Bonifacio: The First President

This historical film emphasizes on the life of a revolutionary leader/first president here in the Philippines. The scene opens with the execution of the three priests namely Father Gomez, Father Burgos and Father Zamora (or otherwise known as GomBurZa) which Andres Bonifacio had witnessed. This took place in the year of 1872, February 17 at Luneta Park, Bagumbayan where these three priests were executed through garrote (a form of capital punishment by which a condemned person is strangled to death with an iron collar.)

The oppression and unequal treatment of the Spanish government towards the poor people provoked Andres Bonifacio to form an organization called K.K.K. (stands for Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng Anak Ng Bayan or ‘Katipunan’ for short) and started an uprising against the injustice brought upon the Filipino citizens , even the poor. Seeking for independence, Andres Bonifacio, founded this secret organization for his fellow citizens to join through the use of flyers or newspapers. Members of the secret organization increased from less than 300 to 30,000 in the month of January 1896 and 40,000 by August 1896.

Their secret organization did not last for long as the Spanish authorities found out about its existence and decided to start a manhunt. Hearing about this, Andres Bonifacio called up thousands of his fellow Katipunan members for a meeting or mass gathering in Caloocan where they tore up their cedulas  or community tax certificates. Meetings were often held in the place of Cavite, making the city become the “Heartland of the Philippine Revolution”.

The Katipuneros led an attack against the Spanish soldiers at night. But due to the lack of weapons, they were somewhat defeated and members were killed off. During the Tejeros Convention in Cavite, a fight ensued between Andres Bonifacio and Daniel Tirona (a Magdalo leader) in which Bonifacio almost shot the latter , being provoked by the response and insults hurled upon the revolutionary leader/chief of rebellion, stating that Bonifacio is an uneducated person and undeserving to be called a Supreme President.

Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were later arrested for treason against the government of President Emilio Aguinaldo, as well as for the conspiracy to kill the latter. They were  found guilty despite of insufficient evidence and deported on May 8, 1897 upon Aguinaldo’s order. Procopio was shot dead while Bonifacio was stabbed. His close associates later on rose up and took his place in continuing the Katipunan organization.

Notes about the movie:

*Throughout the film, I was really amazed at how the actor Robin Padilla gave justice to Andres Bonifacio’s character. He portrayed the role as a Philippine Nationalist and revolutionary leader very well. This film was really superb.

*The question on whom should really be called a Philippine national hero still remains unanswered. In my point of view, both of them really deserved to be called a hero since they died for their own country and beliefs. They sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country’s freedom and independence from the Spanish government. Jose Rizal fought against the Spanish government with his two novels as his weapons whereas Andres Bonifacio fought by leading the rebellion or uprising.

*If Andres Bonifacio didn’t lead or start a Philippine Revolution nor had Jose Rizal written his two novels which spoke of the cruelty of the Spanish government, Philippines would have never been free and would still be colonized until now.

*Red flags were used as a sign of revolt or uprising. Theme was centralized on fighting for freedom.

*The principle of liberty, equality and fraternity was followed by the Katipunan members upon forming  their ranks in the revolutionary government.

*”I sacrificed my life for the country’s freedom. You? What can you do for your country?” – Andres Bonifacio. This quote is an eye-opener to many Filipno citizens, especially for today’s generations. What are we willing to sacrifice for our country?


What Makes One A Revolutionary Leader?

Think you’ve got what it takes to be called a “revolutionary” leader? Are you one of those seeking for a better change in the government?  Are you sick and tired as well of the corrupt practices of some government officials? Then it’s time to join in the fight that will give you the right to enjoy freedom.

Before getting into the qualities of a revolutionary leader, let’s start first with the definition of ‘revolution’ itself. In political terms, revolution is defined as overthrowing or bringing down of a government, especially that of a corrupt one and replacing it with a better government. Some revolution may lead to a bloody fight but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Some few examples of Revolution to cite here would be the French Revolution/revolution francaise (1789-1799) , Philippine Revolution against Spain(pre-1800s)  and The June Rebellion (1832).

Revolution is not just all about building barricades and fighting to death, it’s also about making a change (not just in the government but also in ourselves). What’s the use of wanting to see the change in the government when we ourselves won’t make a change? What’s the use of fighting for freedom and wanting to end corruption when we ourselves are corrupt as well? Would there be a world beyond the barricade that we long to see? Would there be a brand new life that’s about to start when tomorrow comes? The answer? There will be..

To become an effective revolutionary leader, one must have these qualities/characteristics:

1) A sincere belief in what you are doing or what you can do – This is the first and foremost quality that a person must have in order for him/her to become an effective revolutionary leader. How can one effectively lead a revolution when he or she has doubts in his/her ability?

2) An oratory ability – Becoming an effective revolutionary leader involves a good oratory skill or ability to carry out his/her speech. A soft-spoken type of person would find it hard to convince his/her fellow men. One who lacks the confidence to speak in public would find it impossible to lead a successful revolution. But take note, it’s not always the case that a revolutionary leader would be the only one who gets to speak out his mind.. the opinions of the other citizens matter as well.

3) Careful and thorough planning skills  – Another important quality of an effective revolutionary leader. Everything must be carefully and thoroughly planned – from gathering of weapons/ammunitions, communication with his fellow people, and execution of plan.

A good example of a revolutionary leader would be Andres Bonifacio. He was called as the “Father of Philippine Revolution” and was also a founder/supreme leader of an organization called K.K.K. (stands for Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak Ng Bayan). He formed this organization to seek independence of the country against the oppression of the Spanish government. This revolutionary leader educated himself by reading some books about the French Revolution, some biographies, books about penal and civil codes of Philippines and even novels such as Victor Hugo’s Les MIserables and that of our national hero’s works (Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo).

Anyone, yes… even you can be a revolutionary leader.