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Finding Bonifacio: Readings, Reflections, Resources

To mark the kick-off for the Bonifacio Sesquicentennial, here are some readings and reflections and online resources.


  1. Introduction

  2. Here is Alerta! Katipunan, conducted by the late Maestro Leopoldo Silos. Musical historians suggest the tune was itself captured from the Spaniards. One thing is sure: music played an important role in the revolution. There are accounts of attacks on Spanish fortifications in which the forces of the Katipunan were accompanied by a marching band, and festivals and other celebrations were accompanied by marching bands.
  3. Alerta! Katipunan, the march of the Katipunan, performed by Inang Laya and featuring vocals by the formidable Karina Constantino David.
  4. To my mind, despite the deterioration of its surroundings, and the disappearance of the vista that once made it the first --and truly remarkable-- sight for people coming into Manila from the North, the Bonifacio Monument remains the most beautiful and inspiring monument ever built by Filipinos. Today, November 30, also marks one of the oldest national holidays in the country:
  5. IN 1921, largely through the efforts of poet-politician Lope K. Santos, an official holiday to mark the birthday of Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio was celebrated in the country for the first time (it came a generation after his execution at the hands of Emilio Aguinaldo’s men). The day before the new holiday, labor leader Hermenegildo Cruz later recalled, his school-age children asked him: “Sino ba iyan si Bonifacio (Who is that [man] Bonifacio)?” “Wari ako’y natubigan (I felt like I had been doused),” the pioneer labor organizer and nationalist writer wrote. After he recovered, he began to tell his children about Bonifacio and the Katipunan: “Sa maiikling pangungusap, ay aking ipinatanto sa mga anak ko ang buong kabuhayan ni Andres Bonifacio at ang sanhi’t katwiran kung bakit siya’y ibinubunyi ng ating lahi’t Pamahalaan. Akin ding ipinakilala sa kanila ang mga aral ng ‘Katipunan’; at isinaysay ang kapakinabangang natamo ng Bayang Pilipino sa paghihimagsik na pinamatnugutan ng kapisanang yaong itinatag at pinanguluhan ni Andres Bonifacio. (In simple words, I made my children understand the whole life story of Andres Bonifacio and the roots and reasons why he was being honored by our race and government. I also introduced to them the principles of the Katipunan; and narrated the benefits gained by the Philippine nation through the revolution directed by that society founded and headed by Andres Bonifacio.)”
  6. You can read the entire article, here:
  7. The Sesquicentennial

  8. Here is the introductory essay to the efforts of the office I belong to, which is the lead agency for the online efforts of the Sesquicentennial Committee:
  9. From November 30, 2012 to November 30, 2013, we will be featuring special pages on various aspects of Bonifacio and the Katipunan. The page has a timeline of Andres Bonifacio's life, and two essays at present.
  10. Here is the schedule of future special pages:
  11. The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, as part of the year-long commemoration, will be publishing a series of online features until Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary next year with emphasis on the Supremo, the Katipunan, and the Philippine Revolution of 1896. These will be: March 22, 2013: The Tejeros Convention April 28, 2013: The Trial of Andres Bonifacio June 12, 2013: Araw ng Kalayaan July 6, 2013: Establishment of the Katipunan August 23, 2013: The Cry of Pugad Lawin August 30, 2013: National Heroes Day November 30, 2013: The Andres Bonifacio Sesquicentennial The online effort marks a partnership between PCDSPO, the NHCP, the National Library and National Archives, the Presidential Museum and Library, and Filipino and foreign scholars all united towards one goal: to spark a lively, useful, and illuminating national conversation on the Supremo, the Katipunan, and the Revolution.
  12. You can follow the features and keep updated and informed on Sesquicentennial activities on Facebook:
  13. And keep informed through Twitter, too!
  14. Image and Reality

  15. The first photo-essay we've featured is one on the various representations of Bonifacio. We start with the only known Bonifacio:
  16. And yet there would be other equally iconic representations of Bonifacio. How these evolved and came about, and what they suggest, is something tackled in the essay. You can read the full essay here: