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BONIFACIO: His Contribution & Significance to Laguna

Laguna Tourism, Culture, Arts & Trade Office
November 21, 2014
 
 
Bonifacio Day is annually held every 30th day of November. It is a national public holiday in the Philippines celebrating the birth anniversary of one of the Philippines’ greatest and most influential heroes, Andrés Bonifacio.
 
Born on November 30, 1863, Bonifacio was one of the Filipino revolutionary leaders who spearheaded the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers in the late 19th century. A Freemason, Bonifacio, along with some others, founded the underground movement known as the Kataas–taasan, Kagalang–galangan, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, or simply Katipunan in 1892 that heralded the end of Spanish colonial rule over our people. The Katipunan was a secret revolutionary society that instigated militant reactions against the Spaniards, aiming to help Filipinos’ in their quest for freedom and independence against Spain. Hence, Bonifacio is regarded as the Father of the Philippine Revolution and was the most effective President of the Supreme Council of the Katipunan.
 
However, Bonifacio’s leadership was undermined by others, particularly by the supporters of Emilio Aguinaldo who aggressively took over the revolutionary forces after a series of leadership challenges and internal rifts that threatened the unity of Katipunan. Bonifacio was arrested and was unjustly ordered to be tried and executed under the guise of treason along with his brother. And on May 10, 1897, the Bonifacio brothers were executed in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite.
 
In Laguna, the flame of resistance was firmly planted by members of the Katipunan. In Bae, Katipuneros took care of Apolinario Mabini, who will later be acknowledged as the Brains of the Revolution. In Pagsanjan, Katipunan members launched the earliest battle against the Spaniards in the Battle of Sambat. In Magdalena, Emilio Jacinto, the Brains of the Katipunan, participated in the Battle of Maimpis. It was also believed that Gregoria de Jesus, wife of Bonifacio and Lakambini of the Katipunan, went to a town in Laguna after escaping from the men who persecuted the Bonifacio Brothers.
 
Unlike Rizal Day or any other national celebration for independence, Bonifacio Day is celebrated on the day of his birth rather than the day of his death, mainly because Bonifacio suffered the controversy of being killed by his fellow countrymen, not by the Spaniards.
           
Nevertheless, Andres Bonifacio was one of those influential people we are proud to have in our country. He made great contributions and sacrifices during the Spanish regime to gain our country’s independence which we are enjoying right now.
 
As a tribute to Bonifacio, a bill was submitted to Congress by KABATAAN Party List Representative Mr. Raymond Palatino, filed as House Bill No. 4543. It aims to promote another subject in college that will cover the life and contributions of Bonifacio and will be known as “The Life, Works, and Ideals of Andres Bonifacio.”
 
The said bill emphasizes that college students should learn to apply the nationalistic ideals that Bonifacio possessed during his time. It also stresses the role of the government in promoting nationalism and patriotism under the Philippine Constitution.
           
Incidentally, a culminating ceremony for the 150th Birth Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio will take place at the Bonifacio Execution Site in Mt. Nagpatong, Maragodon, Cavite on November 30, 2014 that will be hosted by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
 
We honour heroes like Andres Bonifacio by keeping them alive as symbols in our quest for freedom, social justice, and solidarity.