Today the nation marks the 148th birth anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio (November 30, 1863 – May 10, 1897), founder and the supreme leader of the Katipunan.
Bonifacio was born to Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro in Tondo, Manila and was the eldest of five children.
Bonifacio was married twice. His first wife was a certain Monica who died of leprosy. His second wife, Gregoria de Jesús was of Caloocan, whom he married in 1893. They had one son who died in infancy.
On July 7, 1892, the day after Rizal’s deportation was announced, Bonifacio and others founded the Katipunan, or in full, Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (“Highest and Most Respected Society of the Children of the Country”). The secret society sought independence from Spain through armed revolt.
When Spanish authority ordered an intensive manhunt, Bonifacio called thousands of Katipunan members to a mass gathering in Caloocan, where they decided to start their revolt. The event, marked by the tearing of cedulas (community tax certificates) was later called the “Cry of Balintawak” or “Cry of Pugad Lawin”.
Accused of sedition and treason against Aguinaldo’s government and conspiring to murder Aguinaldo, Bonifacio wa brought to Naic where he and his brother, Procopio stood trial. Found guilty despite insufficient evidence, the Bonifacio brothers were executed on May 10, 1897 in the mountains of Maragondon.
In 1918, the American-sponsored government of the Philippines mounted a search for Bonifacio’s remains in Maragondon. A group consisting of government officials, former rebels, and a man reputed to be Bonifacio’s servant found bones which they claimed were Bonifacio’s in a sugarcane field on March 17. The bones were placed in an urn and put into the care of the National Library of the Philippines. They were housed at the Library’s headquarters in the Legislative Building in Ermita, Manila, together with some of Bonifacio’s papers and personal belongings. The authenticity of the bones was much disputed at the time and has been challenged as late as 2001 by Ambeth Ocampo. When Emilio Aguinaldo ran for President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, his opponent Manuel L. Quezón (the eventual victor) invoked the memory of Bonifacio against him, the bones being the result of Bonifacio’s execution at Aguinaldo’s hands. During World War II, the Philippines was invaded by Japan in 1941. The bones were lost due to the widespread destruction and looting during the Allied capture of Manila in February 1945.
All VRs taken on November 30, 2011. Text from Wikipedia.org. The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org