I belong to the opposing group, who opposes Jose Rizal as the national hero, and affirms Andres Bonifacio, who truly owns the throne to the so-called title of “National Hero” which currently belongs to Jose Rizal.
First of all, let me get some facts straight. His complete name is Andres Castro Bonifacio, and he was born on November 30, 1863 in Tondo, Manila and died on May 10, 1897 at a very young age of 33 in Maragondon, Cavite.
Like Abraham Lincoln, his formal education was very limited because of his parents’ death when he was only 14. He was an avid reader too like Lincoln and has read numerous books like the French Revolution, Biographies of US Presidents and many others. As the eldest, he had to drop out from school in order to support his siblings.
Bonifacio was able to experienced working several odd jobs such as messenger, salesman and, warehouseman. He was also a businessman selling fans and canes. He founded the revolutionary movement known as KKK and was its supreme leader which sought for independence from the Spaniards.
Not known to many Filipinos, some historians regarded him as the “first president of the Philippines. Andres Bonifacio and Greogoria De Jesus were married at the historic Binondo Church in 1893. His wife, more popularly known as Aling Oriang, was the founder and the vice-president of the women’s chapter of KKK.
As a member of the Katipunan, Gregoria was designated the code name “Lakambini” which is the equivalent of “goddess” or “muse” in Tagalog dialect. Andres and Gregoria had a son named Andres but died of smallpox.
Bonifacio was executed in 1897 and after more than a year his wife Gregoria met Julio Nakpil, a commander of the Katipunan troops in northern Philippines. They got married in December 1898 and had 5 children. The primary objective of the establishment of KKK is to achieve independence from Spain through a revolution.
On July 7, 1892, the day after Rizal’s deportation to Dapitan, Andres Bonifacio founded the KKK – Kataas-taasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Highest and Most Respected Children of the Society of the Country) As a Katipunero, a member of the secret society called KKK, Bonicafio used the pseudonym “May Pag-asa” (There’s hope).
The first “Supremo” of the Katipunan, short of KKK, was Deodato Arellano, Bonicacio’s brother-in-law. The second KKK “Supremo” was Roman Basa. Although Bonifacio was the founder, he only took over as “Supremo” in 1895 and prior to holding the highest position he was the organization’s comptroller and then its fiscal.
Bonifacio wrote the poem “Pag-ibig sa Lupang Tinubuan” (Love of Homeland) under the pseudonym Agapito Bagumbayan. With less than 300 KKK members in January 1896, memberships of the Katipunan soared high to more than 40,000 by August 1896 due to the publication of “Kalayaan” and membership spread out throughout Luzviminda.