Lunes, Hunyo 27, 2011

Andres Bonifacio for National Hero

This post will explain to you why Andres Bonifacio should our National Hero

(Adopted by the Technical Committee of the National
Heroes Committee on June 3, 1993, Manila. Members of the
Committee included Drs. Onofre D. Corpuz, Samuel K. Tan,
Marcelino Foronda, Alfredo Lagmay, Bernardita R. Churchill,
Serafin D. Quiason, Ambeth Ocampo, then known as Dom Ignacio
Maria, Prof. Minerva Gonzales and Mrs. Carmen Guerrero-
1. Heroes are those who have a concept of
nation and thereafter aspire and struggle
for the nation’s freedom. Our own
struggle for freedom was begun by
Bonifacio and finished by Aguinaldo, the
latter formally declaring the revolution’s
success. In reality, however, a revolution
has no end. Revolutions are only the
beginning. One cannot aspire to be free
only to sink back into bondage.
2. Heroes are those who define and
contribute to a system or life of freedom
and order for a nation. Freedom without
order will only lead to anarchy. Therefore,
heroes are those who make the nation’s
constitution and laws, such as Mabini and
Recto. To the latter, constitutions are only
the beginning, for it is the people living
under the constitution that truly constitute a
3. Heroes are those who contribute to the
quality of life and destiny of a nation.
(As defined by Dr. Onofre D. Corpuz)
(Adopted by the Technical Committee of the National Heroes
Committee on November 15, 1995, Manila)
1. A hero is part of the people’s expression.
But the process of a people’s internalization
of a hero’s life and works takes time, with
the youth forming a part of the
2. A hero thinks of the future, especially the
future generations.
3. The choice of a hero involves not only the
recounting of an episode or events in
history, but of the entire process that made
this particular person a hero.
(As defined by Dr. Alfredo Lagmay)

(Excerpt) Source:, 6/27/11

Here is an excerpt of my speech in the interclass debate:

 Belonging to the lowest class of Filipino society, Bonifacio lacked the education and culture of the ilustrados like Jose Rizal. But it is precisely  this circumstance and unique perspective that made Bonifacio  see  what Rizal and his colleagues in the Reform Movement did not the pointlessness of merely asking for reforms and so he founded his revolutionary  Katipunan  with the  aim of finally taking long-needed action for Philippine Independence from Spanish colonial rule. His quest for long awaited independence through the Katipunan undoubtedly shows that Bonifacio truly fits in the first criterion, unlike Rizal who wanted assimilation and not freedom.

       Further, unlike Rizal and the other ilustrado reformists who naively believed that Spain would grant the reforms they demanded, Bonifacio realized that freedom and independence could be won only through force. His writings were few, but they were instrumental, in bringing about the revolution that Rizal feared and wanted to prevent from exploding.
       Bonifacio’s poem "Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” he mourns the suffering of his people under Spanish colonial rule  and their loss of pride in their race.  It also  views  love for country as perhaps the noblest and purest love there is.  
     Contrary to public notion, Bonifacio, like Rizal, at first advocated  peaceful means towards  reform. However, when the La Liga was dissolved and upon the arrest and banishment of Rizal, Bonifacio formed the Katipunan which  provided the rallying point for the people's agitation for freedom, independence, and equality. Bonifacio, in fact, formed the first national government of the natives with the intent and vision that the Katipunan would govern the islands after any overthrow of Spanish colonial rule. Beyond being a secret militant organization, the Katipunan was a revolutionary government with a bureaucratic framework, with its own set of laws and was founded on democratic and moral principles. An article published in the National Commission on Culture and Arts website in 2003 stated that records show that the First Philippine national government was established on Aug 24, 1896 and we should recognize Andres Bonifacio not only as the founder of the Katipunan and leader of the revolution of 1896 but as the FIRST Filipino president; the father of the nation and founder of our democracy. Thus it can truly be said that Bonifacio greatly contributed to the order of the Nation and is part of the people’s expression. These statements also show that he had a major role in changing the destiny of the nation.
          Jose Rizal, was a great Filipino but the fact remains that admiration to him was promoted by the U.S. colonial government because among others, he did not advocate independence, neither armed resistance to the government.  In contrast, Andres Bonifacio clearly aimed for independence for the Philippine Islands. Choosing Bonifacio,  would have been counter to the colonial policy of the United States in the Philippines.

    In closing, let me quote a poem by Fredrick Douglass an American  slave who zealously fought for freedom,  which expresses the need to struggle in order to attain freedom.
"Those who profess to favor freedom
and yet deprecate agitation
are men who want crops without plowing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and
They want the ocean without the
awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one
or it may be a physical one
or it may be both moral and physical
but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a
It never did, and never will.

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