Andrés Bonifacio y de Castro Born on November 30, 1863; was a Filipino nationalist and revolutionalist. He is often called "the great plebeian," "father of the Philippine Revolution," and "father of the Katipunan." He was a founder and later Supremo ("supreme leader") of the Katipunan movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule and started the Philippine Revolution. He is considered a de facto national hero of the Philippines, and is also considered by some Filipino historians to be the first President, but he is not officially recognized as such.
Bonifacio was the son of Santiago Bonifacioand Catalina de Castro in Tondo, Manila and wasthe eldest of five children. His father was a tailorwho served as a tenyente mayor of Tondo, Manilawhile his mother was a mestiza born of a Spanishfather and a Filipino-Chinese mother who workedat a cigarette factory. As was custom, upon baptismAndres was named for the saint on whose feast hewas born, Andrew the Apostle.
Trivia: Bonifacio was a part-time actor whoperformed in moro-moro plays beforehe was even recognized as the “Fatherof Philippine revolution.”
In 1892 he joined Rizals La Liga Filipina, anorganization which called for political reform in thecolonial government of the Philippines. However, LaLiga disbanded after only one meeting as Rizal wasarrested and deported to Dapitan in Mindanao.Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini and others revived LaLiga in Rizals absence and Bonifacio was active atorganizing local chapters in Manila. La Liga Filipina contributed moral and financialsupport to Propaganda Movement Filipino reformistsin Spain.
On July 7, 1892, the day after Rizalsdeportation was announced, Bonifacio andothers founded the Katipunan (KKK), or infull, Kataastaasang KagalanggalangangKatipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan. The secret society sought independencefrom Spain through armed revolt. Withinthe society Bonifacio used the pseudonymMay pag-asa.
Within the society, Bonifacio developed a strong friendship with Emilio Jacinto who served as his adviser and confidant, as well as a member of the Supreme Council. Bonifacio adopted Jacintos Kartilya primer as the official teachings of the society in place of his own Decalogue, which he judged as inferior.. Bonifacio, Jacinto and Pio Valenzuela collaborated on the societys organ Kalayaan (Freedom), which only had one printed issue. Bonifacio wrote several pieces for the paper, including the poem Pag-ibig sa Tinubúang Lupà under the pseudonym Agapito Bagumbayan.
The rapid increase of Katipunan activity drew the suspicion of the Spanish authorities. By early 1896, Spanish intelligence was already aware of the existence of a seditious secret society, and suspects were kept under surveillance and arrests were made.. On May 3, Bonifacio held a general assembly of Katipunan leaders in Pasig where they debated when to start their revolt.
Philippine Revolution: Start of UprisingThe Spanish authorities confirmed the existence of the Katipunan on 19 August 1896. Hundreds of Filipino suspects, both innocent and guilty, were arrested and imprisoned for treason.
Eluding an intensive manhunt,Bonifacio called thousands of Katipunanmembers to a mass gathering in Caloocan,where they decided to start their revolt. Theevent, marked by the tearing of cedulas(community tax certificates) was later calledthe "Cry of Balintawak" or "Cry of PugadLawin"; the exact location and date of theCry are disputed.
The Supreme Council of the Katipunan declared anationwide armed revolution against Spain and calledfor a simultaneous coordinated attack on the capitalManila on 29 August.Before hostilities erupted, Bonifacio reorganized theKatipunan into an open de facto revolutionarygovernment, with him as President and commander-in-chief (or generalissimo) of the rebel army and theSupreme Council as his cabinet. On 28 August,Bonifacio issued the following general proclamation:
“This manifesto is for all of you. It is absolutelynecessary for us to stop at the earliest possible timethe nameless oppositions being perpetrated on thesons of the country who are now suffering the brutalpunishment and tortures in jails, and because of thisplease let all the brethren know that on Saturday, the29th of the current month, the revolution shallcommence according to our agreement. For thispurpose, it is necessary for all towns to risesimultaneously and attack Manila at the same time.Anybody who obstructs this sacred ideal of thepeople will be considered a traitor and anenemy, except if he is ill; or is not physically fit, inwhich case he shall be tried according to theregulations we have put in force.” -Mount of Liberty, 28 August 1896 – ANDRÉS BONIFACIO
The poem “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa”was a composition of Andres Bonifacio,regarded as the Father of the PhilippineRevolution, for he led the Philippinerevolutionaries in asserting and defending theFilipinos’ right to liberty from the Spanishrule.
This passionately written work of Bonifacio wasone of his contributions to the Filipinos’ awakeningfrom their ill-fated plight back then. Moreover, thisparticular poem was likely based on his life, hisexperiences among fellow Filipinos, since in readingthe poem one would notice that Bonifacio wrote hissentiments about the Filipinos. One of thosesentiments—or the major sentiment, at that—wasthe Filipinos’ lack of nationalism. Such sentiment ofhim is stated blatantly and explicitly in the openingverse of his poem.
To be sure, he thought that Filipinos hadlost their sense of pride of being Filipinos. Inresponse, he provoked the emotions as well asthe intellects of the Filipino populace to feelinside them, more so, realize amongthemselves that there is no other country forthem but the Philippines.
Adding that, they should appreciate andlove their country more than anyone else,since there are no other people who can givelove and appreciate their country except thecountrymen themselves, the Filipinosthemselves. As had Bonifacio, who ceaselesslyshowed his love and patriotism to hismotherland.
“Love of country is always the desire of a man with honor; In songs, in poetry, in his writingsthe greatness of the country is always the theme.” “Ah, this is the Mother country of ones birth, she is the mother on whom the soft rays of the sun shine, which gives strength to the weak body.”
The Bonifacio brothers wereexecuted on May 10, 1897 in themountains of Maragondon.