Andres Bonifacio

Born: November 30, 1863

Died: May 10, 1897

Father of the Revolution and Philippines Democracy. Second famous hero of our race.

Si Andres Bonifacio na anak nina Santiago Bonifacio at Catalina de Castro, ay ipinanganak sa Tundo, Maynila noong ika-30 ng Nobyembre ng 1863. "Kalayaan o kamatayan," ang sigaw ng ama ng himagsikan at demokrasyang Pilipino, na si Andres Bonifacio. Siya ang ikalawa sa bantug at magiting na bayani ng ating lahi.

Nagsimula ng pag-aaral si Andres sa paaralan ni Don Guillermo Osmeña sa musika. Siya'y nahinto ng pag-aaral nang siya'y maulila sa gulang na labing-apat na taon.

Ang kanilang angkan ay dukha kaya't si Andres, bagaman bata pa ay napilitang maghanapbuhay na. Marami siyang napasukang gawain, tulad ng pagtitinda ng abanikong papel at basong yantok. Naging ahente siya ngsahing, alkitran at iba pang kasangkapan, at naging bodigero sa isang bahay-kalakal sa Maynila. Nagsumikap siyang mabuhay nang marangal kahit na sa karalitaan.

Naging maybahay ni Andres Bonifacio si Gregoria de Jesus, ang kilala sa taguring Lakambini. Kinikilala rin wika ng maraming manunulat.

Mahilig si Bonifacio sa pagbabasa at pagsusulat. Lubos na kinagigiliwan niya ang mga aklat na nauukol sa himagsikan ng ibang bansa. Ang mga aklat na nauukol sa himagsikan at digmaan ay kinagigiliwan din niyang basahin. Sa mga sinulat ni Bonifacio ang lalong bantug ay ang kaniyang dekalogong pinamagatang "Katungkulang Gagawin ng mga Anak ng Bayan." Isinalin ito sa iba't ibang siyang Ina ng Himagsikan.

Buong tiyaga na isinabalikat ni Bonifacio ang bawat gawaing masimulan niya hanggang kaniyang maipagtagumpay. May malaking pananalig siya sa kakayahan ng kaniyang mga kababayang makapagbangon ng pamahalaang malaya. Dahil dito itinatag niya ang Katipunan upang kumatawan sa himagsikan. Si Emilio Jacinto ang Utak ng Katipunan, ay kinatulong niya.

Si Bonifacio at ang kaniyang mga tauhan ay nagsitungo sa Balintawak, nang mabunyag ang lihim ng Katipunan. Sa pangunguna ng walang sindak na si Bonifacio noong ika-26 ng Agosto ay pinunit nila ang kanilang sedula personal at iwinagayway ang pulang bandila bilang tanda ng pagsisimula ng himagsikan laban sa mga Kastila.

Kalayaan at demokrasya o pagkakapantay-pantay na tinatamasa natin ngayon ang naging bunga ng himagsikang ito.

Si Andres Bonifacio ay nagtatag ng bagong pamahalaan, dahil sa isang alitan nang idaos ang pulong sa Tejeros noong 1897. Sa pagkatatag na ito ng bagong pamahalaan siya ay ipinadakip at nilitis ng isang hukumang-digma. Siya at ang kaniyang kapatid na si Procopio ay hinatulang barilin hanggang sa mamatay. Ang pagbaril sa kanilang magkapatid ay nangyari sa bundok ng Buntis noong ika-10 ng Mayo ng 1897.

Ang pagtatagumpay ng demokrasya o pagkakapantay-pantay ay naging pamana ni Bonifacio sa Inang Bayan. Naging pamana rin niya sa atin ang sumusunod na magagandang aral na itinuturo ng kaniyang Dekalogo:

  1. Sumampalataya sa Diyos nang taimtim sa puso.
  2. Ibigin ang tinubuang bayan at ang kapuwa.
  3. Kung ang ikamamatay ng tao ay magbubuhat sa pagliligtas sa kaalipinan ng bayan, ito'y isang kapurihan.
  4. Sa kalamigan ng loob nagbubuhat ang ikagaganap ng mabuting ninanais.
  5. Dapat ingatang gaya ng puri ang mga lihim ng Katipunan.
  6. Ang isang nasa panganib ay dapat iligtas.
  7. Dapat maging huwaran ang mabuting pagpapasunod at pagtupad sa tungkulin.
  8. Bahaginan ng makakaya ang sinumang nagdaralita.
  9. Maging masipag sa paghahanapbuhay.
  10. Dapat parusahan ang bawat suwail.

"Liberty or death" was the shout of the Father of the Revolution and Philippine Democracy, who was no other than Andres Bonifacio, the second famous hero of our race. Bonifacio was born in Tondo, Manila on November 30, 1863. His father was Santiago Bonifacio and his mother was Catalina de Castro.

Andres started schooling in the school of Don Guillermo Osmeña in Meisik. When he became an orphan at the age of fourteen, he stopped studying. However, he spoke and wrote in Spanish and Tagalog already with facility.

Their family was poor so Andres although still young was forced to earn a living. He engaged in different kinds of work like selling paper fans, and rattan canes. He became an agent of a kind of resin called sahing, tar called alkitran, and other things. He also worked as a warehouseman in Manila. He tried to live honorably although he was poor.

Gregoria de Jesus known as Lakambini, became his wife. She was also recognized as Mother of the Katipunan.

Bonifacio was inclined to read and write. He was fond of reading books about uprisings in other countries. Of those that Bonifacio wrote, the most famous was the Decalog known as the "Duties of the Sons of our Country." This was translated into different dialects by many writers.

Every piece of work undertaken by Bonifacio was done with great perseverance and was never left until success was attained. He had great hopes and beliefs that his countrymen could maintain a free government. Because of this he organized the Katipunan to undertake the uprising. He made Emilio Jacinto, the Brain of the Revolution, to help him.

When the secret of the Katipunan was exposed, Bonifacio and his men went to Balintawak. On August 26, with Bonifacio as their brave leader, they tore their poll taxes and waved their red flag as a sign of the beginning of the revolt against th Spaniards.

Because of a misunderstanding when the meeting was held at Tejeros in 1897, Bonifacio formed a new government. Because of this organization Bonifacio was captured and tried by the court of war. He and his brother Procopio were sentenced to be shot at Buntis mountain on May 10, 1897.

Bonifacio's legacy to his mother country was democracy. He also left us the lessons we derive from his Decalog:

  1. Believe in God wholeheartedly.
  2. Love your country and your countrymen.
  3. It is an honor to die if its cause is saving the country from slavery.
  4. One's desire is obtained by possessing coldness of heart.
  5. Take care of the secret of the Katipunan just as you take care of your own honor.
  6. Save one who is in danger.
  7. Be a model in performance of your duty.
  8. Share one who is in need with what you have.
  9. Be industrious in earning a living.
  10. Punish whoever is insolent.

Learn this Filipino word:

lamóg ang katawán