Friday, May 13, 2005

ANDRES BONIFACIO - Ang Segunda Klaseng Bayani (with Addendum 12/05/2012)




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" Fear history, for it respects no secrets" - Gregoria de Jesus (widow of Andres Bonifacio)


The following previous posts and the RECTO READER are essential about us native, Malay Filipinos and are therefore always presented in each new post. Click each to open/read.
  1. WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW:
  2. WHAT IS NATIONALISM [Filipino Nationalism]?
  3. Our Colonial Mentality and Its Roots 
  4. The Miseducation of the Filipino (Formation of our Americanized Mind)
  5. Jose Rizal - Reformist or Revolutionary?
  6. The Purpose of Our Past, Why Study (Our) History?
  7. Studying and Rethinking Our Philippine History
  8. Globalization (Neoliberalism) – The Road to Perdition in Our Homeland
  9. Resisting Globalization (WTO Agreements)
  10. Virtues of De-Globalization
  11. Our Filipino Kind of Religion
  12. Our Filipino Christianity and Our God-concept
  13. When Our Religion Becomes Evil
THE RECTO READER is presented in several postings. Click each to open/read:

NOTE: Recto's cited cases, examples or issues were of his time, of course; but realities in our homeland in the present and the foreseeable future are/expectedly much, much worse. Though I am tempted to update them with current issues, it's best to leave them as they are since Recto's paradigms about our much deepened national predicament still ring relevant, valid and true. In short, Recto saw the forest and never got lost in the trees.- Bert

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ANGAY-ANGAY LANG
By Professor B. R. Rodil, MSU-Iligan Institue of Technology

ILIGAN CITY -- Ano ang kahulugan ni Bonifacio sa atin? Sari-sari ang sagot na ating matatanggap. May nagsasabi na wasto lamang na si Rizal ang naging pambansang bayani natin dahil tayong mga Pilipino ay di mahilig gumamit ng dahas sa paglutas sa ating mga suliranin. May nag-iisip naman na dapat sana'y si Bonifacio ang ating naging pambansang bayani sapagkat sang-ayon sa baluktot na kalakaran noong panahon ng Kastila, wala ng nalalabi pang paraan kung nais nating lumaya sa malupit na kuko ng mga kolonyalistang kastila kundi ang magrebolusyon.

Wika naman ng isang tanyag na Pilipinong manunulat ng kasaysayan na si Renato Constantino, na ngayo’y yumao na, tayo lamang sa buong sandaigdigan ang may pambansang bayani na hindi nagtaguyod ng pambansang kalayaan. Hindi lamang sinalungat ni Rizal ang rebolusyon, itinakwil pa niya ito.Ito naman ang aking palagay. Hindi natin maiwawasto ang katayuan ni Bonifacio sa ating buhay sa kasalukuyan hangga't di natin itinutuwid ang ating makadayuhang pag-unawa sa ating sariling kasaysayan. Mula nang dumating ang mga Kastila, naging magusot na ang ating pag-unawa sa ating kasaysayan sapagkat pangkaraniwan nang ito'y nakabatay sa mga sinulat ng mga dayuhang wala ni katiting na paggalang sa ating dangal bilang mga Pilipino. 

At nang pumasok naman ang mga imperyalistang Amerikano, naragdagan pa ang gusot na ipinamana ng mga kastila. At magpahanggang ngayo'y marami pa rin sa ating mga manunulat ng kasaysayan ang patuloy sa kanilang pagiging isip dayuhan. Upang higit nating maunawaan kung papaano naging isip-dayuhan ang marami sa atin, sariwain natin sandali ang isang pangyayari noong panahon ng Amerikano.

Nang dumating si William Howard Taft sa Pilipinas noong 1900, kasalukuyang nasa kainitan ang labanan ng mga dayuhang Amerikano at mga mamamayang Pilipino. Buong giting nating ipinagtanggol ang ating lupain at karapatan laban sa mga bagong manlulupig. Hayok ang mga dayuhang ito ngunit alam nilang hindi nila maaaring angkinin ng basta na lamang ang ating lupain. Kaya't mula sa ilang libo, lumaki ang kanilang puwersa hanggang minsan ay umabot ito sa mahigit na pitumpung libo at ikinalat sa mahigit na limandaang outpost sa buong kapuluan. Kakilakilabot ang panlilipol na kanilang isinagawa.

Balangiga, Samar pinagpapatay nila ang halos buong populasyon, mula batang nag-eedad sampu, sapagkat puede na raw itong humawak ng gulok, pati na babae't matatanda . Sa Batangas naman, halos kalahati ng populasyon ng buong probinsya ang nagbuwis ng kanilang buhay. Hindi mabilang ang kahindik-hindik na pahirap (torture) na kanilang isinagawa sa pagnanasang makunan ng impormasyon ang bawat mabihag. Naroong sapilitang painumin ng galon-galong tubig at pagkatapos ay lulundag-lundagan sa tiyan o kaya'y ginagawang sopa ng mga naglalakihang mga Amerikano; naroong bunutin ng isa-isa ang mga kuko. At marami pang iba.

Kaya't sa buong panahon ng paghahamok, mula 1899 hanggang 1907, hindi kukulangin sa 200,000 Pilipinong mandirigma, babae, bata at matanda ang nangasawi. Sa panahon ding ito ay mahigit na sandaan at dalawampu't anim na libong sundalong Amerikano ang ipinadala rito ng Estados Unidos para lamang masugpo ang mga tagarito. Hindi pa kabilang dito ang humigit kulang sa dalawampung libong mga kapatid nating Muslim at di Muslim na nagbuwis rin ng buhay habang buong giting na nakilaban hanggang 1916.

Habang nasa kainitan ang paghahamok na ito, nakaisip si Taft ng isang mahusay na estratehiya. Kinausap niya ang mga Pilipinong miyembro ng Philippine Commission at pinagsabihang kailangang magkaroon tayo ng isang pambansang bayani. Sina Emilio Aguinaldo, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini at Jose Rizal ang napiling mga kandidato. Madaling natapos ang botohan. Talo si Aguinaldo sapagkat masyado raw militante, lubhang radikal naman si Bonifacio at si Mabini naman ay napakatigas ang ulo. Si Rizal siyempre ang itinanghal lucky winner.

At dito nagsimula ang magandang kinabukasan ni Rizal sa ating alaala. Ilang epektibong hakbang ang isinagawa ng Philippine Commission: naging stamp si Rizal, naging probinsya, naging pera, naging laman ng maraming kalye, naging rebulto at naging posporo pa nga. Hanggang sa siya'y di lamang naging lamang-isip ng maraming Pilipino, naging laman din siya ng bulsa at kusina.Hindi ko sinasabing walang batayan para sumikat si Rizal. Ang nais kong liwanagin dito ay kung bakit si Rizal ang pinili nila -- unanimous decision pa.

Ang dating Governor William Cameron Forbes ang nagbigay ng paliwanag pagkalipas ng ilang taon. Kailanman daw ay hindi nagtaguyod ng kalayaan ng Pilipinas si Rizal. Hindi rin siya nag-udyok ng himagsikan o armadong pakikibaka. Sa halip, nanawagan siya ng pagbabago, sa ilalim pa rin ng pamahalaang kastila, sa pamamagitan ng panulat, malawakang edukasyon at pagpukaw sa konsiyensya ng publiko. Sa madali't salita, ginamit ng mga imperyalistang Amerikano si Rizal, hindi lamang upang sirain ang loob ng magigiting na mamamayang Pilipino na buong tapang na humarap sa mga bagong kaaway, kundi na rin upang ilihis ang simulain at direksyon ng ating pakikibaka. Samakatuwid, hindi, at nais kong bigyan ito ng diin, hindi upang bigyang dangal si Rizal, o ang bayang Pilipinas.

Bilang dagdag linaw pa, tingnan natin kung sino-sino ang mga miyembro ng Philippine Commission. "Philippine" nga ba ito? Sino si Taft? Si Taft ang pangulo ng pangalawang Philippine Commission. siya ang naatasan ni Presidente McKinley na maglatag ng pundasyon ng gobierno sibil ng Amerika dito sa Pilipinas. Pagkatapos nito, siya ay naging gobernador heneral sa Pilipinas, naging Secretary of War, at pagkalipas pa ng ilang taon ay naging presidente ng Estados Unidos. Tungkulin niya na patatagin ang posisyon ng mga imperyalistang Amerikano dito sa atin, kasali na rito ang hayagang panlilinlang sa mga mamamayan ng Amerika na buong puso raw tinatanggap ng mga mamamayang Pilipino ang gobiernong Amerikano. Buong ingat nilang itinago ang katotohanan na kinakailangang magpadala sila rito ng mahigit na sandaan at dalawampu't anim na libong kawal Amerikano upang sawatain ang apoy sa nagbabagang puso ng mamamayan ng buong kapuluan.

Ano naman ang Philippine Commission? Hindi ito Pilipino. Ito ang grupong nagpapatakbo ng pamahalaan ng Amerika dito sa Pilipinas habang nagpapatulouy ang labanan. Trabaho nito ang gumawa ng batas at magpatupad nito. Bukod kay Taft, lima pang kapwa niya Amerikano ang kasapi nito, at tatlong Pilipino raw. At sino naman ang tatlong magagaling na Pilipinong ito? Sila'y sina Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, Benito Legarda at Jose Luzurriaga.

Si Pardo de Tavera ay dating kasapi ng Spanish Consultative Assembly noong panahon ng Kastila, noong ang ating mga kapatid ay buong giting na nakikipaghamok sa kolonyalistang Kastila upang tayo'y lumaya. Noong Agosto, 1898, nagprisinta si Tavera ng kanyang paglilingkod sa mga Amerikano at mula noon ay ginugol niya ang kanyang panahon at kakayahan upang maging matagumpay ang hangarin ng mga Amerikano na maitatag ang kanilang gobierno rito.

Si Legarda naman ay dating kasapi ng konseho munisipal ng Maynila at teniente mayor ng Quiapo noong 1891. Noong 1898, naglingkod siya bilang private secretary ni Aguinaldo. Pagkatapos ay nahalal siyang bise presidente ng Kongreso ng Malolos. Pagkalipas ng tatlong buwan, nang mabatid niyang di na maiiwasan ang pagsasagupa ng mga Pilipino't Amerikano, walang pasintabing tinalikuran niya ang kanyang tungkulin at lumipat sa kampo ng mga Amerikano. Sa buong panahon ng paghahamok ng mga Pilipino't imperyalistang Amerikano, masigasig siyang tumulong sa mga kaaway.

Si Luzurriaga naman ay isang dating huwes sa Negros noong panahon ng Kastila. Noong Enero 1899, nahalal siyang delegado sa Kongreso ng Malolos, subalit di niya ginampanan ang kanyang tungkulin. Sa halip, naglingkod siya bilang auditor sa gobierno militar ng mga Amerikano sa Negros mula 1899 hanggang 1900. Matapos siyang maglingkod bilang gobernador ng Negros Occidental, sa Ilalim pa rin ng Amerika, siya'y piniling kasapi ng Philippine Commission.

Ang tatlong ito, kasama pa ang ilang katulad nila ang kulay, tulad nina Pedro Paterno, Cayetano Arellano, Gregorio Araneta at iba pa na pawang binigyan ng matataas na tungkulin sa gobierno kolonyal ng Amerika, ang siyang nagtatag ng Partido Federalista na ang pangunahing layunin ay gawing estado ng Amerika ang Pilipinas. Kasali sa kanilang tungkulin, na masigasig nilang isinagawa, ang pag-udyok sa mga mamamayang Pilipino na nasa larangan pa ng labanan na magsisurender na.Tayo ngayon, mga kababayang Pilipino, ang humusga kung anong uri ng mga tao ang mga "Pilipinong" kasapi sa Philippine Commission na siyang pumili kay Rizal.

Maliwanag na ang isang panig ay binubuo ng mga dayuhang tuwirang lumulupig sa mga Pilipino, at ang kabila naman ay binubuo ng mga "Pilipinong" ang tanging maipagmamalaki ay ang pagiging traydor sa simulaing Pilipino.Halos kaalinsabay ng pagkakadeklara kay Rizal bilang pambansang bayani, pinasimulan ang paghubog sa isip ng mga kabataang Pilipino. Itinatag ang mga paaralang pampubliko at ang mga kabataan ay sapilitang pinapasok rito. Dito nagsimula ang pagkakatuto natin ng Ingles, dreaming of a white Christmas, sleighbells in the snow, red nose reindeer, Santa Claus. Nagsimula rin tayong gumamit ng toothbrush at colgate; nagdamit ng wool, nagkumot ng wool, at kung anu-ano pa.

Nagbago ang ating sukatan ng magandang asal. Natuto tayong magbigay galang sa American flag, nawili tayong tumalakay sa buhay ni Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, at iba pa. Naluto rin tayo sa "demokrasyang stateside."At kung sakali mang may iba pa tayong iniisip, gaya ng di pagpasok sa klase, nandiyan ang kolonyal police upang dakpin ang mga kabataang di pumapasok. At kung sakali mang maisipan nating sumalungat, nandiyan din ang Philippine Constabulary na kanilang itinatag upang lipulin ang mga nakikibakang binansagan nilang "mga tulisan."

At komo maraming mga Pilipino ang nanatiling matitigas ang ulo at pilit na pinagyayaman ang bandilang Pilipino, gumawa sila ng batas na tinawag nilang Anti-flag Law: bawal mag-display ng bandilang Pilipino. Para sa mga nag-aalsa naman, nandiyan ang Anti-Brigandage Act: batas laban sa mga taong labas o brigands o tulisan. At komo merong mga manunulat na pilit inilalabas ang kanilang ideyang labag sa interes ng mga imperyalistang Amerikano, nandiyan ang Anti-Sedition Law. Sa madali't salita, naging labag sa batas ang pag-iisip at paggawa ng mga bagay na magtataguyod sa ating pambansang kapakanan. Naging labag sa batas ang magtanggol sa sariling bayan.

Malinaw na malinaw sa sanaysay ni Renato Constantino na pinamagatang "Miseducation of the Filipino" na ang free public school system, and pensionado program, at ang paggamit ng Ingles sa mga paaralan ay ginamit ng mga manlulupig na Amerikano bilang bahagi at suporta ng kanilang estratehiya militar. Kung ang layunin ng militar ay lipulin ang mga taong hayagang humahamon sa kanila, layunin naman ng edukasyon na hubugin ang isip ng ating mga kabataan at ng iba pang mga mamamayan upang maging maka-Amerikano sa isip at sa diwa. Sa ganitong sitwasyon naging sikat si Rizal at natabingan naman si Bonifacio at marami pang iba.

Kalabisan nang ipagdiinan pa na sinadyang kasangkapanin ng mga imperyalistang Amerikano at ng kanilang mga alalay na Tavera, Legarda at Luzurriaga ang ating mga bayani nang sa gayo'y sila ang patuloy na mamayani sa ating bayan at maghari sa ating isip at diwa. Kalabisan nang sabihin pa na sila ang puno't dulo ng pagiging segunda klaseng bayani ni Andres Bonifacio at ng iba pang mga mamamayan na hinamak ang sariling kapakanan, makapaglingkod lamang sa inang bayan.

Magbalik tayo sa ating tanong sa umpisa? Ano ang relevance o kabuluhan ni Andres Bonifacio sa ating buhay sa kasalukuyan? Kung ang pagbabatayan ng ating sagot ay ang bersyong dayuhan ng ating kasaysayan, wala, maliban sa isang rebultong bato't patay na alaala. Meron naman, kung gagawin natin itong pasimula, o kaya'y pagpapatuloy sa nasimulan nang pagtutuwid sa ating kasaysayan.Bukod sa pagtutuwid ng ating kasaysayan, meron pa bang ibang kahulugan si Bonifacio sa ating buhay? 

Meron pa, sapagkat sa maniwala tayo't sa dili, buhay na buhay pa at patuloy na nanggugulo sa ating buhay ang mga puwersang pumatay kay Bonifacio at sa kanyang sariwang alaala. Ang pagiging Pilipino sa ating panahon ay ang pagpapatuloy sa pakikibaka laban sa puwersa ng kolonyalismo at imperyalismo, di lamang sa ating isipan kundi pati na rin sa ating buhay.Mula sa bibig ng representante ng Amerika noong 1945, isang taon bago ibinalik daw sa atin ang ating pambansang kalayaan, maliwanag niyang sinabi na bagama't inihanda raw tayo sa pagiging malaya sa larangan ng pulitika, unti-unti rin naman tayong sinasakal sa larangan ng ekonomiya.

At magpahangga ngayon ay patuloy pa ring sinisipsip ng mga imperyalistang Amerikano, at dinagdagan pa ng mga Hapones, ang ating kabuhayan.Sang-ayon kay Vicente Abad Santos, dating Sekretaryo ng Hustisya at ngayo'y punong huwes sa Korte Suprema, ang mga base militar ng Amerika rito ang pumoprotekta sa kanilang mga multinational corporations at katulong sa paghigpit ng kanilang kontrol sa ating pambansang ekonomiya (Times Journal, 25 Nov 78).

Pinag-uusapan ng bansang Amerika at ng Pilipinas ang isang bagong kasunduang may kinalaman sa mga base militar ng Amerika rito nang gawin niya ang kanyang pahayag.Paulit-ulit pa ring sinasabi ni Pangulong Marcos na ang buong Pilipinas ay nalalagay sa isang krisis na siyang dahilan daw ng patuloy na paghihirap ng mga mamamayan. Ano o sino sa palagay natin ang may kagagawan sa krisis na ito? May mga William Howard Taft pa ba tayong dapat alalahanin? May mga Tavera, Legarda at Luzurriaga pa ba? Maaari nating tularan si Bonifacio. Sa kanyang panahon ay masigasig niyang pinag-aralan ang problema ng bayan at, batay sa kanyang nakamtang liwanag ay kumilos siya. Maaari nating buhayin si Bonifacio sa ating sariling buhay at panahon kung iibigin natin.

Kung anuman ang ating makamit na kasagutan, isang tanong lamang ang nais kong bigyan ng diin: Ano ang ibig sabihin ng pagiging Pilipino ngayon? At dito natin matatagpuan si Bonifacio...Pati na rin ang ating sarili.

MindaNews / 30 December 2002(Ang lekturang ito ay binigkas noong Selebrasyon ng Araw ni Bonifacio sa MSU-IIT Mini-Theater, Disyembre 6, 1980. Ikadalawampu’t dalawang taon mula noon ngayon, mahalagang sariwain pa rin ang buod ng lekturang ito. Si Prof. Rudy Rodil ay dating Lecturer sa Department of Social Sciences, ngayon ay Professor ng Kasaysayan sa Department of History, College of Arts and Humanities, MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan City).


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ADDENDUM: 12/05/2012: some past writings on our neglected hero. 



BONIFACIO

The efforts of a determined few to honor the memory of Andres Bonifacio at a way that befits his true stature have been deterred somewhat by the supercilious conviction which prevails in the upper classes that Rizal cannot be replaced as the hero of the Filipinos.

This conviction has even acquired the nature of an official one, a fact that can easily be seen in the almost complete indifference of the national government to the City of Manila's determination to impart a more substantial meaning to the celebration of Bonifacio's centenary.

And yet, nothing could be more harmful than the cultivation of an artificial rivalry between Rizal and Bonifacio. Nothing could be more revealing of the ignorance of social and revolutionary action on the part of the so-called Filipino educated class than the insidious campaign it is waging that the man from Calamba and the man from Tondo were poles apart in their aims and purposes.

The simple truth, we believe, is that like the famous bow and arrow of longfellow, Bonifacio and Rizal were useless each without the other. They complemented each other, although they identified themselves with the use of apparently divergent means. There was, to be sure, a difference in view asto the future of the Philippines, but this difference was dictated by the difference in their character and in their basic orientation.

All this may sound paradoxical, even contradictory. But not when it is considered that in the Philippine revolution, as well as in all the classic revolutions which have shaped human institutions, there was always a division of labor instinctively arrived at.

Rizal and his group in the Propaganda Movement were the men who laid down the theoretical foundations, the justifications and the morality of the Filipino grievance against Spain. It was they who, by the power of the written word or by the urgency of vocal appeal, opened the eyes of their countrymen to their own plight and who inspired them to aspire for dignity. Rizal then was essentially a man of thought. He was the encyclopedist, the pamphleteer, the philosopher, the poet who wrote and sang of love of country. He was the theorist, immersed in thought and rendered incapable of action, not only by the corrosive effects of "thinking too precisely on the events," but also by his implacably safe and middle-class background.

But after he has achieved his assigned task --after, in other words, the man of thought had reached the end of the tether -- the man of action had to take over and give reality to what had been said and discussed before.

The man of action in Philippine history was Andres Bonifacio. here was a man who could not boast of the profundity of learning and of the eloquence of the men of the propaganda Movement. But here, also, was a man who had been endowed with the gift of action.

Bonifacio saw the situation steadily and he saw the whole, and he acted on what he saw. he acted, not by propounding more theories or indulging in more philosophical vacillations, but in laying the foundation of the Katipunan the one and only purpose of which was to fight a necessary and timely revolution. (12-01-1963)

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Man of Action

Andres Bonifacio could have no place in a society ruled by people who are motivated by special sectarian and economic prejudices. His ideas would be suspect as long as the conviction that the well-being of the nation can be secured only by a dependence on a great power is dominant. Moreover, in such a society, his birth and background would be an affront to the tender sensibilities of the upper classes.

The story of the emergence of the Katipunero as a national hero is also the story of the evolution of our nationalism.  Hence, the manner in which Bonifacio was reduced in status during the early period of the American regime is not so much a reflection of Americans, who after all, were engaged in the grim task of developing a colony, as on the Filipino leaders who, by their silence, encouraged the colonizers.

But, of course, the attitude of the Filipino leaders will become understandable if it is remembered that their aim, at least from December 23, 1900 to October 16, 1907, was to make the Philippines a permanent territory of the United States. It was these leaders who could not subscribe to the ideas of bonifacio and who considered his revolutionary activities as something less than legal.  They felt that if his egalitarian ideas were to supercede the meliorist tendencies of Rizal, their economic and social position would be endangered.

After 1907, however, the Federelistas passed on into the footnotes of history. A new set of Filipino leaders who were dedicatd to independence of a sort ("immediate, complete and absolute') took over, and the name of Bonifacio began to be mentioned in some of the more fiery speeches.

It was not until 1922 when Senator Lope K. Santos, himself a plebeian, authored the law making the birthday of Bonifacio a national holiday that the Founder of the Katipunan was officially recognized as a Filipino hero. But even after the passage of this law, the celebration of Bonifacio day was lmost the exclusive affair of the peasants turned urban workers who lived in the squalid sector of Tondo bordering Trozo. The so-called Filipino middle class, composed of real estate owners and import/export merchants, remembered Bonifacio only because his birthday happens to be one of the four consecutive holidays toward the end of November.

Offical Neglect

But it is a tribute to the man's innate worth and to the soundness of his views on what the Philippines should be that he has survived the subtle efforts to relegate him to the category of Class-B hero. Today, when more and more people are realizing the futility of dependence and the dangers of unequal alliances, Bonifacio is coming to his own.

And no wonder, for with every passing day we are learning the hard lesson that to save ourselves we have no source of aid and comfort but the spirit of the Revolution. We have begun to feel that to defend our national interests we have to be truly independent. And so, slowly, but surely and perhaps unconsciously, we are turning back to those basic ideas of the revolution which sustained Bonifacio


 and which inspired him in all his greatness. Those ideas inevitably should have a contemporary ring and they are, among others: independence, Filipino-Frist and Filipinization of the clergy. (11-30-1958)

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Remembering a Neglected Hero

If appearances are to be believed, the present generation of Filipinos might yet be exposed to the salient features of the nation's history, learn some valid lessons from those features, and thus acquire the means with which to redeem itself. So many things have been and are being done which shaped the destiny of the country. 

The birthday anniversaries of our past leaders are automatically public holidays. Their deaths are remembered, and even heroes of recent vintage have been elevated to what is considered as their proper niche.

Thus, only last year, the Filipinos witnessed the centenary of Jose Rizal. And only the other day, they celebrated their declaration of independence on the day that this great event really took place.

In their present patriotic mood, the Filipinos might do well to take a re-appraising look at the manner in which they celebrate the birthday of a neglected hero: Andres Bonifacio. It is true that his birthday is a national holiday. But the necessary act of recalling his achievement, his simple heroism and his courage is confined mostly to the lower orders to which he belonged. It seems that the celebration of his birthday anniversary, unless remedied, is fated to be a class celebration.

Class "B" Hero

The official neglect of Bonifacio is easily gleaned from the fact that at this late date nothing has been done about his coming cnetenary. One might even say that there is no official cognizance of this event, or if there is, the official intention of doing something about it is totally absent.

On can, of course, expalin this cavalier attitude as a vestige of American authority and influence. For it was Americans who did everything possible to denigrate Bonifacio. They were, however, justified by necessity. They felt that the conquest of the Filipinos could not be made complete if they were allowed to celebrate the deeds and achievements of a man who led the revolution against foreign rule.

But the Filipinos have no excuse now to abide by the example of the Americans. There is no reason to fear that the proper celebration of Bonifacio day and the proper observance of his centenary will lead to risky enterprises. certainly, there is no reason to hold the patriotism of Bonifacio suspect.

Indeed, if only in the name of gratitude, the Filipinos should pay the right kind of homage to a man who unfettered by the vacillations of his intellectual contemporaries, chose action rather than thought. he knew the futility of temporizing with a regime which had nothing left but force to maintain itself. he was aware of the impossibility of reforms. In brief, he knew what o'clock it was, and he acted, not senselessly, but with the calm deliberation of one who had weighed the factors and who was prepared to take the risk.

And so, the greater compulsion for giving Bonifacio his due is that if he had not lived and if he had not acted the way he did, the Propaganda Movement would not have had even its partial fuifillment. (6-17-1962)

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Logical Rallying Point

It was during the Empire days that the lgiht on andres Bonifacio, the non-intellectual reader of "The History of the French Revolution" and the fiery leader of a popular revolt against Spain, was turned off. The Empire days was a time of troubles for the new rulers of the Philippines. Worcester and other adventurers, under the guise of explorers and scientists, as the editorial writers of El Renacimiento put it, were on the cmpaign for imperialist booty. The Filipinos, suppressed by superior arms, were in a restive state,. It would be bad policy therefore to allow them to be inspired once again by the memory of a a man of action, a revolutionist like Andres Bonifacio.

Very deliberately, the Americans cultivated the cult of Rizal, the man of thought, the firm believer in reforms. Undoubtedly Rizal was a great man, but his greatness is not such as to overshadow the greatness of Bonifacio. But Rizal was an intellectual and was considered safe. His satires on the friars had become academic and could not possibly instigate people into action.

Bonifacio, however, preached the egalitarian doctrines of the French Revolution; he led the movement against foreign domination; and he began a successful revolt for freedom and independence. The ideas he stood for were considered dangerous ideas, and he was allowed to survive in the minds of the people as a minor figure, as a relic of the past and better forgotten era of militant nationalism.

If Bonifacio is still a neglected figure today, it is partly for the reason that the Filipinos --the majority of them-- have not gorwn out of their early indoctrination. And yet, today, more than ever before, Bonifacio is the logical rallying point of Filipino nationalism, not because he was a votary of violence, but becase he deeply believed in real independence as the one and only salvation of the Philippines.

He had great faith in the capacity of the Filipinos to govern themselves. he did not want any ties with Spain, even with Spain willing to grant reforms. He wanted independence; he wanted freedom from foreign influence. he knew the dangers and obstacles ahead, but with the faith and conviction of a simple man, he was confident that the nation would survive.

Bonifacio lived and worked sixty years ago when the whole mass of Filipinos were unschooled in the ways of democracy. But this did not prevent him from fighting for independence. he was, in a manner of speaking, an angel who rushed in where the timid fered to tread. This, we believe, is the reason why vast numbers of Filipinos of the present have found it convenient not to grow out of their early indoctrination and have contented themselves to remember Bonifacio only once a year and pay nothing but lip-service to his greatness. They fear that Bonifacio's brand of nationalism might lead, as surely it will lead, to inconveniences and sacrifices. And so, they decided to embrace the nationalism sactioned by the state department and judiciously propagated by the Lions, Jaycees and Rotarians. (11-30-1955)

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Bonifacio and Rizal

Bonifacio Day and Rizal Day are separated by barely a month, and yet no two days in Philippine hisotry could be more apt, more distinct from each other in ideological content and significance.

The difference has not been sufficiently appreciated by a vast majority of the Filipinos, but by celebrating the birth of the revolutionist and the death of the reformer, they display something like fortuitous wisdom which does them more credit than they usually deserve.

A number of them who feel the tragedy of being grooved have realized the terrible blunder of acceding to the systematic propaganda of relegating Andres Bonifacio to the status of a second-class hero. And some of them, with a prescience that comes along with time, are beginning to understand the meaning of the fact that when Rizal was hard at work laying the foundation of La Liga Filipina and preaching the notion that the Philippines should not separate from Spain and that the Filipino should be contented with reforms, Bonifacio was organizing a secret society aimed at the overthrow of Spanish domination.

While the intellectual middle class awaited confidently the reforms asked for and promised," Teodoro M. Kalaw, one of the nation's real historians, wrote 28 years ago in the Philippine free Fress, "Bonifacio, with the instinct and discernment of the masses, had already lost faith in Spain, and while many of his countrymen were satisfied to lead a life of ease in the Oriental fashion, without giving a thought to their position as slaves or to the future of their country, he prepared the masses for a moral revolution by describing to them their sad plight and speaking to them of a new day which, he said, would come only through union, discipline and sacrifice."

ut the tremedous truth in these phrases and clauses have fallen on the ears of Filipinos who have been subjected from birth to senility to the propaganda about the greatness, courage and wisodm of Rizal.

The Rizal cult has grown to such proportions that an execrable word --Rizalist-- had been coined to describe thae fatuous boobs who are still shouting at the international conferences that the Martyr of Bagungbayan "spoke 19 languages," as if proficiency in languages had any relevance to the grim business of changing society.

But it has become the truism to say that Rizal is a safe hero, particularly in those places in the suburbs where time does not seem to move. And the inhabitants of suburbia have not stopped thanking the Americans for their choice of Rizal as the national hero, for even today, despite a heresy here and a heresy there, Rizal fulfills the need for permanence.

The almost secure position of Rizal in the national pantheon, however, is more a reflection of the deterrirating character of the Filipinos than a tribute to his greatness. For there was a time, not so long after the coming of the Americans in 1898, when the Filipino intellectuals --the professionals mostly --looked up to Bonifacio rather than Rizal for the inspiration of their nationalism.

One of them and perhaps one of the most eloquent of them was Fernando Ma. Guerrero. He came from Ermita, not Tondo, but he knew what Bonifacio stood for, and for what it was worth, he sang the man's praises. Teodoro Kalaw was another, and the whole membership of Philippine masonry during the era when being a mason meant something, worshi[pped at the shrine of Bonifacio.

But the replacement of these people by a race of middle men, by a race of jaycees and Rotarians seem to have doomed the Founder of the Katipunan to an inferior category.

The relegation, it is becoming increasingly clear, will not last forever. Already the rising generation of Filipinos has begun to see more than the symbolism of Bonifacio Day and Rizal Day, and seeing, they might learn that the choice of heroes is their exclusive prerogative. (11-30-1968)

Source: SOLIONGCO TODAY, A Contemporary from the Past..Edited by Prof. Renato Constantino, 1981

NOTE: As alluded to in the Preface:  Mr. Indalecio (Yeyeng) P. Soliongco was editorial writer/columnist of the Manila Chronicle from the late 1940s to 1971. He wrote over 8000 columns in his "Seriously Speaking" column. He discussed various subjects but concentrating on day-to-day sociopolitical developments; exposing the hypocrisy, lack of intellectual and moral integrity of many public figure.

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“Nations whose NATIONALISM is destroyed are subject to ruin.” - Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi, 1942-, Libyan Political and Military Leader

“Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent” – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881)


"Upang maitindig natin ang bantayog ng ating lipunan, kailangang radikal nating baguhin hindi lamang ang ating mga institusyon kundi maging ang ating pag-iisip at pamumuhay. Kailangan ang rebolusyon, hindi lamang sa panlabas, kundi lalo na sa panloob!" --Apolinario Mabini La Revolucion Filipina (1898)

6 comments:

Reynold Rivera said...

Wow, salamat po sa information na ito. Napakaimportante ng laman nito. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

parang parehas kayo ng mindset ng prof namen sa rizal..hehe..baka kilala niyo po si sir Gil Ramos?? ^^

Anonymous said...

ang pagkapili kay jose rizal bilang pambansang bayani noong 1901 ay tila isang nobela kung saan sa panahong iyon ay nangangailangan diumano ang bansa ng isang modelo na makapagpapahinahon sa kanyang kalooban.......isinulat ni renato constantion sa kanyang akdang "veneration without understanding" ang pagyakap ng maraming pilipino kay jose rizal bilang pambansang bayani ni kailanman ay hindi kinakitaan ng pagsulong ng himagsikang para sa kalayaan ng bansa!!!

Anonymous said...

nice

Anonymous said...

dpt nga kc tlaga c bonifcio kc nga mas pinakita nia ang katapangan nia kesa kay rizal...

Anonymous said...

ang laki rin po ng tulung nito ckin..
mgkakaron kc ng debate ang class.
tnx dn poh...