Monday, July 9, 2007

Andres Bonifacio Profile

Let's Start the Revolution of the Filipino Youth XI

Andres Bonifacio was born into a poor family on November 30, 1863 in Tondo, Manila. His parents, Santiago Bonifacio and Catalian de Castro, died when Andres was only 14, and his two younger brothers and his younger sister were left under his care. He supplemented his low education through reading and self-study. Among the books that inspired him to pursue lofty ambitions for his country were the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo by Dr. Jose Rizal, The Lives of the Presidents of the United States, and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.

In 1892, in a house in Azcarraga (now Claro M. Recto) in Manila, he organized the Katipunan, a secret organization aimed at overthrowing the Spanish sovereignty in the Philippines. Members signed their names in blood and pledged to fight for their country. One of the female members was Gregoria de Jesus, Bonifacio's wife and known as the Lakambini ng Katipunan. The Kartilla, a sort of bible of the Katipunan, contained its teachings, and the Ang Kalayaan, its official newspaper, informed the people of its aims and teachings. However, the Katipunan was discovered by Spanish authorities on August 19, 1896. Many members were arrested and executed, forcing Andres Bonifacio and some of his followers to gather at Pugad Lawin, where they tore their cedulas (residence certificates) and started an open uprising. This came to be known as the Cry of the Pugad Lawin. That was on August 25, 1896, the beginning of the Philippine Revolution.

Bonifacio, the Great Plebeian and Founder of the Katipunan, died on May 10, 1897 when he was shot while recuperating from a wound in Mount Buntis, Maragondon, Cavite.

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