WE observed last Friday, November 30th, the 155th birth anniversary of one of the Philippines’ greatest heroes – Andres Bonifacio. However he may be called, whether as the Father of the Katipunan or the Father of the Philippine Revolution or the Great Plebeian, Andres Bonifacio undoubtedly contributed much to the history and independence of the Philippines.
While he may not be as highly educated as the other Philippine heroes, it cannot be said that Andres Bonifacio is less of a hero. Through his own tenacity and perseverance, he was able to raise himself and his siblings after the untimely death of their parents when Bonifacio was only 14 years old. His natural inclination towards learning, and with a little bit of reading ability enabled him to study the novels of Dr. Jose Rizal, the lives of presidents, the acclaimed book Le Miserables, and other publications that awakened the patriotic fire in him and prompted Bonifacio to organize fellow patriots into a group that would be later called the Katipunan.
Leadership was a natural and outstanding quality of Andres Bonifacio and it was not a surprise that the Katipunan grew in numbers very quickly. At the Cry of Pugad Lawin, the Katipuneros led by Bonifacio destroyed their community tax certificates to manifest their discontent and revolt against Spanish cruelty and corruption. If we were to think more deeply, Bonifacio was the first to take the first big, bold step towards freedom by leading uprisings that successfully reclaimed independence from the colonizers. Bonifacio and the Katipuneros were the first to stand up and take arms to meet Spanish civil guards head on. It is a sad note written in history that Bonifacio had to be pursued and executed by his own fellowmen.
Andres Bonifacio is a shining symbol of Filipino bravery and heroism. While he may not have written novels or books, and while he may not have received higher education from universities, Bonifacio embodies the true meaning of heroism – one that is ready to offer his youth, hi talent, his strength, his life to fight for freedom and independence. The bravery that Bonifacio displayed in the war truly manifests the strength and courage of Filipinos, these being drawn from the patriotic spirit deep within every Filipino heart.
On his 155th birth anniversary, may his memory remain to inspire and spark up patriotic flames for our modern-day heroes.