Let’s talk about our National History. I know many of you has no detailed knowledge about this so I did some research para naman medyo maka relate tayo ngayong araw na to… baka sakali… makita natin ang kahalagahan ng mga ipinaglaban nya… na sana lang ay hindi nga nasayang ang mga iyon… yung reference books ko ay hinalukay ko pa sa Baul ng tatay ko 🙂
Today is November 30, we are commemorating one of the important person in the Philippine history, Andres Bonifacio.
Who is the guy? ( He’s my Hero 🙂 )
Bonifacio came out after the failure of the reform movement headed by Rizal and M. Del Pilar. This paved way for a more radical and more active lines. He formed the Katipunan, a secret society which was founded at Tondo Manila, in a house on Azcarraga street then numbered 314, on July 7, 1892, the same date on which Rizal was decreed to be banished to Dapitan.
The secret society was popularly known as KKK which means “kataastaasan Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga anak ng Bayan” (The Highest and the most respectable Association of the Son’s of the People).
The two principal aims of the KKK as gathered from the writings of Bonifacio:
- Unity of the Filipino people
- Separation from Spain by means of Revolution
Rizal doubtless approved the first aim but refused to accept the second and this was the reason that he refused to go along with the “Katipuneros” (soldiers’ of the Katipunan) and voluntarily surrendered that leads him to prison and death.
To achieve unity of the Filipinos, propaganda work must be done and this was through massive education and civic trainings of the Katipuneros. To that end, Bonifacio prepared his now well-known Decalogue, and Jacinto his famous “Kartilya ng Katipunan” (Primer of the Katipunan)
Here is an excerpt from the second paragraph of the Kartilya which states that;
“The object pursued by this association is great and precious: to unite in ideas and purposes all Filipinos by means of a strong oath and from union derive force with which to tear the veil that obscures intelligence and thus find the true path of Reason and Light”
The strong oath was documented and signed with the blood of the “Katipuneros” (blood compact). They swore at the Katipunan creed; To defend the oppressed, fight the oppressor even to the extent of supreme self- sacrifice.
Organization of the Katipunan
The Katipunan has 3 levels of authority:
Kataastaasang Sanggunian (The Supreme Council)
Sangguniang Bayan (The Provincial Council)
Sangguniang Barangay (Town Council)
It was founded in 1892 but Andre4s Bonifacio assumed the presidency in 1894
Table of Organization
President – Andres Bonifacio
Secretary – Jose Turiano Santiago
Fiscal – Emilio Jacinto
Treasurer – Vicente Molina
Executive Department (1896)
President – Andres Bonifacio
Secretary of State- Emilio Jacinto
Secretary of War – Teodoro Plata
Secretary of Justice – Briccio Pantas
Secretary of the Interior – Aguedo del Rosario
Secretary of Finance – Enrique Pacheco
Membership of the Katipunan
With Bonifacio as the Supreme leader, the society gains active followers in the provinces of Morong (Rizal), Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Tayabas. The number of Katipuneros has been estimated at 123, 000 in Manila and the surrounding provinces. Women also organized themselves into an Auxiliary of the Katipunan including the 29 relatives of the Katipuneros.
Ritual of the Katipunan
Katipunan also adopted some of the features and practices of the Masonry, such as conferring of degrees, secret ceremonies and symbolic names.
A first degree of the Katipunan was called “Katipun” meaning an associate and the sacred word was “Anak ng Bayan”. A second degree member was called “Kawal”, a soldier and the sacred word was “Gom-Bur-Za” which stand for Father Gomez, Burgos and Zamora. A member of the third degree was called “Bayani”, a hero and the sacred word was “Rizal”.
The symbolic name of Bonifacio was “May Pag-asa (There is hope), Emilio Aguinaldo as Magdalo and Emilio Jacinto as Pingkian.
The call to Arms
It was a lieutenant of the civil guard stationed in Pasig, who in July 5, 1896, reported in confidential writing to the Governor of Manila that persons coming from the capital and neighboring towns were enlisting men for an “unknown purpose” and that they were making recruits sign wit their blood a pledge not to reveal, even under threat or death the purpose of the association and its intentions.
On August 19, 1896, the offices of the “El Diario de Manila was forcibly searched by the “guardia civil” and lithographic stone with 2 blank receipts of the Katipunan was found including the By-Laws and other incriminating documents. This leads to multiple arrests of many suspects that ends up in their tortures and death.
The First Cry of Balintawak – The first cry of revolution
On August 20, at the last series of meetings held in Kangkong, a barrio in Caloocan, Bonifacio and his followers plan and agreed to attack Manila on August 29, 1896. That decision marked the triumph of the radicals under the leadership of Bonifacio and Jacinto. Resolved not to return home, the Katipuneros, as proof of their determination to break off their allegiance to Spain, tore up their “cedulas” (certificate of residence), shouting “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” (Long live the Philippine Republic)
That was the start of the Philippine revolution which took place in many parts of the land. Many Katipuneros had died in the battle for the sake of freedom and liberty. Bonifacio has fought for this purpose until the last breath of his life.
300 years of Bondage. Millions of Filipinos had lost their lives fighting for independence.
The Spanish is too proud to surrender to what they call idiots and stupid Filipinos. They rather surrender to Americans. And so it was done.
The history tells us who the real heroes are. ..who fought to liberate this land. It was clearly written but Bonifacio, was denied the title of a National Hero. My daughter asked me that same question. I said, maybe because Bonifacio is a radical person and must not be idolized by future generation. They want us to be meek and just pray and ask for God’s mercy. Not fight and bear the unbearable… and whoever raised his voice against the government must be silenced… legally…brutally.
The Cry of Balintawak still echoes in the wind. For every life that is wasted, for every leader who dies because of a word called “principle”. I wonder if independence was really achieved because until this day, the Spanish styles of killings and tortures is still existing. Activists are killed. Organizations are busted. Workers are displaced. Unions are abolished.
The journey to freedom is long and hard. The price of bravery and principle is high.
The day of real freedom and independence still remains a dream…
References: History of the Philippines by Conrado Benitez
The Philippine Islands – by Dr. James A. Robertson, Blair and Robertson
>>> My dad’s books from his very old collections…