacio reorganized the Katipunan into a de facto revolutionary
government with him as the President and the Supreme Council as his cabinet. As Supremo, Andres
Bonifacio was able to organize the first national movement in the country that aimed for nationhood and
succeeded. From Batanes to Jolo, he united the nation with the one goal of fighting for national
independence and establishing a Filipino government.

Then as it is now, despite the efforts of Bonifacio, there was division in the Katipunan. The two factions
of the KKK, the Magdiwang headed by Mariano Alvarez (uncle of Oriang) and the Magdalo headed by
Emilio Aguinaldo held the Tejeros Convention in Cavite in 1897 to conduct the first presidential and vice
presidential elections in Philippine history. Only the Katipuneros took part in this election.

It is believed that the first incidence of election fraud was held in the Tejeros Convention. Alvarez wrote
of the proceedings: “When the ballots had been collected and the votes were ready to be canvassed, Mr.
Diego Mojica, the Magdiwang Secretary of the Treasury, warned the Supremo that many ballots
distributed were already filled out and that the voters had not done this themselves.”

In an interview, Atty. Gary Bonifacio, the great-great-grandson of Bonifacio’s younger brother Procopio
says: “The first election that made Aguinaldo president was marred by corruption. There were more
votes counted than the actual registered voters.”

He continues: “Aguinaldo’s taking over of the Philippine Revolution in 1897 by the controversial election
at the Tejeros Convention in Cavite was a takeover of power.”

The word Magdalo resurfaced when Antonio Trillanes IV staged a military coup against then President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was later elected senator.

Andres and his brother Procopio were charged with sedition and treason against Emilio Aguinaldo’s
government and conspiracy to murder “El Presidente.” A jury consisting exclusively of Aguinaldo's men
sentenced to death the Bonifacio brothers and had them executed on May 10, 1897 in the Maragondon
mountains in Cavite.

Lazaro Makapagal states: “Procopio was shot first and then Andres made a run into the woods. The
soldiers caught up with him, shot him, and buried his body in a shallow hole.”
In an alternate version, one of Makapagal’s men told a Katipunero that Andres was hacked several times
with a bolo while lying helplessly in a hammock. This account was supported by a farmer who claimed
seeing five men hacking a man in a hammock. Andres Bonifacio already sustained multiple injuries (a
gunshot wound in his left arm and stab wound in the neck) and was carried in a hammock because he
was extremely weak to climb the mountain. How could he run to escape?

Again, according to Atty. Gary Bonifacio: “Aguinaldo did write a confession in 1949 admitting that he was
behind the killing of Bonifacio.” He was prodded by Council of War to maintain the stability of the
government.

Andres Bonifacio was executed at the age of 33 years with Procopio, while their other brother Ciriaco
was shot dead during the arrest. The other siblings were Espiridiona, Troadio, and Maxima.

After the revolution, Troadio went into self exile. The last news of him was he was in France in 1898 or
1899. Espiridiona was hunted and she hid in Cavite by the Distrito family. Maxima died at an early age. As
to the wife of Andres Bonifacio, the Lakambini insinuates in her memoirs having suffered much while in
captivity under Aguinaldo’s men.

Bonifacio descendants went into hiding and some changed their names. Atty. Gary Bonifacio states: “It
was not until 1992 when the descendants of Procopio and Espiridiona met each other. Before that, even
Espiridiona herself did not know about Procopio's son.

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http://www.interaksyon.com/trends-spotlights/2018/11/30/139492/separating-the-myth-from-the-
man-on-155th-birthday-of-andres-bonifacio/amp/

Separating the myth from the man on 155th birthday of Andres Bonifacio
By Catalina Ricci S. Madarang- November 30, 2018

Interaksyon Andres Bonifacio 155th birth anniversary

Filipinos celebrate Andres Bonifacio's 155th birth anniversary on November 30.


Filipinos commemorated the 155th birthday of Andres Bonifacio by sharing on social media some facts
that debunked misconceptions about the life of the father of the Philippine Revolution against Spain.

Bonifacio was born on November 30, 1863 in Tondo district in the city of Manila.

History textbooks portrayed Bonifacio as an uneducated, poor, Filipino native or indio who wore a camisa
de chino and brandished a bolo in one hand.

Posts about Bonifacio on the commemoration of his birthday, however, claimed this image of him as
inaccurate.

Others shared little known details about the hero such as being a part-time theater actor and his
dressing up as a Filipino woman as camouflage during the Filipino-Spanish war.

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Bonifacio Day is commemorated on February 16, 1921 by virtue of Republic Act No. 2946. On February
23 of that year, Republic Act No. 2760 ratified all necessary steps to create, maintain and improve
national monuments to his memory.
Bonifacio’s life before Katipunan

Two foreign scholars, Jonathan Fast and Jim Richardson, wrote in their 1979 book titled “Roots of
Dependency: Political and Economic Revolution in the 19th Century” that Bonifacio is a mestizo or a
Filipino with mixed race, not an indio.

They described his mother Catalina de Castro as a Spanish mestiza while his father Santiago Bonifacio is a
Filipino.

Bonifacio was born and grew up in a street called Calle Azcarraga, which is the present-day Claro M.
Recto Avenue, in Tondo, Manila.

According to historian Teodoro Agoncillo’s 1956 titled “The Revolt of the Masses,” Calle Azcarraga was
home to the poorest families that time.

Fast and Richardson, however, found records that tell their parents were able to give Bonifacio proper
education when they were still alive. Santiago also once served as a teniente mayor of Tondo.

The scholars stated that Bonifacio was first taught by private tutors.

Celebrated author Sylvia Mendez Ventura said in her book “Supremo: The Story of Andres Bonifacio” in
2002 that Bonifacio was later self-educated through reading at work.

Those he read during lunch time include the Bible, books of French writer Alexander Dumas, Jose Rizal’s
Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo and different law and medical books.
Their parents died of tuberculosis when he was 14 years old. Being the eldest, Bonifacio had to take
many jobs such as peddling paper fans and canes, a messenger and a theater performer to support the
family of six.

He also got employed in two foreign companies, Fleming and Company and Fressell and Company, and
held many positions there.

Fast and Richardson believed that Bonifacio must be an important person to be hired in two foreign
firms back then.

In 1892, he married his second wife, Gregoria de Jesus, whose father was a gobernadorcillo or governor
of Caloocan. His first wife, Monica, died of leprosy just a year after they were married.

Many accounts tell his marriage to de Jesus uplifted his social status to middle class.

While many monuments of Bonifacio showed him yielding a bolo, he was primarily a writer in the
propaganda movement established by Rizal.

He was a member of La Liga Filipina and wrote in its official newspaper La Solidaridad.

On July 7, 1892, Bonifacio and the members of La Liga Filipina convened to form the Kataastaasan,
Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or Katipunan when Rizal got arrested and deported
to Dapitan.
https://kahimyang.com/kauswagan/articles/786/today-in-philippine-history-november-30-1863-andres-
bonifacio-was-born-in-tondo-manila

Today in Philippine History, November 30, 1863, Andres Bonifacio was born in Tondo, Manila

Posted under November history

Wednesday November 30, 2011 (7 years ago)

On November 30, 1863, Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution and one of the
founders of the Katipunan, was born in the present day Tondo, Manila to Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina
de Castro.
Orphaned at the age of 14, he had to take on the task of caring for his younger brothers and sisters,
being the eldest of six children. He quit schooling to look for ways to support his family.

Today in Philippine History, November 30, 1863, Andres Bonifacio was born in

Tondo, Manila

While not fortunate to have a formal education, Andres educated himself by reading books through a
lamp light at his house.

Unlike the middle class leaders who held onto the mistaken belief that Spain would hear their cries for
reforms, Bonifacio knew deep in his heart that Spain would never grant the reforms demanded by the
Filipino reformists.

Hence, on the night that the news of deportation of Dr. Jose Rizal to Dapitan leaked out, Bonifacio
founded the Katipunan on July 7, 1892, along with Valentin Diaz, Teodoro Plata (Andres’ brother-in-law),
Ladislao Diwa, Diodato Arellano (brother-in-law of Marcelo H. Del Pilar) and few others in Tondo, to
secure the independence and freedom of the Philippines by force. They formalized their membership in
the organization by signing the Katipunan pact with their own blood.

On that same year, Bonifacio married Gregoria de Jesus , who took charge of the confidential files,
firearms, seals and other materials of the society.

With the discovery of the Katipunan on August 19, 1896, Bonifacio and the other Katipuneros gathered
secretly at the farm of Juan A. Ramos, a son of Melchora Aquino, at Pugad Lawin, then a part of
Balintawak, on August 23, 1896 and agreed to fight to the bitter end, tore their cedulas as a symbolic
gesture of their defiance of Spanish rule and the start of Philippine Revolution against Spain.

Since the time the Katipunan was discovered, they evaded arrest, won uncertain victories and incurred
severe defeats. This prompted the Magdalo faction to invite Bonifacio to Cavite to settle their differences
and remain united.
An assembly was called at Tejeros, Cavite. Bonifacio presided the conference to establish the Republic of
the Philippines. In the election, Emilio Aguinaldo was elected president, Mariano Trias, vice president,
and Bonifacio as secretary of the Interior.

However, Daniel Tirona questioned Bonifacio's qualifications, and Bonifacio was offended. Evoking his
authority as the supreme head of the Katipunan, he declared the proceedings void. Bonifacio moved to
Naic, Cavite and started to form his own government and army.

Meantime, the advancing troops of Spanish Governor- General Camilo de Polavieja threatened to
capture Cavite. Aguinaldo ordered General Pio del Pilar and Mariano Noriel, who were being given new
higher positions, to leave the Bonifacio camp and go back to their duties.

Bonifacio, with his family and men, left Naic for Indang on his way to return to Montalban. Aguinaldo
sent men to arrest him, but Bonifacio resisted arrest and was wounded in the process. He faced a trial
for acts inimical to the existence of the new government and was given the death sentence by a military
tribunal.

Aguinaldo's men executed Bonifacio in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897.

Reference: Philippine News Agency archives

Photo: Wikimedia
http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/translation_project/html%20files/andres_bonifacio.htm

Andres Bonifacio: Ang Dakilang Supremo ng Katipunan

Karapatang-ari ng Children's Communication Center

1981

Sa mga Guro at Magulang

Mahirap lang si Andres Bonifacio. Maagang namatay ang kanyang mga magulang kaya hindi siya
nakatungtong sa mataas na paaralan. Pero hindi ito naging hadlang para makatulong siya sa kanyang
mga kababayan. Sa halip, kahirapan ang nagtulak sa kanya para ipaglaban ang mga karapatan ng
mamamayang Pilipino. Nagtatag siya ng rebolusyonaryong samahang tinawag na Katipunan para
maghimagsik laban sa mga Espanyol at palayain ang Pilipinas. Dahil sa Katipunan, nabigkis ang
pagkakaisa ng samabayanang Pilipino.

Minahal at pinaglingkuran ni Andres Bonifacio ang sambayanang Pilipino. Nagpakasakit siya alang-alang
sa kalayaan. Magagawa din kaya natin mahalin ang ating kababayan at magpakasakit para sa kalayaan?
Isinasalaysay sa librong ito ang buhay ni Andres Bonifacio para mag-silbing inspirasyon at mapaghanguan
ng aral ng mga bata.

Ang Kuwento

Kung pupunta ng Maynila galing sa hilaga, tiyak na madadaan ang matayog na monumento ni Andres
Bonifacio sa lunsod ng Kalookan. Makikita sa monumento ang larawan ng kaapihan at paghihimagsik ng
mga Pilipino sa panahon ng pananakop ng mga Espanyol. Ang monumentong ito ay sagisag ng
kabayanihan ni Bonifacio at ng kangyang mga kasamang rebolusyonaryo.

Alam ba ninyo na bata pa lamang si Bonifacio nang mamatay ang kanyang mga magulang? Dahil dito,
huminto siya sa pag-aaral at nagtrabaho para mabuhay silang makakapatid. Nagtinda siya ng mga baston
at pamaypay. Nagtarbaho rin siya sa mga kompanya ng dayuhan. Kahit nagtatrabahong bodegero ay di
siya nagtigil sa paggawa at pagtitinda ng baston at pamaypay.

Kahit mahirap lang, pinilit ni Bonifacio na matuto sa kanyang sariling pagsisikap. Nag-aral siya ng
Espanyol at nagbasa ng libro. Mahilig din siya sa mga dula at pagtatanghal kaya gumanap siya sa mga
dulang moro-moro. Nagtatag sila ng kanyang mga kaibigan ng isang samahan sa dula, ang Teatro
Porvenir.

Aktibo si Bonifacio sa kilusang makabayan. Nang lumaganap ang Kilusang Propaganda, madali niyang
naunawaan ang mga layunin nito. Sumapi siya sa samahan ng mga Mason at pagkaraan ay sa La Liga
Filipina. Nang mamatay ang Liga, naisip ni Bonfacio na hindi reporma kundi rebolusyon ang makababago
ng kalagayan ng Pilipinas.
Isang gabi, nagpulong sina Bonifacio at iba pang makabayang Pilipino para itatag ang isang lihim na
samahan. Tinawag itong "Kataastaasang Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan" o
Katipunan. Layunin ng Katipunan na maghimagsik laban sa Espanya at palayain ang Pilipinas. Si Bonifacio
ang naging Supremo ng samahan.

Habang pinamumunuan ang Katipunan, nakilala ni Bonifacio si Gregoria de Jesus. Niligawan niya si
Gregoria at di nagtagal ikinasal sila sa simbahan ng Binondo. Muli silang ikinasal alinsunod sa alituntunin
ng Katipunan. Sumapi si Gregoria sa samahan noon din. Siya ang nangalaga sa mga dokumento, baril at
iba pang mahalang kagamitan ng Katipunan.

Natuklasan ng mga Espanyol ang Katipunan, kaya tumakas sina Bonifacio at ibang kasamahan. Nagtipon-
tipon sila sa Pugadlawin at doon ay ipinasiya nilang simulan na ang himagsikan. Sa labanan sa San Juan,
umurong sina Bonifacio dahil sa lakas ng kalaban. Pero kahit nabigo ang kanilang unang pagsalakay,
mabilis namang kumalat ang rebolusyon.

Samantala, sumikat naman si Emilio Aguinaldo bilang lider ng mga Katipunero sa Cavite. Laging panalo sa
labanan ang kanyang hukbo kaya maraming humanga kay Aguinaldo. Dito nag-umpisa ang di
pagkakasundo ng mga Katipunero sa Cavite. Nahati sa dalawang pangkat: ang pangkat Magdiwang at
pangkat Magdalo.

Nagdaos ng kumbensiyon sa Tejeros, Cavite ang dalawang pangkat ng mga Katipunero. Bilang Supremo
ng Katipunan, si Bonifacio ay tumayong tagapangulo sa kumbensiyon. Nagkaisa silang lahat na igagalang
ang anumang mapagkasunduan sa kumbensiyon. Itinatag muna nila ang republika ng Pilipinas at
pagkaraan ay nagdaos ng halalan.

Nahalal na pangulo ng republika si Aguinaldo kahit wala siya sa kumbensiyong iyon. Pero nang mahalal
na Direktor ng Interyor si Bonifacio, isang Magdalo ang tumutol. Diumano, hindi dapat sa posisyon si
Bonifacio dahil wala siyang pinag-aralan. Sa galit, pinawalang-bisa ni Bonfacio ang lahat ng
napagkasunduan at agad na umalis.

Sa isang pulong sa Naic, nagtatag ng hiwalay na pamahalaan si Andres Bonifacio. Para kay Aguinaldo,
malaking panganib sa pamumuno niya ang ginawa ni Bonifacio kaya iniutos niya ang paghuli rito.
Pinuntahan ng mga tauhan ni Aguinaldo si Bonifacio at hinuli.
Nilitis ang magkapatid na Andres at Procopio sa salang pagtataksil sa bayan sa pagtatangkang ibagsak
ang pamahalaan. Mga tauhan lahat ni Aguinaldo ang bumuo ng konsehong lumitis sa magkapatid.
Pagkaraan ng isang araw na paglilitis "napatunayang" nagkasala ang magkapatid kaya hinatulan ng
kamatayan ni Aguinaldo.

Di alam ng magkapatid ang hatol na kamatayan. Lihim silang dinala sa bundok ng Tala. Doon, ihiniwalay
kay Bonifacio si Procopio. Natiyak ni Bonifacio na papatayin sila. Ayon sa iba, tumakbo siya ngunit
nasundan ng mga kawal ni Aguinaldo at binaril. Dito nagwakas ang buhay ni Andres Bonifacio, ang
dakilang Supremo ng Katipunan.

Sagutin ang mga sumusunod na tanong

I.

1. Sino ang naging Supremo ng Katipuna?

2. Saan makikita ang monumento ni Bonifacio?

3. Ano ang naging tungkulin Gregoria sa Katipunana?

II.

1. Mahilig ba Bonifacio sa dula at pagtatanghal?

2. Si Bonifacio ba ang naging pangulo ng unang republika ng Pilipinas?

3. "Kataastaasang Kagalanggalang na Katipunan na mag Anak ng Bayan" ba ang ibig sabihin ba ng


Katipunan?
III.

1. Bakit pumunta si Bonifacio at ang iba pa niyang kasamahan sa Pugadlawin?

2. Bakit ipinahuli ni Aguinaldo si Bonifacio?

3. Bakit hinatulan ang magkapatid na Bonifacio ng kamatayan?

Word Frequency

Andres Bonifacio: The Supreme Supervisor of

the Children's Communication Center's Copyright Office

1981

To Teachers and Parents

Andres Bonifacio is just poor. His parents died so early that he did not attend high school. But that did
not impede his efforts to help his fellow countrymen. Instead, poverty pushed him to fight for the rights
of the Filipino people. He founded a revolutionary organization called the Katipunan to rebel against the
Spaniards and liberate the Philippines. Because of the Katipunan, the unity of the Filipino people has
been strengthened.

Andres Bonifacio loved and served the Filipino people. He suffered for the sake of freedom. Can we also
love our countrymen and sacrifice for freedom? This book tells the story of Andres Bonifacio's life as an
inspiration and inspiration for children's education.

The Story
If you go to Manila from the north, Andres Bonifacio's tall monument will surely pass through the city of
Congo. The monument shows a picture of the oppression and rebellion of the Filipinos during the
Spanish occupation. This monument symbolizes the heroism of Bonifacio and his revolutionary
companions.

Did you know that Bonifacio was young when his parents died? As a result, he dropped out of school and
worked to make a living with his siblings. He sells canes and chewing gum. He also worked for foreign
companies. Although a working farmer, he never stopped producing and selling cane and dryer.

Although difficult, Bonifacio insisted on learning on his own. She studied Spanish and read a book. She
also loves plays and performances so she performs at candlelight tables. He and his friends established a
theater organization, the Theater Porvenir.

Bonifacio was active in the patriotic movement. As the Propaganda Movement unfolded, he quickly
understood its goals. He joined the Masons and later in La Liga Filipina. With the death of the League,
Bonfacio felt that it was not reform but revolution that would change the Philippines.

One night, Bonifacio and other Filipino nationalists met to establish a secret organization. It is called the
"Most Powerful Protector of the People's Children" or Katipunan. The Katipunan aims to rebel against
Spain and liberate the Philippines. Bonifacio became the Supervisor of the organization.

While leading the Katipunan, Bonifacio met Gregoria de Jesus. He divorced Gregoria and soon married
them in Binondo church. They remarried according to the rules of the Katipunan. Gregoria joined the
organization at that time. He was in charge of documents, firearms and other valuable equipment of the
Katipunan.

The Spaniards discovered the Katipunan, so Bonifacio and his companions fled. They gathered at
Pugadlawin and there they decided to start the revolution. At the battle of San Juan, Bonifacio withdrew
from the enemy's strength. But despite their initial failure, the revolution quickly spread.

Meanwhile, Emilio Aguinaldo emerged as the leader of the Katipuneros in Cavite. His army always won
the battle, and Aguinaldo was greatly impressed. It was here that the disagreements of the Katipuneros
began in Cavite. It is divided into two groups: the group Celebrate and the group Attend.
Two Katipuneros held a convention in Tejeros, Cavite. As Superintendent of the Katipunan, Bonifacio was
the chairman of the convention. They all agreed to honor any consensus at the convention. They
established the Philippine republic first and then held elections.

Aguinaldo was elected president of the republic despite being absent from the convention. But when
Bonifacio was elected Director of the Interior, an Attendant objected. Bonifacio is said to be out of
position because he was uneducated. In anger, Bonfacio rescinded all agreement and left immediately.

At a meeting in Naic, Andres Bonifacio set up a separate government. For Aguinaldo, Bonifacio took a
huge risk in his leadership so he ordered the arrest here. Aguinaldo's men went to Bonifacio and were
arrested.

The Andrew and Procopio brothers have been accused of treason against the town in an attempt to
overthrow the government. All of Aguinaldo's staff members formed a council to sue the brothers. A day
later, the brothers were "found guilty" of Aguinaldo's death.

The siblings did not know the death sentence. They were secretly taken to Mount Tala. There, Bonifacio
separated Procopio. Bonifacio was sure they would be killed. According to others, he ran away but was
followed by Aguinaldo's soldiers and shot. It was here that the life of Andres Bonifacio, the great
Supreme of the Katipunan, ended.

Answer the following questions

I.

1. Who became the Supreme Supervisor of Katipuna?

2. Where can the monument of Bonifacio be found?


3. What role did Gregoria play in Katipunana?

II.

1. Is Bonifacio fond of drama and presentation?

2. Was Bonifacio the president of the first Philippine republic?

3. "Supreme Absolute Privilege to Be the Son of the People" does the Katipunan mean?

III.

1. Why did Bonifacio and his other companions go to Pugadlawin?

2. Why did Aguinaldo overthrow Bonifacio?

3. Why was Bonifacio's brother condemned to death?

Word Frequency

..
http://www.bibingka.baybayin.com/phg/books/bonifacio.htm

PHGLA Logo

Book Review: Inventing a Hero

by Hector Santos

© 1997 by Hector Santos and PHGLA

All rights reserved

Inventing a Hero: The Posthumous Re-Creation of Andres Bonifacio, by Glenn Anthony May, Madison,
1996. (University of Wisconsin-Madison: $19.95 for pb., 200 pp.)

Inventing a HeroAs we go into the centennial celebrations of the Philippine revolution and
independence, we see more and more books on these subjects. One book is sure to be controversial
because it adds fuel to the fire of “my hero is better than your hero,” a game Filipinos love to play. That
book is Inventing a Hero by Glenn May.
The title is unfortunate because it sounds too “tabloidy.” However, do not let it turn you off from reading
the book which is not as hero-baiting as it sounds. It deals mostly with material used to define Bonifacio,
not with judging Bonifacio’s qualifications to be a national hero. I foresee that many people will criticize
the book without reading it mainly because the title gives the impression that the book is anti-Bonifacio.
That is one problem with choosing a title that is an attention grabber.

We Filipinos have had the misfortune of learning in school history which was partly based on fraudulent
documents. We learned that the story of the ten datus from Borneo came from an old document— it did
not. We were taught the Code of Kalantiaw which was based on a brazenly fraudulent document. Then
we came to know that information about Padre Gomez was also based on forged manuscripts.

These anomalies were brought to light by foreigners, namely William Henry Scott and John Schumacher,
S.J. Their proofs were so strong that it was hard not to accept their conclusions.

Now another foreigner would have us believe that yet another fraud had been perpetrated on the telling
of Philippine history. May tells us that some Andres Bonifacio papers were also fraudulent. How many
more disclosures of historical fraud can our Filipino psyche take? Would it help our well-being if a Filipino
had instead exposed this anomaly?

But fraud cannot be dismissed because we feel sorry for ourselves. We must accept facts as they come.
The only question we must ask once again is whether May has convincing evidence for his assertion that
the Bonifacio letters were forgeries.

Inventing a Hero starts out by mentioning examples of myth creation, something that is somehow
related to the task of nation building. Newly independent people want to feel good about their heroes
and so we have stories like George Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie.” Myth creation, happily, was not a
Philippine invention.

May then tells of past frauds, forgeries, and their perpetrators: Sir Edmund Blackhouse, a leading China
specialist who wrote fake diaries; Thomas Beer’s Stephen Crane letters; Augustus C. Buell’s letters and
documents concerning William Penn, John Paul Jones, and Andrew Jackson; non-existent Margaret
Johnson Erwin’s letters which were the basis of a book published by a respected university press; fake
Hitler diaries; the Marquis de Sade’s spurious sources on the life of Isabelle; and the documents
pertaining to the Bolivar-San Martin meeting in Guayaquil. They are the stuff on which some history had
been based on.

May did not even mention anything about Mary Lefkowitz’s criticism of Black Studies programs which
she feels substitute a “feel-good” agenda for historical truth. In a recent book, Not Out of Africa,
Lefkowitz savaged Martin Bernal’s Black Athena, which was embraced by Afrocentric teachers. She also
showed that the notion about the Greeks stealing Egyptian concepts of religion and philosophy came
from the use of a book that came out after the turn of the last century, a book on Freemasonry that
borrowed a lot from an 18th century French novel, the same book that was the basis for Mozart’s opera,
“The Magic Flute.”

Much of what we know about the pre-revolution Bonifacio is traced by May to three people: Manuel
Artigas, Epifanio de los Santos, and Jose P. Santos. Artigas was the earliest writer among the three.
Available information about Bonifacio before their contributions is relatively insignificant. They deal with
the books he read (attributed to testimony of Pio Valenzuela), and find that he wrote the some poetry,
among other things. May’s criticism is the lack of documentation about how these writers came to their
conclusions. We can only rely on faith that what they wrote about the pre-revolution Bonifacio was true.

Things get serious, though, when the father and son duo, de los Santos and Santos, started writing about
documents de los Santos supposedly obtained from somebody in Tondo. They allegedly doctored their
“transcriptions” of the letters of Bonifacio to Jacinto to make them look authentic because both father
and son had suspicions that the documents in their possession were forgeries.

The first inkling that something was amiss came out when Ambeth Ocampo obtained xerox copies of the
Bonifacio letters. Teodoro Agoncillo claimed in his book, Revolt of the Masses, that he had access to and
had seen the original documents. Agoncillo included a photograph of Acta de Tejeros, also owned by de
los Santos then, in his book.

Ocampo noticed that Agoncillo’s transcription did not match the words in the copies he had. He came to
the conclusion that Agoncillo had been shown only a few pages of the Bonifacio papers. Ocampo
thought that his former mentor had retranslated back into Tagalog the Spanish and English translations
from Manuel Retana, and that de los Santos then claimed they were transcriptions. He believed that
Agoncillo never had access to all the originals.
What Ocampo didn’t know was that Santos had furnished doctored transcriptions to Agoncillo. Santos
was afraid that Agoncillo would find out that his father’s manuscripts were forgeries and so provided
“transcriptions” that would be believable. The problem was not only that the handwriting was from
different hands but that the grammatical style in the “originals” had problems.

Agoncillo fudged a bit when he said that he had access to the original manuscripts. At least, that is what
May would have us believe. His evidence, while circumstantial, is very compelling.

How convincing is May’s presentation of evidence that the Bonifacio papers including, his letters to
Jacinto and Acta de Tejeros, were forgeries? Borrowing a two-level requirement for proof in American
jurisprudence, let us say that as far as proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the papers were
forgeries (as in criminal cases), this has not been done. However, if we are looking for “a preponderance
of evidence” (as in civil cases) then the Bonifacio papers are forgeries.

The smoking gun will not be found until the present owner of the Bonifacio manuscripts, Emmanuel
Encarnacion, allows them to be examined and tested. Alas, that probably will never happen and that is
the price we pay when historical documents and artifacts are in the hands of collectors instead of in
public institutions where they can be examined by qualified people.

Agoncillo was not the only one to end up with egg on his face. Reynaldo Ileto, the brilliant author of
Pasyon and Revolution, used the Agoncillo transcriptions in trying to prove that the revolution had a
millenarian root and had less connection to the efforts of the Liga Filipina than many people believe.
Unfortunately, his proof was based on his critical analysis of the language in the “Bonifacio” text of “Ang
Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” which appeared in Kalayaan. No copy of Kalayaan has ever been found
and many historians question whether Bonifacio actually wrote the article.

Believing that Bonifacio wrote the Kalayaan article, Ileto assumed that the Tagalog text of the article in
Agoncillo matched the original text in the newspaper. However, Agoncillo merely reproduced the text in
Santos’s biography of Bonifacio. Santos has never explained where he obtained the text from. May
alleges that Santos made it up. His proof is quite involved and has to do with “if this was the original
Tagalog text then Retana would have translated it this way in Spanish.” There is not enough space in this
review to give all the examples.
If the Tagalog text of the Kalayaan article was forged, all of Ileto’s analysis will have to be dismissed
because the words he was scrutinizing were made up and not Bonifacio’s anyway.

Finally, the accounts of historians about what happened in the Tejeros convention were all primarily
based on Artemio Ricarte’s memoirs. Ricarte wrote his memoirs while he was in jail and had no access to
diaries, documents, and other people. It was an account based purely on memory and what may have
been a desire on his part to deflect his complicity in the ouster of Bonifacio as the Katipunan head. May
decries the fact that historians have swallowed his story wholesale, disregarding all other accounts many
of which conflict with Ricarte’s story.

Who was Andres Bonifacio? What was he really like? We know now that he was not as plebeian as we
once thought he was— he was not a bodeguero but a prosperous agent for a foreign trading company. A
hundred years after his death there are still many things we don’t know about him.

To cite:

Santos, Hector. "Book Review: Inventing a Hero" in Hector Santos, ed., Philippine Centennial Series; at
http://www.bibingka.com/phg/books/bonifacio.htm. US, 13 July 1997.

PHGLA Logo The Philippine History Group of Los Angeles invites you to send your comments to the
author, Hector Santos, who is also the editor of this Philippine Centennial Series.

Return to Articles Menu.


https://ac.upd.edu.ph/index.php/resources/the-asian-center-blog/971-andres-bonifacio-proletarian-
hero-philippines-indonesia-tan-malaka

How Indonesians Made Bonifacio Their Own: His Prominence in Tan Malaka's 'Greater Indonesia'

PUBLISHED: 30 NOVEMBER 2017 CREATED: 30 NOVEMBER 2017

Photo (L): Andres Bonifacio; (R) Tan Malaka. Grabbed from Wikipedia.com

“Andres Bonifacio: Proletarian Hero of the Philippines and Indonesia” by Professor Ramon Guillermo of
the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, University of the Philippines Diliman, was published
last September 2017 in the journal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Volume 18, Issue Number 3. It shows how
Tan Malaka considered Bonifacio “as a hero of Indonesia….and as a hero of the proletariat in Asia and on
a global level” (341).

Below’s an abstract of Professor Guillermo’s article.

The concluding chapter of Tan Malaka’s (1897–1949) large philosophical work entitled Madilog:
Materialisme, Dialektika, Logika contains interesting reflections on the extent and scope of the future
liberated and sovereign Indonesian nation and on the concept of “Indonesian” heroism and nationality.
However, most striking of all is the uppermost position he allots in his schema for Philippine national
heroes such as Dr. Jose Rizal, the patriot and writer, and Andres Bonifacio, the leader and founder of the
Katipunan, the most successful Philippine revolutionary anti-colonial organization.

Both Rizal and Bonifacio are at the "summit" because “they still have a significant role to play in raising
the Indonesian people from the inferiority complex caused by European colonialism.” (343)
Also of note is how Tan Malaka considers both Rizal and Bonifacio as Indonesians, and the Philippines as
part of “Indonesia Raya” (Greater Indonesia) (344). The inclusivity, according to Professor Guillermo,
reflects Tan Malaka’s belief that “Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines actually formed a single nation
before European colonialism tore them apart.” (344).

The full article can be accessed for a fee or via subscription at the website of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies
journal published by Taylor and Francis.

Professor Guillermo's article is "a revised version of an essay first published in a Filipino language version
in: Judy Taguiwalo, Rolando B. Tolentino, Gonzalo Campoamor, Gerry Lanuza, Bienvenido Lumbera (eds),
Salita ng Sandata: Bonifacio’s Legacies to the People’s Struggles. Quezon City, IBON, 173–183."
https://www.1898miniaturas.com/en/article/history-filipino-revolt/

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A HISTORY OF THE FILIPINO REVOLT (FROM THE TAGALOG PERSPECTIVE)

TOM MATIC IV

Tom Matic IV

A HISTORY OF THE FILIPINO REVOLT (FROM THE TAGALOG PERSPECTIVE)

This is a not-so-brief history of what is known in Spain as the Filipino Revolt and in the Philippines as the
1896 Revolution. I have endeavored to summarize as much of the information as I can without sacrificing
the breadth of the conflict. Much gratitude to the creators of this site for allowing me to share a brief,
heroic, tragic narrative of our shared history with the hope that better appreciation and understanding
can be shared between our two nations and peoples. My fervent hope is that I have honored those who
lived and died in this tumultuous past.

BY CROSS AND THE SWORD – THE SPANISH COLONIZATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

The Philippines was a colony of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. Spain gave the natives – a
mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and small indigenous tribes – a colonial government to rule by the sword
and what was essentially a state religion, Spanish Catholicism, which ruled by the cross. The earliest
conquistadores, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo, carved out an island
empire for Spain that subsequent warrior-administrators would expand and build upon. While the
earliest landfall had been in the central island of Cebu, which Magellan had reached before his fatal
encounter with the chieftain of Mactan, Legaspi chose the burgeoning native citadel of Maynila
(supposedly named after the blossoming Nila – flowering mangrove – plants at the mouth of the great
river Pasig) as the seat of Spanish power in the islands. Driving out the native chieftain Suleyman with
the aid of native auxilliaries, Legaspi began to remake the Islamic Malay kingdoms into a Spanish Catholic
colony. Meanwhile, Sulayman’s valiant attempt at reconquest ended in the marshes of nearby Bangkusay
Channel.

Manila became the “faithful and ever loyal city”, the Asiatic jewel of Nueva Espanya whose Viceroyalty
administered the Asian colony. A wooden palisade wall eventually gave way to massive stone walls with
bastions and a fortress keep, La Fuerza de Santiago (today known as Fort Santiago) and the entire citadel
was called ‘Intramuros’. Trade was primarily with China while the galleon trade with Acapulco was its
primary and often singular annual contact with the ‘mother country’. Spain retained a monopoly on
trade and fought several bitter wars with marauding Chinese pirates (as well as several bloody Chinese
uprisings) as well as the persistent Dutch whose raiding and trading began with Oliver van Noort’s
dramatic circumnavigation of the globe in 1600. While the Spanish chief-justice Don Antonio de Morga
drove off van Noort in what can only be described as a tragicomedy of errors, the Dutch would continue
to raid Manila throughout the 17th century leading to the founding of a naval-themed religious feast day,
La Naval de Manila after two aging trade galleons drove back several Dutch raiders and ‘saved’ the
colony.

Spain ruled the natives through a system of divide and rule. Native rulers, known as Principalia, were
given key roles in local administration, becoming essentially glorified tax-collectors, while rivalries
between native tribes were exploited to ensure that no one group of natives became powerful enough
to launch a successful rebellion. Religion was an extremely potent force as well and Spanish clerics in the
island soon became not only key figures but kingmakers in their own right – a feud in 1719 between
churchmen under Archbishop of Manila Francisco de la Cuesta and the Governor General Fernando
Bustamante escalated to the point where (allegedly) priests leading an angry mob stormed the governor
general’s palace and murdered him and his son. A later Archbishop of Manila, Manuel Rojo, was in
charge when the British Honorable East India Company, fresh from its conquest of India, set its greedy
eyes on the Philippines.

City of Manila, oil painting of the inside of a chest, circa 1640-1650, Museo de Arte José Luis Bello,
Puebla, México.

City of Manila, oil painting of the inside of a chest, circa 1640-1650, Museo de Arte José Luis Bello,
Puebla, México.
In 1762, the British launched a massive invasion of Luzon, landing just south of the walled city and
capturing several solid stone churches and taking the city under siege. Archbishop Rojo exhorted the
people to resist with passionate religious fervor but soon discovered that religious fervor was no
substitute for disciplined troops under decisive leadership. The most determined resistance was from
Pampanga natives under a leader called Manalastas who assaulted the British siege lines with little more
than machetes, bamboo spears and bows-and-arrows, and were paid rough tribute by the British general
who praised their courage and described them as having “died like beasts, gnawing the bayonets”. The
British stormed Manila and sacked it but were unable to expand their territory thanks to Spanish officers
like Don Simon de Anda, the junior oidor of the Spanish colonial government, the Real Audiencia, who
became the de facto leader of the Spanish colonial government following Archbishop Rojo’s surrender
and capture, and loyal natives that contested every foot of ground taken by the British. In the end, the
British abandoned their claims to the archipelago in 1763. Anda became the next governor general.

At the same time as the British invasion, three separate local uprisings were taking place, that of
Francisco Dagohoy (whose brother had been refused a Christian burial and whose subsequent rebellion
lasted more than a hundred years), a leader known colloquially as Palaris in north-central Luzon, and the
husband and wife team of Diego and Gabriella Silang. This last named became one of the legendary
uprisings against Spain and had, ironically, began as a locally raised militia under Diego for service against
the British. Instead of being grateful, the local Spanish official threw Diego into jail for insurrection which
led to Diego rising up against Spain instead. The Silangs were so successful that the British approached
them with a view to arming and supporting them as local rulers (under British hegemony of course).
Terrified of an Anglo-Silang alliance, the Spanish officials bribed Diego’s friend Vicos to murder Diego,
which he did in due course. Gabriella Silang then took up the leadership of the rebellion but was unable
to withstand renewed Spanish efforts against their insurrection and she and her leaders were eventually
hanged.

Thus for 300 years, Spain was able to maintain its domination over the islands mainly through the loyalty
and cooperation of the natives. But there were cracks in the image of Spanish invincibilty. The British
conquest of Manila showed the natives that the Spaniards were not unbeatable. The opening of the Suez
Canal meant there was greater cultural exchange between Europe and the archipelago.

THE SPANISH COLONIAL MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT

As indicated above, the Spanish colonial government was only truly able to control and subjugate the
natives thanks to the loyal support of the natives themselves (this was, by the way, the case for just
about every colonial empire from the massive British Empire to the comparatively small German
overseas empire). Spanish-led native troops were the backbone of the insular defense forces against
foreign invaders, native insurrection and the ever present threat of Moro incursions.
The Spanish native infantry regiments were known as Regimentos Fijos or “Fixed Regiments” as they
were regiments for use only in the Philippine colonies as well as the Carolinas. They were also called
“Indigenas” and continued the numbering of regiments in Cuba which ended in the 67th. The 68th
through 74th Regiments of Infantry as well as three tercios of paramilitary Guardia Civil (20th through
22nd) were the main garrison of the islands. While conscripted and prone to desertion, most were
generally loyal even when the Rebellion broke out.

Native Regiments were:

68th (Legaspi) Infantry Regiment

– named after the conquistador who claimed the Philippines for Spain,

Don Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. Headquartered in Jolo but serving in the field

in Luzon and Mindanao with detachments in the Carolinas and Paragua Islands.

69th (Iberia) Infantry Regiment

– named after the Iberian homeland. Headquartered in Zamboanga and serving in Luzon.

70th (Magallanes) Infantry Regiment

– perhaps the most infamous native regiment it is remembered to this day as the unit

which provided the firing squad that executed Dr.Jose Rizal. Named after the

Spanish explorer that discovered the Philippines, Ferdinand de Magallanes.

The regiment was part of the capital’s permanent garrison and served mostly in Luzon.

71st (Mindanao) Infantry Regiment

– named after the large – and conflict-ridden – island of Mindanao. Headquartered at

Iligan, serving in the field in Luzon and Mindanao.

72nd (Visayas) Infantry Regiment

– named after the group of islands occupying the central Philippines known collectively

as the Visayas. Headquartered at Manila and serving in Mindanao.

73rd (Jolo) Infantry Regiment


– named after the largely Muslim southern islands, south of the larger island of

Mindanao, whose neutralization was considered a major Spanish victory.

Headquartered in Manila and serving in Luzon and Mindanao. This regiment

particularly distinguished itself during the quelling of the Manila uprising

in August 1896.

74th (Manila) Infantry Regiment

– named after the capital city, the “Faithful and Ever-Loyal City”. Headquartered in

Manila and serving in Luzon and Mindanao.

Spanish troops at Silang, Cavite province.

Spanish troops at Silang, Cavite province.

Spanish soldiers at Manila.

Spanish soldiers at Manila.

While the native infantry did most of the hard fighting in Mindanao and during the Tagalog Revolt, it was
the three tercios of the paramilitary police force, the Guardia Civil, which gained legendary infamy
thanks to their role as the ‘muscle’ or ‘enforcers’ of the local government officials and the friars but
particularly because of their portrayal in this role in popular Revolutionary literature, Rizal’s Noli Mi
Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

The three tercios of Guardia Civil paramilitary police (20th, 21st, 22nd) along withs one infantry battalion
and a mounted troop of the elite Guardia Civil Veteranas, comprised the Guardia Civil establishment.

Other local defense troops included a few cavalry and the 6th Mountain Artillery along with the Artillery
Regiment de la Plaza for permanent defense of the capital. There was also a disciplinary battalion for
suspected rebels and mutineers and a regiment of Marine Infantry.

The Spanish government dispatched numerous Expeditionary Rifle Battalions, the dreaded Cazadores, as
reinforcements between November 1896 and February 1897.
THE PROPAGANDA MOVEMENT AND THE RISE OF THE KATIPUNAN

The continuing conflict in Spain between Liberal and Conservation as well as the opening of the Suez
Canal meant new ideas were spreading to the Philippines like never before. A conflict between local
‘secular’ priests (those not belonging to any religious order) and those arrived from Spain which were
part of an order coincided with a mutiny over pay at the Spanish arsenal of Cavite in 1872. The resulting
“Cavite Mutiny” was quickly put down and the blame and responsibility shifted to three particularly
outspoken and ‘troublesome priests’ – Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora. The three were made out to
be the ringleaders of the mutiny and executed by garrotte. GOM-BUR-ZA as they became known inspired
widespread indignation among the natives, particularly the native educated elite or ‘ilustrado’ class
which launched the Propaganda Movement spearheaded by the polymath Doctor Jose Rizal and the
publisher-propagandist Marcelo H. Del Pilar. M.H. del Pilar published the broadsheet La Solidaridad
which spoke against Spanish colonial abuses and Rizal wrote and published two extremely incendiary
novels which even today shape the Filipino consciousness – Noli Mi Tangere (Touch me Not, taken from
the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane between Christ and Mary Magdalene), and El Filibusterismo (the
Filibuster/Piratical Adventurer/ or its English title “the reign of greed”).

Things came to a head when a newly returned Rizal formed a gentleman’s social organization La Liga
Filipina which counted among its membership a young zealous clerk who worked for a European firm
and had a passion for learning and organizing, Andres Bonifacio. The Spanish almost immediately
arrested Rizal and exiled him to Dapitan in the southern island of Mindanao. Bonifacio then rallied many
of the La Liga Filipina members along with family and friends and with them formed The Highest, Most
Honorable Society of the Children/Sons of the Nation (Kataastaasan, Kagalang-galangan, Katipunan ng
mga Anak ng Bayan). Adopting a semi-Masonic organization complete with triangular recruiting, code
words, colored hoods and a ‘blood compact’ final initiation ritual (where you signed your membership
papers with your own blood drawn from your arm), these young disaffected natives were soon spreading
the gospel of nationalism across the main northern island of Luzon and into the central islands of the
Visayas.

Katipunan affiliation ritual, signed with blood.

Katipunan affiliation ritual, signed with blood.

The Katipunan grew exponentially under Bonifacio but was unable to secure adequate modern firearms
– in fact they had few guns at all! An early disagreement between Bonifacio and the recently recruited
chief of the Magdalo Council from Cavite, a young farmer and scion of a well-to-do rural family named
Emilio Aguinaldo, over the lack of weapons led Bonifacio to send emissaries to Rizal in Dapitan to ask the
latter’s blessing, only to have their request rejected by Rizal as well. Rizal believed that the Filipinos were
unready for self government and that they, in any case, did not have sufficient weapons and
ammunition. Angry, Bonifacio was determined that they would rise up soon. But before he could set the
date, the Katipunan was discovered by the Spaniards who began sending the paramilitary Guardia Civil
to arrest people and throw them into jail at the start of August 1896.

Bonifacio, undeterred, gathered his followers and in a dramatic ‘Cortez-burning-his-ships’ moment,


ripped up their government tax document or Cedula, signifying their rejection of Spanish colonial rule.
As outbreaks of rebellion quickly flashed across the islands, Spanish Governor General Ramon Blanco y
Erenas declared martial law and recalled his major forces from the endemic war against the Muslim
“Moros” in Mindanao to defend the capital, Manila.

THE FIRST BATTLES

After several initial skirmishes, Bonifacio launched an ambitious – and sadly over-complicated – plan to
take Manila. Several columns of Katipuneros would converge on Manila after accomplishing their initial
tasks of cutting the electric power to Manila which would signal other rebel forces from the province
immediately south, Cavite, as well as mutinous soldiers within the walled city itself, while the other
column took the military stores from the Spanish ammunition depot (Polvorin) at San Juan del Monte.
Most of the Katipuneros of Bonifacio’s command were armed with bolos (machetes) and bamboo spears
with pistols and a rag-tag number of firearms among them. There is evidence that they were dressed in
red pants and carrying bolos to disguise themselves as devotees of a particular saint whose feast day
was celebrated at that time.

Unfortunately the lack of coordination between the groups and a lack of decisive action at the Polvorin
itself (only 2 Spanish troops were killed) saw the rest of the garrison flee to a solid two story structure
that housed the administration of the Manila water-works, called El Deposito. The consultative nature of
Bonifacio’s leadership (based on the group meeting or pulong such as in social organizations) meant that
the Katipuneros were unable to make any headway against the desperate garrison within El Deposito
until a relief force under the Segundo Cabo (Second in command to the Governor-General), General
Bernardo Echaluce y Jauregui comprising a mere 100 men of the 73rd “Jolo” Infantry Regiment arrived
from Manila and drove them off. Pursuing them as they retreated to Santa Mesa and on the Pasig River
by small boats (bancas), the Spanish troops inflicted more than 150 fatal casualties on the Katipuneros
and 2-300 wounded and captured. Bonifacio’s reputation as a war leader also suffered gravely following
this defeat.
Spanish soldiers defending a house at the outskirts of Manila.

Spanish soldiers defending a house at the outskirts of Manila.

Very shortly after the debacle at San Juan del Monte, however, the chief of the Magdalo Council, Emilio
Aguinaldo overwhelmed the local garrison of Guardia Civil and armed friars in a hacienda in the town of
Imus, Cavite. An expeditionary force under General Ernesto de Aguirre was sent to crush this rebellion
and the young Aguinaldo hurried to meet the Spaniards near Zapote Bridge, the boundery between
Cavite province and Manila province. They were ambushed by Aguirre’s troops on route and many of his
men were killed. Aguinaldo was forced to hide among the bodies until the column moved on. Aguirre,
instead of proceding further into Cavite, returned to Manila to secure a larger force. This allowed
Aguinaldo to plan a strategy which would ensure that his poorly armed and untrained men fought a
more advantageous defensive battle on ground of his own choosing.

Fortifying the river banks and breaking the stone bridge just beyond the sight of anyone approaching on
the road from Manila, he set up a kill-zone at point-blank range with home-made guns, a small ‘lankata’
cannon, bows-and-arrows while he himself carried a Winchester repeater that he had ‘liberated’ from
the friar hacienda. When Aguirre returned he found himself opposed by a desperate Katipunan army
that was fortified on the opposite bank. Crossing the bridge, his troops found that they could not
proceed across the broken section and as the column wavered in confusion, the Katipuneros unleashed
volleys at a murderous close range.

Aguinaldo then set up the coup de grace, taking a picked team of men some distance down-stream and
after forming a human chain of linked hands, the rest of the team crossed over and hit the wavering
Spanish formation on the flank. This was too much for them and they broke ranks and routed, throwing
away their arms as they fled through the muddied fields, while the Katipuneros cut them down with
vengeful ruthlessness. The terrific slaughter terrified General Aguirre who fled the field, dropping his
sable de mando (command sabre) as he retreated. Aguinaldo picked up the saber, a Toledo steel blade
marked 1869 which was the year of Aguinaldo’s birth. “Lady Fortune has been on my side” he remarked.

THE TIME OF THE TAGALOGS

As word of the victory at Imus spread like wildfire, more recruits arrived from other provinces fleeing the
Juez de Cuchilo (Martial Law) imposed by the government, while others joined out of patriotic fervor
including the brilliant young Engineering student, Edilberto Evangelista. Evangelista proved himself an
extremely gifted fortifications engineer, building lines of trenches to protect major Cavite Katipunan
strongholds.
The Governor General, Blanco, gathered his main forces including naval cruisers and marine infantry and
launched them at the main strongholds of the Cavite Katipunan, the towns of Binakayan, Dalahican and
Noveleta. For several days the might of the Spanish Colonial military stormed the Cavite trenches while
the Filipinos would engage in desperate ‘agaw-armas’ raids – attacking the Spanish troops to attempt to
wrest their weapons from them. A naval and artillery bombardment and repeated infantry assaults failed
to break the Filipinos though Aguinaldo’s best friend, Candido Tirona, was killed during the fighting. In
the end, the Spaniards retreated from the field with heavy casualties, leaving Cavite province entirely in
Filipino hands. The peaceful interlude between the victorious battle of Binakayan-Dalahican at the
beginning of November 1896 and the resumption of the Spanish offensive in February 1897 became
known in Cavite as “Ang Panahón ng Tagalog” or The Time of the Tagalogs.

Unfortunately this is where things started to fall apart for the native revolutionaries. Already
disappointed in his luke-warm response, Blanco was replaced by his new segundo cabo, the ruthless
Camilo de Polavieja who initiated a reign of terror of arrests, torture and execution of rebels including
the leaders captured at San Juan del Monte, wealthy Filipino patriots suspected of supporting the
Revolution, and ultimately Dr.Jose Rizal, who was shot after a sham-trial on the field of Bagumbayan to
the east of the walled city (also called Luneta) on December 30, 1896. Contrary to what seems to be
understood outside the Philippines, Rizal’s execution did not cause the uprising but rather it was a result
or CAUSED BY the uprising (which had been going on since August 1896).

Tagalog insurgents. The rebel at the right is armed with a Remington and a bolo machete.

Tagalog insurgents. The rebel at the right is armed with a Remington and a bolo machete.

Sandatahan armed with a crossbow, Luzón, 1898

Sandatahan armed with a crossbow, Luzón, 1898

Polavieja also had several thousand fresh troops, mostly crack riflemen of the Cazadores, which had
been sent from Spain at the outbreak of the Rebellion in August-September. By contrast, the Katipunan
had never (despite claims by modern Filipino nationalists even today) been a unified government but
rather a confederacy of closely allied Councils (Sanggunian) which might have respected the wishes of
the Manila Katipunan under the Supremo, Bonifacio, but were not, realistically, absolutely obligated to
do so. As with the Spanish Guerrillas fighting Napoleon, there was no actual ‘head’ of the Rebellion but
rather many local groups that needed to be dealt with and quelled in turn. Thus as you mentioned: “In
1896, some members of the Katipunan had founded the Republic of the Kakarong located in Caracóng of
Sile, in the province of Bulacán, in the island of Luzón. There they built a real fortress surrounding this
settlement and protected it with nearly 6,000 men. But, on January 1st, 1897, a column of 600 Spanish
soldiers assaulted and occupied the fortress, and that was the end of the short-lived republic.”
Karakong de Sili was a splinter group of revolutionaries under Eusebio Roque, colloquially known as
Maestro Sebio. It was able to survive while the main efforts of former Governor General Blanco focused
on Cavite but the new Governor General (or more accurately, Capitan General in his military capacity)
Polavieja made it a point to crush this citadel of rebellion with his fresh troops.

Meanwhile, the two Councils (Sanggunian) leading the successful Cavite Katipunan – the larger
Magdiwang under the powerful Alvarez clan, and the more famous and combat-successful Magdalo
under the Aguinaldo clan – were in the midst of a friendly but rapidly souring rivalry. Both agreed that a
centralized, top-down command structure must replace the consultative assembly structure of the
Katipunan and it became clear soon enough that the Katipunan itself was obsolete – there was no
central leadership and direction for the revolution, Bonifacio had proven ineffective in wrangling the
disparate regional councils to his will, and the Spanish were clearly gearing up for a far more intense and
deadly second round. Furthermore there were many more recruits, Evangelista included, who simply
were not Katipuneros, yet were revolutionaries. It was decided that they should elect a central
government.

The Alvarez’s attempted to locate Bonifacio, who had gone into hiding in the hills and after much time
and persistence found the Supremo and eventually convinced him to come to Cavite, ostensibly to unite
the two ‘factions’ that were ‘feuding’ there. Bonifacio, having lost much of his reputation and capacity to
command and having, in his own words, “failed to have captured a single town for assembly or defense”
desperately needed to regain command of the shifting center of the Revolution. Meanwhile, the young
Emilio Aguinaldo desperately wanted to avoid being put on the spot for nomination as president,
preferring the highly educated Edilberto Evangelista or the more senior and experienced Licerio Topacio
or his far more politically savvy cousin, Baldomero Aguinaldo, to himself. Young Aguinaldo was a high
school drop-out, the younger son in the family and had something of an inferiority complex yet was
dedicated to his duty and to his constituency (and later his soldiers, and finally to his nation) to a fault.

THE BONIFACIO-AGUINALDO CONFLICT & THE LACHAMBRE STEAMROLLER

Polavieja opened the campaign with a massive two-pronged invasion leading an assault directly south by
way of Zapote Bridge with half his force while the other half, grouped into a massive division under
General Jose Lachambre, swung around the eastern flank through Laguna Province and moved against
the Caviteno stronghold of Imus from the southeast. Rushing to defeat the Capitan General’s troops,
Evangelista held the strategic Zapote Bridge and his troops killed one of the Spanish generals during the
engagement but it was a pyrrhic victory as Evangelista himself was hit by a sniper and killed in February
1897. As both pincers closed in on the Caviteno defenders, the political arena was growing dirty with
Bonifacio openly siding with the Magdiwang Council (who were his in-laws after all) and acting “like a
despot” (algo despota) – there were rumors of him adopting kingly airs and seeking to establish himself
as King of the Tagalogs. Both Magdiwang and Magdalo accused the other side of selling out to the
Spaniards while Bonifacio’s sister was accused of being a priest’s whore and Bonifacio himself an agent
provocateur of the friars.

Finally, at the Tejeros election, Bonifacio (who was made honorary president of the convention in
deference to his title of Supremo) failed to win against Emilio Aguinaldo (who was not there – he was
defending the Filipino battle line at Pasong Santol with his elder brother, General Crispulo Aguinaldo)
and when Bonifacio eventually won the election of Director of Interior (which might actually have suited
his organizational and charismatic leader gifts well) the younger brother of the dead hero Candido
Tirona, Daniel, insultingly pointed out Bonifacio’s lack of qualification for the job and suggested that they
get a Caviteno lawyer who was far better qualified for it. Bonifacio was understandably miffed –
however, his reaction went beyond what was called for. Drawing his pistol, he attempted to shoot Daniel
Tirona (who quickly made himself scarce) and would have had not General Artemio Ricarte, his loyalist
and supporter who had been elected Capitan General of the Revolutionary Army, restrained his hands.

Dispute at Tejeros Election.

Dispute at Tejeros Election.

Bonifacio then declared the entire convention null and void – violating his own oath to respect the
results of the elections, an oath that he as president of the convention had administered to everyone. He
and the Magdiwang officers then wrote out the Acta de Tejeros, proclaiming loudly that cheating had
occurred (and as Glen Anthony May points out, cheating was a congenital and endemic part of local
government elections in the Spanish colonial period) and that the convention was void. Yet the
Magdiwang had won big in the elections: 7 of 9 electoral seats went to Magdiwang officers. Only Emilio
and Baldomero had won for the Magdalo (which leads one to question WHO EXACTLY had been
cheating).

Aguinaldo had not been at the convention and when he heard news of his political victory, refused to
leave his post. Meanwhile, Bonifacio was still stinging from his defeat and humiliation and he, according
to Aguinaldo, conspired with newly elected Capitan General Ricarte to prevent Filipino reinforcements
from reaching the battlefield of Pasong Santol. If this is true then Bonifacio might have been attempting
to kill Emilio Aguinaldo with Spanish bullets when reinforcements and relief failed to arrive. Instead, big
brother Crispulo vowed to hold the defenses till younger brother Emilio returned from Tanza to take his
oath of office. “If they reach you,” Crispulo said grimly, “It will be over my dead body”.
Unfortunately, the Spanish overwhelmed the defenses at Pasong Santol and Crispulo Aguinaldo,
wounded multiple times, was cut down by a Spanish rifleman. The elder Aguinaldo was mortally
wounded and taken back to a Spanish field hospital where he expired. Hurrying back to the field, Emilio
desperately searched the corpses at night looking for his brother while the Spanish troops wondered
why the Filipinos were strangely silent and not taking pot-shots at them.

The breaching of Filipino defenses forced the heretofore successful Cavite Rebellion onto its backfoot. To
compound the already deteriorating situation, Bonifacio attempted to co-opt to Magdalo generals,
Mariano Noriel and Pio del Pilar, and form his own military government, the Naik Military Pact. This
declared all revolutionary forces to be under Pio del Pilar’s command and that the revolutionary troops
should be forcibly conscripted into the ‘true’ revolutionary army. Aguinaldo got word of it soon enough
and the two generals were brought back into the fold loudly protesting their loyalty. Bonifacio then said
that he would return to Manila/Morong Province but not before (allegedly) assaulting a Magdiwang
town, Indang, which was swollen with starving refugees (the massive influx of refugees or ‘alsa balutan’
from other provinces and poor harvests thanks to the Revolution taking place during the rainy season
was leading to near-famine in Cavite) and demanding that the town feed and provision him and his
troops. When they refused, Bonifacio (allegedly) assaulted the town like a common bandit, sacking it for
food and burning its church tower. As if this was not enough, a rumor spread that Bonifacio had stolen
the revolutionary war chest (finances) and was going to exchange it for a pardon from General
Lachambre. All these led to the order to arrest Bonifacio.

In a violent exchange between the Bonifacio brothers – the troops that Bonifacio had thought loyal fled,
protesting that they would not fight their fellow Filipinos – and the arresting troops under Colonel
Agapito ‘Yntong’ Bonzon, Colonel Jose Ignacio ‘Yntsik’ (Chinaman) Paua, and Colonel Tomas Mascardo,
Bonifacio and one brother were injured and another brother was killed. Bonifacio was taken back for
trial before a Consejo de Guerra instituted by the new revolutionary government. He was found guilty
and sentenced to death.

Feeling that things had gone far enough, the newly elected president was in favor of commuting the
sentence to exile. This was met with widespread opposition, particularly from the two generals which
had shifted loyalties to Bonifacio at Naik, Mariano Noriel and Pio del Pilar. Threatening Aguinaldo that his
life might be in danger if Bonifacio lived, they prevailed upon the reluctant Aguinaldo to sign the
Supremo’s death warrant.
Bonifacio, erstwhile Supremo of the Katipunan who had taken Rizal’s dream of a revolution ignited as
written in El Filibusterismo and turned it into a fire and blood reality, was taken by a troop of
revolutionary soldiers under Major Lazaro Makapagal and executed by firing squad.

BIAK NA BATO & EXILE

While this may have satiated the bloodthirsty need for vengeance on the part of the revolutionary
leaders, virtually all of whom saw Bonifacio as the reason for their failing fortunes in Cavite, it did not
change the downward spiral of the conflict. Aguinaldo was forced to flee Cavite, heading north past
Manila to Bulakan province where he linked up with revolutionary generals fighting the Spaniards in
Central Luzon. Meanwhile, Polavieja asked for and was granted relief – the fighting had worn him out. He
was replaced by Capitan General Fernando Primo de Rivera, whose nephew Miguel accompanied him to
the Philippines. Miguel would later become dictator of Spain before Franco.

Primo de Rivera found that the Filipinos still had plenty of fight left in them despite the loss of Cavite.
Again, the confederacy structure of the rebellion helped prevent a collapse when a major portion of the
uprising was defeated. The central Luzon generals united to defeat Primo de Rivera’s troops at Aliaga and
Aguinaldo was found ensconced in the mountain fortress of Biak na Bato (Broken Stone). Adding to
Primo de Rivera’s problems were a refusal by Spain to continue supporting the war in the Philippines.
Spain was severely over-extended with two rebellions going on at opposite sides of the globe. Spain
wanted the rebellion in the Philippines ended quickly.

Aguinaldo initially refused to negotiate but eventually was persuaded to meet with Primo de Rivera’s
emissaries. They signed the Biak na Bato peace treaty where Spain would pay Aguinaldo and his chief
leaders a hefty sum to go into exile, while other halves of the money were paid to the remaining rebel
generals and promises of reform and restitution were made by Spain. Colonel Miguel Primo de Rivera
was the Spanish government’s official “hostage” to ensure the terms were carried out.

While modern Filipinos see this as a betrayal and selling the revolution (as it was portrayed by Spain)
many Filipinos in the contemporary period saw this as a great victory – for the first time a Filipino leader
and government was treated with respect and negotiated with, almost like a legitimate state. Aguinaldo
himself kept the money he received intact and saved them on time-deposit to ensure that they could
accrue interest. He and his ‘Hong Kong Junta’ then lived on the meager interest from the sum. He would
later negotiate with the American consul Rounseville Wildman and Chinese Revolutionary Sun Yat Sen,
to purchase Mauser rifles with which to restart the revolution.
ENTER AMERICA EXEUNT HISPANIA

Following the American victory at Manila Bay, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines on an American
warship. His return triggered a widespread uprising by the native rebels who leaped upon the weakend
and unsupported Spanish garrisons across the archipelago and quickly overwhelmed them. Spanish
forces in Cavite were defeated at the Battle of Alapan, where the newly designed Philippine flag was first
unfurled. To the astonishment of Dewey and the Spanish administration, Aguinaldo was able to secure
most of Luzon and the Visayas except for tiny hold-out garrisons at Baler, Zamboanga and of course the
“faithful and ever loyal” city of Manila.

Under direct orders from Spain to not surrender the city to the rebels, the Governor General Fermin
Jaudenes negotiated secretly with the American military commanders to fight a ‘mock battle’ which
would save Spanish honor and then give the Americans the victory they wanted, provided the Filipinos
were left out in the cold. The Americans agreed.

On August 13, 1898, blue-shirted lines of American infantrymen climbed out of their trenches and
moved against the Spanish ‘defenders’. Sporadic fire and resulted in a few casualties but at the end of it
all the scarlet and gold that had flown over Manila for three centuries was sadly lowered and replaced
with the stars-and-stripes. The “three hundred years in a convent” had ended for the natives, replaced
by “fifty years of Hollywood”.

American troops raise the flag at Fuerte de San Antonio de Abad, Malate (1899).

American troops raise the flag at Fuerte de San Antonio de Abad, Malate (1899).

The succeeding months saw a rapid deterioration of the relationship between the two erstwhile allies,
Aguinaldo’s Filipinos and the American military. The Benevolent Assimilation proclamation made it clear
that the Americans were there to stay and hopes that the American anti-war movement would be able
to prevent the U.S.Congress from ratifying the Treaty of Paris, which sold the islands to America for $20-
million, were dashed by the outbreak of hostilities between February 4 and 5, 1899. A bloody war of
counterinsurgency began with the Filipinos – and a good number of Spaniards that had joined them
(many willing and some quite unwilling and forced) found themselves facing an enemy that would make
the Tagalog Revolt seem like a bar-room brawl. The Philippine-American War, America’s first true
overseas war of attrition, had begun.

THE KATIPUNAN OR REVOLUTIONARY ARMY


This is to differentiate it from the later, more highly organized Philippine Army of Liberation. The
Katipunan troops were essentially a clan/tribal force centering around the local council and its officers.
There were some officers that fulfilled a military role and others that were in an administrative
occupation, yet still holding rank.

Bodyguard troops – these would be the family and close friends/servants of the leader and would have a
higher level of toughness and more access to firearms, particularly as the revolution progressed.

Katipuneros – these would be the conscript troops armed with bamboo spears, bows & arrows and the
ubiquitous machete. There might be a few pistols among them.

Sandatahanes – (literally Swordbearers) these would be tough and fanatical bolo armed shock troops,
effective at close quarters against the enemy. An upgrade from Katipuneros.

Kawal – (literally Soldiers) these would be conscript troops who had been issued captured enemy rifles.
Not very effective except at fairly close range where even they cannot miss. An upgrade from
Katipuneros.

Veteranas – (literally Veterans) these would be leader types who had deserted from the Spanish Colonial
Army. These would have limited training capacity to improve Kawal class troops rifle skills.

Tiradores – (literally Sharpshooters) these would be Kawal troops that had been upgraded by training
with Veteranas leadership. Fairly effective at close to middle range. An upgrade from Kawal.

Commandante – (Major) a mid-grade field officer capable of leading men into battle. Having been
promoted up from Teniente, he would be fairly experienced.

Coronel – (Colonel) a high-grade field officer capable of leading men into battle. Some colonels gained
rank through experience but most, like most of the self-proclaimed generals owed their rank to political
connections and recruitment abilities. Randomly indifferent leadership.
The Filipinos had NO mounted troops, however the would have had superior ability to hide in the terrain
and maneuver out of rifle range.

Filipinos were armed primarily with captured Remington Rolling-Block rifles captured from Spanish
native troops. They were later able to secure the more potent Mauser rifles.

Daniel Tirona, of Tejeros Convention infamy, was in charge of a cartridge recovery program. Young
children would scamper about the battlefield and recover spent cartridges which were then refilled with
local (indifferent quality) black powder.

When Aguinaldo declared war on the Americans he integrated Katipunan forces, here wearing Spanish
uniforms, into his army. In the right of the photo, a Filipino flag can be seen with its distinctive Sun, the
emblem of which evolved from Katipunan flags.

When Aguinaldo declared war on the Americans he integrated Katipunan forces, here wearing Spanish
uniforms, into his army. In the right of the photo, a Filipino flag can be seen with its distinctive Sun, the
emblem of which evolved from Katipunan flags.

There was also an artillery casting foundery under the Chinese-Filipino general Jose Ignacio Paua which
made small cannon called ‘lankata’.

There is some evidence (Sr.Santiago Alvarez’s memoirs – Alvarez was leader of the Magdiwang Council of
Cavite and in-law to the Supremo Andres Bonfacio) that the Magdiwang troops were dressed in some
sort of black uniform with red distinctives/rank badges, while the Magdalo troops copied the Spanish
mil-raya / rayadillo uniform. The Tagalog Revolt era was very much a ‘Game of Thrones’ type affair of
warlords with local councils being virtually autonomous of Bonifacio’s Manila Katipunan, though the
Supremo was still afforded respect, and there was little to no true uniformity in the rebel forces.
Katipuneros would have worn their own civilian clothes, possibly with rank and group distinctives or
used captured Spanish guerera uniforms and Remington webbing to achieve a more martial look. Most
photographs show the use of white or rayadillo four-pocket jackets with side-slits for pistol and sword in
Spanish military style.

SOURCES

Filipino Heritage (ed.Alfredo Roces) particularly the following:

Vol 8 – Night of Heroes (1896-1900)


Vol 7 – The Awakening (late 19th Century)

Vol 6 – Roots of National Identity (18th/19th Centuries)

Vol 5 – Bajo las Campanas (17th/18th Centuries)

Filipinos at War – Carlos Quirino

A Question of Heroes – Nick Joaquin

The First Filipino – Leon Ma.Guerrero

Paghihimagsik Nang 1896-1897 – Isagani Medina

The Truth about Aguinaldo and other Heroes – Alfredo B. Saulo

The Katipunan and the Revolution: Memoirs of a General – Santiago Alvarez (memoirs)

The Memoirs of General Artemio Ricarte – Artemio Ricarte (memoirs)

The Tinio Brigade: Anti American Resistance in the Ilocos Provinces, 1899-1901 – Orlino Ochosa

Inventing a Hero: The Posthumous Recreation of Andres Bonifacio – Glen Anthony May

Great Filipino Battles – Monina Mercado

Little Brown Brother – Leon Wolff

Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines 1899-1903 – Stuart Creighton Miller

In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines – Stanley Karnow

Sitting in Darkness: Americans in the Philippines – David Haward Bain

The Philippine War 1899-1902 – Brian McAllister Linn

Inside the Spanish-American War: A History Based on First-Person Accounts – James McCaffrey

Uncle Sam’s Little Wars: The Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection, and Boxer Rebellion, 1898-
1902 (G.I. Series) – John Langellier

Spanish-American War (Brassey’s History of Uniforms) – Ron Field

The Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection – Alejandro de Quesada for Osprey Militaria

San Juan Hill 1898: America’s Emergence as a World Power – Angus Konstam for Osprey Militaria

Roosevelt’s Rough Riders – Alejandro de Quesada for Osprey Militaria


Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare – Daniel Marston, Carter Malkasian

Colorado Volunteer Infantry in the Philippine Wars – Geoffrey Hunt

Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars – Spencer C. Tucker (ed.)

Under the Red and Gold – Martin Cerezo

Empire By Default – Ivan Musicant

The War with Spain in 1898 – David Trask

The Savage Wars of Peace – Max Boot

The American Rifle – Alexander Rose

The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna – Vivencio Jose

As our might grows less: The Philippine-American War in Context – Jose Amiel Palma Angeles (thesis)

Warfare by Pulong – Glen Anthony May (article)

The Filipino Junta in Hong Kong, 1898-1903: History of a Revolutionary Organization – Ronald Bell
(thesis)

The Philippine American War – Arnaldo Dumindin – http://philippineamericanwar.webs.com/

Spanish-American War Centennial Website – http://www.spanamwar.com/

Los Rayadillos: The Spanish Colonial Uniform Research Project – William K. Combs

http://www.agmohio.com/losrayadillos.htm

The Kahimyang Book Archive:

http://kahimyang.info/kauswagan/Downloads.xhtml

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https://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/2017/11/30/andres-bonifacio-history-or-myth.html

The book that says Andres Bonifacio is an 'invented hero'

Written by Fiel Estrella

Updated Nov 30, 2017 4:11:54 PM

A historian relays the cinematic qualities of history, why Andres Bonifacio remains hard to pin down, and
the best way to honor an unprecedented hero. Illustration by JL JAVIER

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — First published in 1996, Glenn Anthony May’s book “Inventing a Hero:
The Posthumous Re-Creation of Andres Bonifacio” became the subject of heated debate when it reached
Philippine shores the following year. It was a product that turned out to be wholly different from what
May had set out to do, which was to write the biography of revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio.

When May’s research led him to then-unproven documents and contradictory accounts — particularly
those of Epifanio de los Santos, Manuel Artigas, and Jose P. Santos — his narrative shifted into a theory:
Could Bonifacio as we know him have been a sensationalized version of who he really was? “In effect,”
May wrote, “Bonifacio has been posthumously re-created. He has been given a new personality and a
childhood that may bear little resemblance to his real one.”
May was fully committed to his theory, calling Bonifacio’s written history a “myth” and the “nationalist
storytellers” who wrote about him “mythmakers.” He argued that, to inspire nationalism and
revolutionary thought in Filipinos, these accounts had attempted to give Bonifacio his own hero’s
journey, to mold him into somebody people could see themselves in. Jose Rizal was aspirational,
whereas Bonifacio was an everyman.

The book, upon its release and even today, was controversial, what with such a boldly posited thesis
statement that questioned everything Filipinos had ever known about such a beloved hero. Local
historians were doubtful of May’s motives and his arguments. Nonetheless, it was able to steer the
conversation toward the fickle nature of historical research and methodology.

"The book invites us to ask valid questions in how we write the story, not just of our heroes, but the
story of our nation."

In the 20 years since “Inventing a Hero” was released, the authenticity of Bonifacio’s letters and writing
has been proven. We’ve learned much more about him as a leader and as a person, although there are
still disputes regarding his death and his complete role in our history. (Was he actually the first
president? Should he be the National Hero?)

CNN Philippines Life spoke to historian Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, a professor at the De La Salle
University, about the cinematic qualities of history, why Bonifacio remains hard to pin down, and the
best way to honor an unprecedented hero. Below are edited excerpts from the interview.

Looking back, what are your thoughts on Glenn Anthony May’s theory, and how has it affected the
country’s perception and knowledge of Bonifacio?

We have now proven that Glenn May’s main basis, that the life of Andres Bonifacio was something that
is manufactured, at least the details of his life, is wrong.

If you’re going to look at how Filipinos at that time wrote history, they didn’t have the methodology that
Western historians like Glenn May would use, so [we can't] put the standards of historiography of
today’s world and Western historians to the people who were writing the history of the Philippines in the
1900s and in the early decades of the century.
I, myself, am helped by a lot of people who collect documents about Bonifacio and analyze them. I’m
now piecing together some information about his life that we got from these historians, or these
chroniclers, that did not cite sources, and they were wrong. And we are correcting [this] misinformation
because [it] had already created a lot of misconceptions about Bonifacio himself.

Glenn May, for example, is very critical about the life of Bonifacio. It is now being proven that a lot of the
information were wrong, but they’re also disproving the alleged exaggeration of the role of Bonifacio in
the revolution, when in fact, the new documents and the new testimonies and the new data that we
have illuminates more the role of Bonifacio especially in the establishment of the first revolutionary
government.

That said, the book by Glenn May is something that, at first, you could say historians cringed [at], but it
shouldn’t necessarily be dismissed altogether because the book invites us to ask valid questions in how
we write the story, not just of our heroes, but the story of our nation.

First published in 1996, Glenn Anthony May’s book “Inventing a Hero: The Posthumous Re-Creation of
Andres Bonifacio” became the subject of heated debate when it reached Philippine shores the following
year.

One of May’s points was that Bonifacio was “re-created” to promote nationalism and the revolution.
Why do you think history is sometimes sensationalized, or at least given a cinematic flourish?

Well, history is storytelling, and a story should be interesting. Even historians pick things that are
[cinematic], except that historians should have a basis for the things that they’re saying. You cannot say
that with cinema itself. So history is cinematic — you can make it cinematic, but cinema cannot be
history.

We should draw from these stories, whether it’s historical or cinematic. That is the essence of, the
meaning of the word kasaysayan, “saysay” means meaning and story. Stories with meaning. That’s why
in many ways, we hold these stories dear, these are important to us, and meaningful, because when we
look at Bonifacio, it tells us who we are. When we look at these stories of our nation, it tells us who we
are. And that’s why they’re meaningful.
What can we learn about historical research from the book?

What we can learn from it is, even if you’re not a historian, the way that historians pick a story, and
choose it to be part of the narrative or the story, it goes with the process of learning about provenance.
Where did this story come from? And that means that you have to trace the passing on of the story from
one person to another. Did it alter? Were these stories exaggerated? [It would also depend on] how you
look at the credibility of the people who told the story. So that’s what you call external criticism, when
you look at how genuine the document is. And internal criticism, when you have proven that the
document is genuine, but what it is saying, is it true or not?

You may disagree with Glenn May, but you cannot say that he was not careful about the stories that are
circulating. It doesn’t mean that historians are infallible, except that at least most of the information that
we give, sometimes we’re wrong. But at least we try to stand on something.

"The Katipunan he established in the spirit of kapatiran, sandugo, to love your brother, and to love your
fellowmen as your brother. The first rule of the Katipunan is to love."

Why is it that Andres Bonifacio is harder to pin down than, say, Jose Rizal?

Jose Rizal wrote a lot of things about himself. Bonifacio was a writer, too, but, you know, he was not
really an academic. Rizal was an academic, and Rizal, in a way, was conscious that he [was] doing
something great.

Bonifacio was organizing people, [so] he wouldn’t have time to write all these things. And he was a
working class hero. So it makes it harder because a lot of the things that we know about Bonifacio, we
only got from people who knew him. And sometimes they contradict each other. But at least when you
look at it in a wider view, you have an idea of what kind of man he was. And the little things that are
debated about him are less important than the things that matter that we can be sure of.

What, for you, is the best way for historians and ordinary citizens to honor Bonifacio’s memory as a
hero?
For historians, [we need] to be diligent in knowing more and researching more about his life. Not to just
nitpick, and not just for the sake of knowing, but also to give more meaning to our view of heroism, and
our view of narration. You know, necessary stories that we should correct each and every time to get a
better view of who we are as a people.

But also, for the whole people, it’s better to say this in Tagalog: Si Bonifacio ay inaalala natin bilang
matapang na tao. Pero huwag nating kakalimutan na tinuruan din niya tayong umibig. The Katipunan he
established in the spirit of kapatiran, sandugo, to love your brother, and to love your fellowmen as your
brother. The first rule of the Katipunan is to love.

But what I can tell you is this: Now the best way to commemorate him is to show that despite our
different political [and] religious beliefs, our different languages, as a nation, a multilingual, multiethnic,
and multicultural nation, we should at least show the world that we can love each other. We don’t have
to smash ourselves everyday on social media. You can at least show solidarity in spite of the differences
that we have, we are all Filipinos. I guess that’s the best way to honor the memory of Andres Bonifacio.
https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/lifestyle/content/323562/the-case-for-andres-bonifacio-as-the-
first-philippine-president/story/?related

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LIFESTYLE

The case for Andres Bonifacio as the first Philippine president

Published August 25, 2013 4:06pm

By CARMELA G. LAPEÑA, GMA News

As children are taught in school, Andres Bonifacio is the father of the Philippine revolution. Still, there
are those who believe he had another role in Philippine history — as the country's first president.

Bonifacio, often portrayed with a bolo in hand, is most known for leading the Katipuneros' revolt against
the Spanish colonizers.

However, he died not in battle but under orders from another Katipunero, Emilio Aguinaldo, who is
currently recognized as the first Philippine president.

Aguinaldo won in a snap election during the Tejeros Convention between the Magdiwang and Magdalo
— two rival factions of the Katipunan.

The belief that Bonifacio should be recognized as the first President of the Philippines is based on his
position as Supremo of the Katipunan revolutionary government from 1896 to 1897.
"From that point on, the Katipunan ceased to be a mere revolutionary organization into a revolutionary
government. Ang unang pambansang pamahalaan sa Pilipinas," historian Xiao Chua said.

The first Philippine government?

On August 24, 1896, Andres Bonifacio convened the Kataastaasang Kapulungan (Supreme Council),
declaring an armed revolution against Spain.

It was in the same meeting that they established the Katipunan as a national government, and held an
election of officials to lead the army and the nation.

"The Katipunan was more than a secret revolutionary society; it was, withal, a Government. It was the
intention of Bonifacio to have the Katipunan govern the whole Philippines after the overthrow of Spanish
rule," Gregorio F. Zaide, who wrote a history of the Katipunan, was quoted in an article by historians
Milagros C. Guerrero, Emmanuel N. Encarnacion, and Ramon N. Villegas.

Bonifacio referred to the country as Haring Bayang Katagalugan ("Sovereign Tagalog Nation"), Guerrero
wrote in "Reform and Revolution, Kasaysayan: The History of the Filipino People 5."

In letters addressed to Emilio Jacinto in 1897, Bonifacio's titles and designations included Ang
Kataastaasang Pangulo and Pangulo ng Haring Bayang Katalugan—his concept of the Philippine nation.

Bonifacio defined "Tagalog" as the term for all Filipinos, and not only those who spoke the language. In
referring to the nation as Katalugan, Bonifacio went against the colonial "Filipinas."

Should the Katipunan revolutionary government be recognized, this would predate the Tejeros
Convention on March 22, 1897.
Bonifacio arrived at the meeting, which was intended to resolve the issues between the two groups.
However, Aguinaldo wanted to dissolve the Katipunan and establish a revolutionary government.

"Iyon ay isang masasabi mong maneobra para matanggal na si Bonifacio sa puwesto. Habang andoon ang
Katipunan hindi siya matatanggal. So pinalitan nila ang agenda," UP Manila professor Danilo Aragon said
in "Case Unclosed: Ang Lihim ng 1897".

Snap elections were held, and Aguinaldo was voted president. Meanwhile, Bonifacio was voted as
Director of Interior.

Daniel Tirona, a Magdalo, protested Bonifacio's election, claiming he was not qualified for the job.
Insulted, Bonifacio, who presided over the election, declared the assembly dissolved. The next day,
Bonifacio and other Magdiwang members created the Acta de Tejeros, a document stating they did not
adopt the election results of the convention.

"Yung klase ng trapo politics na mayroon tayo ngayon, ay nagsimula pa noong panahon pa nila Aguinaldo
sa Tejeros Convention. Nandoon na 'yung lokohan, panlalait sa mga kandidato na walang pera," Aragon
said.

On May 10, 1897, Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were killed under orders from Aguinaldo, who
issued a statement 50 years later saying he had authorized the death sentence as advised by members of
the Council of War.

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A photo of Aguinaldo's statement dated March 22, 1948 was published in Teodoro Agoncillo’s "Revolt of
the Masses."

"Kawawa si Bonifacio, dahil parang hindi siya binigyan ng tamang respeto bilang nagtatag ng Katipunan
at nagsimula ng rebolusyon," Villegas said in "Case Unclosed".
Aguinaldo ordered the commutation of the death sentence, but was convinced otherwise. The brothers
were killed in the mountain of Maragondon, Cavite, and reports say Bonifacio's wife Gregoria De Jesus
was raped by one of Aguinaldo's men.

Aragon said De Jesus searched for Bonifacio in the mountains for one month, because she had not been
told that her husband was already dead.

"Kung binuhay mo din si Bonifacio, manggugulo naman siya. Kung na sa sitwasyon ka nung kampo ni
Aguinaldo, hindi mo rin siya puwedeng hayaan na buhay," Villegas said.

The descendants

Unsurprisingly, the descendants of the two men hold different opinions on the matter. "Kaya yan ang
kinikilala naming hero ng pamilya sapagkat siya ay nakipaglaban sa Kastila at naproklama niya ang ating
kasarinlan," said former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Aguinaldo's descendant.

"Yung pagpatay sa kanya, state-sponsored killing 'yan eh. Kasi para maging legitimate yung pagpatay sa
tao kailangan idaan sa isang due process," said attorney Gregorio Bonifacio, Procopio's great-great-
grandson.

According to the late former Supreme Court Justice Abraham Sarmiento, Bonifacio and his brother were
not given due process. Sarmiento, in "The Trial of Andres Bonifacio: The Appeal" also said that
Aguinaldo's camp did not have enough evidence against the brothers.

But Aguinaldo's kin believe Bonifacio's actions were a crime against the country. "Mayroon din kaming
mga storya at mga history books at sources na magsasabi na nararapat lang ang naging desisyon ni
Emilio Aguinaldo noon, considering yun ay panahon ng digmaan," said Transportation Secretary Joseph
Emilio Abaya, great-great-grandson of Emilio Aguinaldo.
The boy from Tondo

The eldest child of a tailor and a factory worker, Bonifacio was able to reach the equivalent of second
year high school and took care of his five siblings after their parents died.

In 1892, he joined La Liga Filipina, which was founded by Jose Rizal. In the same year, he established the
KKK (Kataastaasan Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan).

With Rizal's exile to Dapitan, La Liga Filipina collapsed. Meanwhile, the Katipunan grew over the next few
years, and the revolution was launched in August 1896. Apart from historians, others have pushed for
Bonifacio's recognition as the first president, including Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong
Manggagawa (SENTRO) and Bonifacio's own kin.

"Para sa kanya, ang kalayaan ay nangangahulugan ng kaginhawaan. Magkakaroon lang ng kaginhawaan


ang mga mamamayan kung ikaw ay malaya sa kahirapan, malaya sa kamangmangan, malaya ka sa
pangaapi," Josua Mata, secretary general of Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and co-convenor of
SENTRO said.

Meanwhile, Bonifacio's descendant Gregorio said they want to correct what is wrong. "Bilang apo ni
Bonifacio, natural gusto naming itama kung ano ang mali. Not for anything else, because para yung
susunod na henerasyon at nabasa nila na ito ang tama, alam nila kung ano ang gagawin nila," he said.

But while the National Historical Council of the Philippines is open to such petitions, they maintain that
Bonifacio was not the first President.

"We do not think of him as the first President, but rather we think of him as the leader of the Katipunan.
Because for one reason, we do not yet have a government to call our own at that time," said commission
member Bryan Anthony Paraiso.

"It does not diminish his contribution to Philippine history," Paraiso also said. — BM, GMA News
https://www.townandcountry.ph/people/heritage/emilio-aguinaldo-andres-bonifacio-acta-de-tejeros-
a1957-20181128-lfrm
HERITAGE

These Documents Reveal the Intense Rivalry Between Aguinaldo and Bonifacio

By MARIO ALVARO LIMOS | NOV 28, 2018

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IMAGE COURTESY OF LEON GALLERY; PUBLIC DOMAIN/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio’s rivalry was the Philippines’ most notorious and intriguing, it
being peppered with secrets and deception that we have only recently begun to understand. Thanks to
extremely historically important documents that have resurfaced after more than 100 years of being
kept in private collections, we are able to revisit their significance and shed more light to the very tense
relationship between Aguinaldo and Bonifacio.

On March 22, 1897, the Magdiwang and Magdalo chapters of the Katipunan, which also happened to be
the two largest and most powerful Katipunan branches in the country, were set to convene in Cavite in
what will be known as the infamous Tejeros Convention. The purpose of the Convention was to discuss
the Katipunan’s defense of Cavite, and to set up a revolutionary government, in part to quell the rivalry
between the Magdiwang and Magdalo groups. Bonifacio, as the leader of the Katipunan, presided over
the convention. Although Bonifacio did not take sides in any faction, it was thought that Magdiwang was
more supportive of Bonifacio than Magdalo, whose leaders were composed of disgruntled members of
the rich principalia, including Aguinaldo.

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Previously, these documents were kept as separate pages, but for the first time in over 100 years, they
are reunited in their entirety, allowing historians to discover important events in Philippine history.

At the Convention, while others were proposing a monarchy, Bonifacio moved to erect a democratic
republican government by electing leaders of the revolutionary government. During the elections, he
was nominated for the position of President, but lost to Aguinaldo. He was again nominated for the
position of Vice President, but lost again. Bonifacio honorably accepted the losses. Finally, he was
nominated for the last and lowest position of Interior Secretary—a position created presumably as a sign
of respect for the Katipunan founder—which he eventually won.

However, a certain Daniel Tirona would not have Bonifacio sit as Interior Secretary, saying the latter did
not have enough credentials to be in government. Tirona suggested that a lawyer be nominated instead.

The insult set off Bonifacio, who declared the meeting invalid and then walked out with his men.

Mariano Alvarez, in a letter to his uncle, also described the meeting as fraudulent and deceitful, with
some Cavite men already manipulating the voters beforehand. He reveals the myopic and regionalistic
view of Filipinos, who saw Bonifacio as an outsider:

“Before the election began, I discovered the underhand work of some of the Imus crowd who had
quietly spread the statement that it was not advisable that they be governed by men from other
pueblos, and that they should for this reason strive to elect Captain Emilio as President.”

Meanwhile, Bonifacio made his way to Naic, Cavite, where he would write the Acta de Tejeros, signed by
himself and 44 important officers of the Katipunan. For the first time in over 100 years, the entirety of
the document is made available through the Leon Gallery.

The Acta de Tejeros is a document proclaiming the Tejeros Convention as invalid because of its lack of
due process, and also because of the underhanded chicanery that marred its elections.

Written and signed one day after the events at the Tejeros Convention, the Acta de Tejeros is seen as
Bonifacio’s outraged yet calculated move against Aguinaldo’s capturing of the Katipunan.

The signatories further rejected the republic instituted at the convention and reaffirmed their
commitment to the Katipunan. Unbeknownst to them, it was this very declaration that would cost
Bonifacio his life, charging him with treason in a kangaroo court composed of Aguinaldo’s loyalists.
A month after the Acta de Tejeros was signed, Bonifacio once again took things a step further by issuing
the Acta de Naik. The document proclaims that some leaders of the Katipunan (implying Aguinaldo) had
betrayed the Revolution and had committed treason.

According to historian Jim Richardson, “the charge of treason sprang in part from Aguinaldo’s reaction
some weeks earlier to letters he received from two Spaniards urging a negotiated peace.” For Bonifacio,
the revolution was non-negotiable and saw Aguinaldo as willing to abandon it provided the Spanish
agreed to some concessions.

IMAGE COURTESY OF LEON GALLERY

Acta de Naik (The Naik Military Agreement), Signed by Andres Bonifacio and 41 other men, many being
important historical personalities of the Philippine Revolution; Dated: c. 19 April 1897, two sheets, four
pages, handwritten on linen parchment paper

The document is signed by 41 men, which surprisingly included two of Aguinaldo’s most senior generals:
Pio del Pilar and Mariano Noriel. This defection scored Bonifacio important points in retaining his control
over the Katipunan.

Another very significant signatory which has only recently been revealed is Mariano Trias, who for the
past 100 years was thought to not have signed the document because he was elected Vice President at
the Tejeros Convention and had sworn his oath of office with Aguinaldo.

Other important signatories in the Acta de Naik include staunch Aguinaldo men like Artemio Ricarte,
Antonio Guevara, and Severino de las Alas. This proves that it was not only Aguinaldo who was capable
of executing shrewd political stratagems. Apparently, Bonifacio was quite capable of that himself, too.
But Aguinaldo would not have any of it.
According to Richardson, upon learning of the maneuverings of his own men, Aguinaldo would
nonchalantly appear at the Naik hacienda where Bonifacio was reading out loud reports from an
informant detailing Aguinaldo’s shifting loyalties. Without batting an eyelid, Aguinaldo surveyed the
faces of the duplicitous men he thought were his own. Bonifacio, in response to the intrusion, told
Aguinaldo to “come and sit, listen to our reports,” to which Aguinaldo responded with “If I were needed
here, you would have invited me.” With that, he left the room, leaving everyone stunned.

This bold act by Aguinaldo persuaded Pio del Pilar and Mariano Noriel to butterfly back to Aguinaldo’s
camp. As proof of their loyalty, Aguinaldo made del Pilar to testify against Bonifacio in his bogus trial,
while Noriel would pass judgment on Bonifacio, finding him guilty of treason.

The extremely important historical document, Acta de Tejeros, is made up of four sheets of linen
parchment paper with eight pages. It will go under the gavel for a starting price of P1,000,000. This
document is the catalyst that sent Bonifacio to his early grave in the hands of Aguinaldo’s men.

IMAGE COURTESY OF LEON GALLERY


Acta de Tejeros (Tejeros Proclamation), Signed by Katipunan Supremo, Andres Bonifacio and 44 men,
many of whom are important personalities of the Philippine Revolution; Dated: 23 March 1897, four
sheets, eight pages, handwritten on linen parchment paper

The equally significant Acta de Naik is made up of two sheets of linen parchment paper with four pages.
It will also start at a bidding price of P1,000,000. This document surprised historians about the amount
of support that Bonifacio received from men allegedly from Aguinaldo’s camp.

Both documents represent the very intense and tumultuous rivalry between the Philippines’ two most
influential revolutionary leaders. Previously, these documents were kept as separate pages, but for the
first time in over 100 years, they are reunited in their entirety, allowing historians to discover important
events in Philippine history.

The Kingly Treasures Auction 2018 is on December 1, 2018 to be held at Leon Gallery, Ground Floor,
Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati.

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Philippine Information Agency

Values we must learn from Andres Bonifacio

By NHCP
Published On November 30, 2018

Opening the pages of Philippine history books, Bonifacio’s name would always be mentioned and
associated with the formation of the Katipunan, a separatist movement which spearheaded the
Philippine Revolution of 1896. But unlike Jose Rizal, whose life and undertakings were fully documented,
very few were known on the life of Bonifacio, thanks to the accounts of his fellow Katipuneros and his
wife Gregoria de Jesus that we were at least given an impression of how was he as a person and as a
politically-inclined individual. This article gives an insight on the values the Filipinos must imitate from a
man who never expected to be on the spotlight, but out of love for his country, staged actions that
changed the course of Philippine history.

Optimistic Attitude and Strong Sense of Responsibility

Andres Bonifacio was barely fourteen years old when they were orphaned. Without any hesitation, he
assumed the responsibility of raising his younger siblings. In order to meet the daily needs of their
family, he engaged in making and peddling of paper fans and wooden canes. Despite the fact that he
cannot afford a formal education for himself, it did not prevent him from seeking knowledge by reading
during his free time.

This episode in Bonifacio’s life was not uncommon, since there were several Filipino children orphaned
at young age. What was uncommon about him was having the optimistic attitude and strong sense of
responsibility after the death of their parents. Instead of crying over spilled milk, he rose on his feet and
worked hard to raise his younger brothers and sisters. This proved that being responsible cannot be
quantified by one’s age; it is a matter of learning how to act, rationalize and decide correctly despite
overwhelming burdens and pressures.

Bonifacio had shown high regard for education and despite his meager status he engaged in reading
books written in Tagalog and Spanish. Filipinos should realize that event at present, a commendable
reading habit is very important in enriching minds and in making oneself productive and competent.
Value for Work and Virtue of Not Wasting Time

While working as clerk for Fleming and Company, Bonifacio also worked as poster-maker to augment his
income. In the early phase of 1896, he shifted to another English company known as Fressels Company
where he worked as an agent.

If Filipino workers would maintain the dignity of their works just like Bonifacio, both private and public
services will definitely be delivered efficiently and effectively. If workers are more time-oriented and
hard-working, the development and progress of the Philippines will not be impossible, for time is not
wasted merely for standing, gossiping and image-building but more on directing services and fulfillment
of duties for the betterment of the society.

Social Responsiveness

Just like any other Indio of his time, Bonifacio felt the social malaise as a result of oppressive Spanish
colonial administration. To make fellow Filipinos aware of the real condition of the country, he sold
revolutionary leaflets near the University of Santo Tomas. He also joined the La Liga Filipina when it was
founded by Jose Rizal on 3 July 1892. Unfortunately, the Liga Filipina died down after the imprisonment
of Rizal in Dapitan. Bonifacio founded the Katipunan on 7 July 1892 in an aim to gain independence from
Spain. Through the said act, Bonifacio actively responded to the call of the time to make a change.

Patriotism and Love for his native language

When the Kalayaan, the official organ of the Katipunan, essays written by Bonifacio such as “Ang Dapat
Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” and “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” were included. Bonifacio encouraged the
use of the vernacular in the association and opted to write in Tagalog, to show patriotism and love for his
native language.
Humility

Though most of his detractors portrayed Bonifacio as arrogant, this can be belied by anecdotes involving
him and Emilio Jacinto. Initially, Bonifacio wrote the Decalogue that embodied the teachings of the
Katipunan. But soon after, Jacinto came up with his Mga Aral ng Katipunan to which, Bonifacio found to
be superior to his own. Thus, he promptly withdrew the Decalogue and ordered the adaptation of
Jacinto’s work. Such was the humility of a man. (Chris Antonette Piedad-Pugay/NHCP)

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https://www.philstar.com/the-freeman/opinion/2018/11/30/1873016/tragic-life-and-sad-saga-gat-
andres-bonifacio/amp/

The tragic life and sad saga of Gat Andres Bonifacio

By Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 30, 2018 - 12:00am

Today is the 155th birth anniversary of the Great Plebeian, the hero of the working class, founder and
supremo of the Katipunan, Father of the Philippine Revolution and President of the Tagalog Republic, Gat
Andres C. Bonifacio. In my hierarchy of Philippine heroes, he was the truly great Filipino – even greater
than Jose Rizal – who should have been credited as the first president of the Philippines, instead of
General Emilio F. Aguinaldo. But his life was tragic and the saga of his struggles was all tears, blood and
sweats, while Rizal had all the glory and the adulation. Bonifacio was battle-scarred, wounded and
pained all his life as an orphan, widow, an oppressed worker, victim of intrigues. He was cheated in the
Tejeros mock elections, betrayed and killed by his own comrades, his wife was raped by his murderers,
and he never saw the dawning of freedom and liberty.

It has been said that Dr. Jose Rizal was all ideas with no action while Ka Andres Bonifacio was all action
with no ideas. Such line of thinking, to my mind is unfair to both Rizal and Bonifacio. The novels Noli Me
Tangere and El Filibusterismo were Rizal’s own description of their own characters Rizal is Crisostomo
Ibarra, well-educated, well-traveled, cultured and refined, while Ka Andres was an unschooled peasant,
manual laborer and union leader from Tondo who never gone out of Luzon. Gat Andres was Elias and
Simoun, rebel and dreamer. Both of them loved their motherland. Rizal was well-dressed as an ilustrado,
Bonifacio was an ill-clad. Rizal’s monument stands proudly in Luneta to be viewed by kings, presidents
and prime ministers. Bonifacio’s monument is consigned under the trees in front of the National Post
office and in Caloocan, away from the eyes of the tourists and foreign dignitaries.

Gat Andres was in his teens when both his parents died of cholera in the peasant neighborhood of
Tondo, home of Manila’s working class, where workers from Visayas and Mindanao usually find shelter
straight from the docking areas of the boats from the south. The young eldest son had to feed and care
for all his siblings by making canes and paper fans which he sold to the moneyed elite in Ermita and the
Chinese community in Binondo. He got odd jobs as manual laborer and later as ‘bodegero.’ He never had
formal schooling but his aunt taught him how to read and write. He started to read stories about the
French revolution and biographies of US presidents, which inspired him and instilled in him love for
country.

He founded the Katipunan in July of 1892 at the young age of 29. One of the members was Emilio
Aguinaldo from Cavite, who later ousted the founder and took over as leader in the rigged elections
dominated by the Magdalo faction which outnumbered the Magdiwang from Tondo. Bonifacio was tried
by a kangaroo court created by his opponents led by Aguinaldo. Charged ironically of treason, (how
could he betray the country that he so loved), he was found guilty by a ragtag tribunal who already
decided to execute him and his two brothers, Ciriaco and Procopio even before he was heard. His widow,
Gregoria de Jesus-Bonifacio was raped by his executioners and Bonifacio’s life was ended in tears and
agony, tragedy and ignominy.

Aguinaldo was an ilustrado, landed and educated like Jose Rizal. Bonifacio was a peasant, but who loved
his country, offered his life and his death to the motherland. Today, we should honor his memory and the
great examples he gave to the Filipinos. He was hacked and shot at the back in the jungles of Cavite,
while Rizal was given the drama of being executed in front of cameras in the tourist center in Luneta.
History had been too unkind to the one who suffered more and the people do not know the depths of
Bonifacio love for his country and people.

http://nhcp.gov.ph/andres-bonifacio-and-the-katipunan/

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Philippine Standard Time:

Thursday, October 24, 2019, 3:26:57 PM

Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan

Posted on September 4, 2012

ANDRES BONIFACIO AND THE KATIPUNAN


Andres Bonifacio was born on November 30, 1863 in a small hut at Calle Azcarraga, presently known as
Claro M. Recto Avenue in Tondo, Manila. His parents were Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro.

Andres was the eldest in a brood of five. His other siblings were Ciriaco, Procopio, Troadio,
Esperidiona and Maxima. He obtained his basic education through a certain Guillermo Osmeña of Cebu.
The Bonifacio family was orphaned when Andres was barely fourteen. With this, Andres assumed the
responsibility of raising his younger siblings.

In order to support the needs of their family, he maximized his skills in making crafts and sold paper
fans and canes. He also worked as messenger in Fleming & Company. Eventually, he moved to Fressel &
Company, where he worked as warehouse man until 1896. Poverty never hindered Andres’ thirst for
knowledge. He devoted most of his time reading books while trying to improve his knowledge in the

Spanish and Tagalog language. The warehouse of Fressel & Company served as his library and study
room.

Andres was married to Gregoria de Jesus who happened to be his second wife. His first wife –
Monica- died of leprosy a year after their marriage. Gregoria was only sixteen years old and Andres was
twenty-nine when their romance sprung. At first, Gregoria’s parents were against their relationship, but
in time, allowed the couple to be married in Catholic rites. The two were married in 1892, both in
Catholic and Katipunan rites. Gregoria chose “Lakambini” as her nom de guerre.

THE TEJEROS CONVENTION

On March 22, 1897, a convention was held in Tejeros in order to settle the dispute between the two
councils and to decide on what type of government should be installed. During the early phase of the
convention the crowd became unruly, causing a recess. When the convention resumed, Bonifacio was
assigned to preside in the election of the officers of the new government that was to be set up. Before
this, however, Bonifacio laid down the rule that the assembly should respect whatever would be the
outcome of the election.
When Bonifacio was elected Secretary of Interior, Daniel Tirona contested and argued that a lawyer
should handle the position. Bonifacio felt insulted and demanded an apology from Tirona. Because of
humiliation and anger, Bonifacio declared that all matters convened in the Tejeros Convention were null
and void. Together with his supporters, he left the estate house.

“ACTA DE TEJEROS,” “NAIC PACT” AND THE REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT OF AGUINALDO

The next day, Bonifacio stressed out his reason for invalidating the Tejeros Convention through a
document known as “Acta de Tejeros” signed by his supporters. Meanwhile, the elected officers of
Magdalo held a meeting at Sta. Cruz de Malabon. That night, Aguinaldo and the other elected officers in
Tejeros took their oath of office.

Bonifacio decided to establish another government independent from that of Aguinaldo in


accordance with the “Naic Pact” enacted by him which signed by his 41 supporters including two of
Aguinaldo’s general. These two generals, however, turned their back on Bonifacio after a talk with
Aguinaldo, pledging loyalty to the latter, instead.

The Revolutionary Government was established without the customary elections on 17 April 1897
with Aguinaldo completing his Cabinet members through appointment.

THE CRY OF PUGADLAWIN

On 23 August 1896, the Supremo and his troops formally launched an armed revolution against
Spain. They tore their resident certificates or cedulas which symbolized their defiance against from the
colonizers. This became known in history as “The Cry of Pugadlawin.”

CONTINUED STRUGGLES

On 29 August 1896, Katipunan members tried to seize Mandaluyong, Pandacan and Pasig. However,
the attacks were unsuccessful. The Battle at San Juan del Monte was a military disaster after the death
of more than a hundred Katipuneros. Gen. Ramon Blanco, as a response, declared in a state of war in
the eight provinces believed to be the hotbeds of revolution namely: Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas,
Bulacan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.

MAGDIWANG VS. MAGDALO

Bad blood erupted between the two Katipunan Councils in Cavite—the Magdalo and Magdiwang due
to lack of respect and territorial competition prompting Mariano Alvarez to invite Bonifacio to Cavite
and intercede. On 17 December 1896, Bonifacio together with his brothers, wife and troops went to
Cavite –the province where the Supremo met his tragic fate.

An assembly was held at Imus estate house on December 29 with both Magdalo and Magdiwang
members attending. A disagreement arose between the two councils on the issue of establishing a
revolutionary government to replace the Katipunan. The assembly ended without the issue being
resolved.

SITUATION DURING BONIFACIO’S TIME

Andres Bonifacio was born in an era when the natives were considered Indios and the Spanish friars
were believed to be God’s representative on earth. He observed that the Filipinos during his time were
not free and the Spanish government and the Catholic Church enslaved them. During the same period,
Freemasonry and its doctrine gained popularity.

Bonifacio admired Jose Rizal for his great effort in awakening Filipino nationalism. He even witnessed
and joined the founding of La Liga Filipina spearheaded by Rizal on 3 July 1892. Sadly, the organization
died naturally after Rizal was exiled in Dapitan. Prior to his involvement in free masonry and Liga,
Bonifacio continued to work in Fressel & Co. and sell fans and canes. He met Ladislao Diwa, and Teodoro
Plata who would play major roles in the establishment of the Katipunan.

THE KATIPUNAN
On July 7, 1892, the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan was founded
in the house of Deodato Arellano at 734 Calle El Cano cor. Azcarraga. Membership was through blood
compact symbolizing the foundation of the secret society, which aimed the separation of the Philippines
from Spain and the expulsion of the Spaniards in the country. The first Supremo of the Katipunan was
Deodato Arellano, followed by Roman Basa and finally, Andres Bonifacio.

In 1893, women were given the chance to join the organization. The first members were Gregoria de
Jesus, Josefa Rizal, Marina Dizon and Angelica Lopez. They served as the keepers of important and
confidential documents of the Katipunan and staged galas as fronts for the regular meetings of the male
members. By 1894, the Katipunan spread throughout Manila.

In order to strengthen and further widen the operations of the organization, the Kalayaan, the official
organ of the Katipunan was published with Emilio Jacinto as editor. Two works of Bonifacio were
published in the Kalayaan– “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” and “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog.”

THE PLAN FOR A REVOLUTION

An important meeting held on 3 May 1896 concluded with a plan to rescue Rizal from Dapitan to lead
the revolution. The task was assigned to Dr. Pio Valenzuela. Unfortunately, Rizal expressed his
opposition to the idea of launching an unprepared revolution against a strong nation protected by well-
armed defense force. In the end, he urged that if the revolution is inevitable, the revolutionary members
should seek the help of the rich and influential people to convince them to support the cause of the
revolution. He also suggested that the service of Antonio Luna be secured by the organization because
of his military expertise and affiliation with rich and influential Filipinos.

THE DISCOVERY OF THE KATIPUNAN

The quarrel between two employees of the printing shop publishing Diario de Manila resulted in the
discovery of Katipunan. This happened after Apolonio dela Cruz was given a P2 raise in salary and
Teodoro Patiño was not given any. A heated argument sparked between them which led Patiño to
confide the secrets of the Katipunan to his sister Honoria at the convent where she was staying, her
tearful reaction attracted the attention of one of the nuns. The nun in turn, persuaded Patiño to tell
everything he knew to Fr. Mariano Gil, the parish priest of Tondo. After hearing the revelations, Fr. Gil
contacted the authorities and urged them to raid the printing shop. Documents, oaths signed in blood,
receipts and ledgers related to Katipunan were confiscated from the shop.

ILL FATED DESTINY

As a result of the fateful experiences he encountered in Cavite, Bonifacio planned to return to


Montalban and San Mateo. On their way to Montalban, he and his followers passed by Limbon, Indang –
a place in Cavite where food was scarce and people were tightfisted. At this point, Severino de las Alas
turned his back against Bonifacio. The angered Bonifacio responded with threats and words that were
wrongly interpreted by the people of Indang. The people sought the help of Aguinaldo, who
immediately ordered the arrest of Bonifacio.

On 27 April 1897, skirmishes took place between the forces of Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. In the said
scuffle, Ciriaco was killed, while Procopio and the Supremo were caught. Andres Bonifacio was stabbed
in the neck, weakening him and soaking him in blood.

The next day, the prisoners were brought to Indang Tribunal, then to Naic. Within the day, Gen.
Mariano Noriel created the tribunal that eventually tried and convicted the Bonifacio brothers of
sedition, and sentenced them to death. Surprised by the decision of the tribunal, Aguinaldo commutated
the verdict. He recommended the Bonifacio brothers be exiled to an isolated island also found in Cavite.
However, Gen. Noriel and Gen. Pio del Pilar dissuaded him, arguing that by reducing the sentence, the
Revolutionary Government of the Philippines would once again be at stake. Aguinaldo, in the end,
changed his mind and signed the death sentence of the Bonifacio brothers.

On 10 May 1897, Procopio and Andres were shot at Mount Nagpatong, near Mount Buntis in
Maragondon, Cavite. This event ended the short life of the Supremo. His educational attainment and
military expertise may not have been equal to that of other heroes but his love for the country was
absolute. His name will always be revered and serve as the battle cry of Filipinos who yearn for freedom
oppression and injustice.
PROCUREMENT

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