MANILA – Government officials led by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Friday gathered around the monument of Gat Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan City as the Filipino nation celebrates his 155th birth anniversary.
Unlike other great heroes of the country including Jose Rizal, Bonifacio is being remembered on his birthday, Nov. 30, rather than the date of his death, May 10, 1897.
Bonifacio is considered the "Father of the Philippine Revolution" after he spearheaded the establishment of the secret revolutionary movement "Katipunan" to fight Spanish colonization in 1892.
The Bonifacio-led Katipuneros inspired many Filipinos and groups to launch a nationwide campaign to overthrow the colonizers.
In 1895, Bonifacio emerged as the "Supremo" (Supreme Leader) of the Katipunan or Kataastaasang Kagalang-galangan Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan.
The struggle for freedom, however, hit snag after the fight for supremacy inside the Katipunan created tension and factions among members.
According to history, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo replaced Bonifacio as leader of the revolution in 1897.
On May 10, 1897, Bonifacio was executed not by the enemies but by men from the Katipunan which he himself founded.
Twenty-four years after Bonifacio's death, the Philippine Legislature enacted Act No. 2946, making November 30 of each year a national holiday to commemorate the birth of Bonifacio.
For starting the Philippine revolution against Spaniards, some historians considered Bonifacio the first president of the Philippine Republic.
Others called him "Father of the Filipino nation", national hero, great plebeian and self-taught orphan.
Bonifacio, eldest of six siblings, was forced not to pursue higher education after his mother, Catalina, died in 1881 and his father, Santiago, the following year.
He worked full-time in two international firms to support his five younger brothers and sisters.
Bonifacio married twice. His first wife, Monica, died of leprosy at a young age. He then married Gregoria de Jesus, with whom he had a child, who, however, died as an infant. (PNA)