Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Andres Bonifacio

Andres Bonifacio (1863-1897) was the foremost Philippine revolutionary who organized the KKKAnB which spearheaded the 1896 Revolution against Spain.

Andres Bonifacio was born to Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro, a Spanish mestiza in Tondo, manila on November 30, 1863. He started his early education in the school of Guillermo Osmeña of Cebu. He reached only primary school. At the age of 14, his father and mother died, forcing him to quit his studies and to look after his younger brothers and sisters. As a means of support, he had them help him make wooden canes and paper fans, which he sold in the streets.

Having learned how to read and write, he became a clerk messenger of Fleming and Company, a business firm dealing with rattan, tar, and other articles of trade. Because of his industry he was promoted as agent. But his earning were still not sufficient to support the orphans. He moved to Fressell and Company as an agent. He showed determination and industry in his job. He supplemented his education through further reading and self-study. He wrote poetry and even became a stage actor in moro-moro. He later became a mason and a sworn enemy of Spanish authorities.

He became a member of La Liga Filipina, an organization founded by Jose Rizal upon his return from Europe. But when Rizal was deported to Dapitan making the Liga practically dead as an organization, he quickly organized the Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan.This organization spread rapidly in 1894 in many parts of the Philippines. He felt that he was about ready to lead a successful revolt in May 1896. However, before he could act, the Katipunan was discovered by the authorities. More than 1,000 Katipuneros assembled with him at Pugad Lawin, Caloocan, on August 23, 1896 and tore their cedulas. Since the time the Katipunan was discovered, they evaded arrest, won uncertain victories and incurred severe defeats. This prompted the Magdiwang faction to invite Bonifacio to Cavite to settle their differences and remain united.

was called at Tejeros, Cavite. Bonifacio presided the conference to establish the Republic of the Philippines. In the election, Emilio Aguinaldo was elected President, Mariano Trias, Vice-President and Bonifacio as Secretary of the Interior. Daniel Tirona questioned Bonifacio's qualifications, and Bonifacio was offended. Evoking his authority as the supreme head of the Katipunan, he declared the proceedings void. Bonifacio moved to Naic, Cavite and started to form his own government and army. Meantime, the advancing troops of Spanish General Camilo de Polavia threatened to capture Cavite. Aguinaldo ordered Gen Pio del Pilar and Noriel who were being given new higher positions to leave the Bonifacio camp and go back to their duties.

Bonifacio with his family and men left Naic for Indang. On his return from Montalban, Aguinaldo sent men to arrest him, but Bonifacio resisted arrest and was wounded. He faced a trial for acts inimical to the existence of the new government and was given the death sentence by a military tribunal.

Aguinaldo's men executed him in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897.

1 comment:

Eero said...

Written By Eero P. Brillantes, Ella Kristina D. Domingo, Les dM. Coronel, Geraldine T. Brillantes as their contribution to the greatness of Andres Bonifacio as the father of the Philippine Revolution www.mindbullet.com

Andres Bonifacio, the supremo, a self-taught revolutionary, a national hero. Today, we celebrate Bonifacio Day. For other national heroes, their “day” is celebrated on the day of their death, while for Andres Bonifacio, we celebrate his “day” on his birthday because he was killed and betrayed be a fellow Filipino named Makapagal (Seasite, no date).
Bonifacio’s masterful use of his communication skills triggered the downfall of the three and a half century Spanish rule over the Philippines. Knowledgeable of spoken Spanish and English languages, Andres was able to conceptualize and apply in the Philippine setting, the tenets culled from the French Revolution, as well as from literature which elaborated on brotherhood, equality and freedom.
The website www.bakbakan.com dedicates a whole web page on Andres Bonifacio and how communication has molded his principles. Other websites such as Wikipedia, and South East Asean site of the Northern Illinois University) made similar claims.
Lack of formal education never stopped Andres Bonifacio to continue learning and practicing his knowledge. He capitalized on his spoken languages – English and Spanish; and his reading skills to learn the principles of rights and freedom. He read about history, politics, law and religion. Ambeth Ocampo, a historian, mentioned that among Andres Bonifacio’s reading list were: Lives of the Presidents of the United States"; "History of the French Revolution" (two volumes); "La Solidaridad" (three volumes); "Noli Me Tangere"; "El Filibusterismo"; "International Law"; "Civil Code"; "Penal Code"; "Ruins of Palmyra"; "Religion within the Reach of All"; "The Bible" (five volumes); "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo; and "The Wandering Jew" by Eugene Sue (taken from SEAsite, no date).
Aside from being a voracious reader, Bonifacio wrote poetry, and was a moro-moro actor – very typical of great communicators.
Based on www.bakbakan.com, Bonifacio was probably one of the greatest motivational writers and speakers of his generation, along with Dr. Jose Rizal. Using his native language, Bonifacio wrote with full passion and compassion.
In his essay "What the Filipinos Should Know," Bonifacio wrote in Tagalog:
"Reason tells us that we cannot expect anything but more sufferings, more treachery, more insults, and more slavery. Reason tells us not to fritter away time for the promised prosperity that will never come….Reason teaches us to rely on ourselves and not to depend on others for our living. Reason tells us to be united…that we may have the strength to combat the evils in our country."
Bonifacio also wrote about how the Filipinos were tortured by the Spaniards. They were bound, kicked, and hit with gun butts. They were electrocuted and hung upside down like cattle. He said that Filipino prisoners were "thrown into the sea…shot, poisoned…."
To further illucidate his mastery of verbal and non-verbal communication as a way to agitate for social upheaval, Bonifacio intricately organized an underground movement patterned after the “triangle organizing” concept.
In contemporary times, the “triangle” took on many permutations including cell “organizing” for activists, and multi-level marketing as product distribution channels for scams and legitimate businesses. Bonifacio and his disciples couched his organizing work in millenarian revolutionary language and rituals. Conceptual combinations of pagan mysticism, folk Christianity, and symbols/rituals culled from the freemasonry movement provided the organizational culture. The blood compact ritual and the tearing up of the cedula provided heavy drama to the whole effort. It can be deduced that Bonifacio’s organizational communication acumen as applied to revolution was indeed effective. A whole book entitled Pasyon at Rebolusyon by Renato Lleto was dedicated to the subject matter of conjuncture and national consciousness from the point of view of the critical mass during the Spanish occupation. It theorized on folk culture, folk Christianity, and revolutionary fervor against colonial rule as defining ingredients in the Philippine revolution.
The Beginning
On the night of July 7, 1892 – the same day he heard that Rizal had been exiled to Dapitan – Bonifacio met his friends secretly, at a house on Azcarraga Street (now Claro M. Recto) in Tondo. Together with his two friends Ladislao Diwa and Teodoro Plata, he formed the first triangle of a secret society which bore the initials K.K.K. The three letters stood for Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan nang manga Anak nang Bayan, or Katipunan.
Instead of using the old Spanish spelling of the letter "c," Bonifacio used the Tagalog spelling of "k." Rizal had suggested the change in an article published two years earlier in the newspaper La Solidaridad. The "k," pronouched ka, was based on the ancient Tagalog script (I). The letter “K” symbolizes revolt by bringing forth into attention that the Filipino culture existed before Spanish hegemony.
“Katipuneros” : Symbologists
The Katipunan thrived as an underground society through the use of secret codes and passwords. Keeping secrets from the Spaniards during those times was very difficult. To keep the whole organization from being discovered, Katipunan employed the triangle method: a system of enlistment wherein a recruiter would ask only two members to join. Only the recruiter would know the names of both recruits while the recruits would not each other. Thus, the organization is encapsulated into three-man units and a direct command chain resulting to a very efficient personnel management.
Though some members were middle class, the Katipunan membership is dominantly from the poor and working classes, thus its membership grew to the thousands.
The Katipunan had three aims:
• First, it wanted to free the Philippines from Spain, by force of arms if necessary. Its members, called Katipuneros, were taught to make and use weapons.
• Second is the the moral, or spiritual, aim. The Katipunan saw all men, rich or poor, as equals.
• Third, the Katipuneros were taught to care for one another in times of sickness and need. The society took care of its sick. If a member died, the Katipunan helped to pay the cost of a simple funeral.
After October 1892, all Katipuneros could recruit as many members as they could.
To prove courage and sincerity, any man who wanted to join the Katipunan had to pass a number of tests. One of them is answering these questions:
• In what condition did the Spaniards find the Filipino people when they came?
• In what condition do they find themselves now?
• What hope do the Filipino people have for the future?
The final test was the "sandugo" (blood compact). The recruit was asked to make a small cut on his left forearm with a sharp knife, then sign the Katipunan oath in his own blood. Afterwards, the new member chose a symbolic name for himself. For example, Bonifacio was called "May pag-asa" (Hopeful).
Women and Revolution
About thirty women, limited to wives, daughters and close relatives of the Katipuneros, joined the Katipunan. The women’s chapter of the Katipunan was formed in July 1893. However, the women did not have to seal their membership with a blood compact. During Katipunan meetings, they wore green masks, and white sashes with green borders. Sometimes they carried revolvers or daggers. They usually served as look-outs in the outer sala (living room) while the men held their secret meetings in the backroom.
The Discovery
The Katipunan was discovered before they were ready for a full-armed struggle. Father Mariano Gil, the Augustinian parish priest of Tondo, learned it from Teodoro Patino, an unhappy member of the Katipunan. The Spanish police moved quickly to stop the revolution. Many Filipinos were arrested, jailed, and shot. But Bonifacio knew that the die had been cast. There was no turning back. The time had come for the Filipino people to engage the enemy in battle.
Bonifacio met with other Katipunan leaders in a place called Pugadlawin, on August 23, 1896. They tore up their cedulas (residence tax papers) and cried "Long Live the Philippines!" They vowed to fight the Spaniards down to the last man.
Following these stories are insights that make Andres Bonifacio, one heck of a communicator. The organization of Katipunan is filled with symbols and communication models that are actually perfect means in delivering messages and understanding among its members. His target members, the poor and Filipinos, showed that a strong critical mass against Filipino oppression was more than felt during that time.
Interactions, tactics and strategies are highly based on communication patterns and symbols. Employing the triangle method, asking patriotic questions, The Sandugo and the Cry of Pugadlawin are symbolic actions of freedom and revolt. The role of women in the revolution was never neglected. More importantly, Bonifacio started all these with the communication skills basics: spoken language, reading, and writing. Though Jose Rizal and his cohorts had formal education, Bonifacio, a natural genius, did well very well through self-study. Bonifacio, was able to listen to the cries of the oppressed Filipinos.
Connecting meanings among the members of an organized society is essential to its potential success. Bonifacio, an idealist, was able to apply his readings into a historic revolution. Having tangible focus, his faith on the Filipinos was so immense - that he was somehow thought of as a fool by the formally educated. Bonifacio knew what Filipinos wanted that time. And through his strategic plans, innate communication skills, he was able to organize the poor, the uneducated, the masses and together, they fought for freedom. Without the Katipunan, did you ever ask where will we be now?
South East Asian site (no date). Northern Illinois University, USA