The Father of the Philippine Revolution
Andres Bonifacio is considered as the “Father of the Philippine Revolution”. He is the founder and “Supremo” (leader) of the independence movement against Spain, the Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan nang nga Anak ng Bayan(KKK), or simply known as the Katipunan. He is also a member of La Liga Filipina, just like Jose Rizal. La Liga is a movement to achieve reforms in the Philippines through peaceful means. When these efforts did not bear fruit, Bonifacio subsequently came to believe that independence could be achieved through an armed revolution, thus creating the Katipunan in 1892.
Bonifacio and Jose Rizal were both members of La Liga Filipina, a movement working peacfully for reforms in the Philippines. However, the two national heroes never knew each other personally.
When Rizal was arrested in 1892, Bonifacio realized that Spain would never grant the requested reforms. So, on the night of July 7, 1892, Bonifacio, Valentine Diaz, Deodato Arellano (brother in-law of Marcelo H. del Pilar), Teodoro Plata (Andres’ brother in-law), Ladislao Diwa, and a few others secretly met in a house along Azcarraga Street (now Claro M. Recto Street) near Candelaria Street (now Elcano Street).
On the night, the Katipunan was formed. The members formalized their membership by signing the pact with their own blood. In the same year the Katipunan was founded, Bonifacio married Gregoria de Jesus, who chose Lakambini or muse as her codename in the Katipunan. She took charge of the confidential files, revolvers, seals, and other materials of the society.
“Bring out your cedulas and tear them to pieces to symbolize our determination to take up arms,” Bonifacio challenged his members. The katipuneros tore up their cedulas and shouted, “Long live the Philippines.” The cry at Pugadlawin signaled the start of the Philippine Revolution.
In 1895, Bonifacio became the Supremo, or leader.
The initial plan to attack Manila did not push through due to lack of arms. Instead Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, and some others attacked the Spanish arsenal at San Juan del Monte. Bonifacio failed to anticipate the possible arrival of the Spanish reinforcement troops, who caused the Filipino’s defeat.
Bonifacio’s life as a militant katipunero ended on Mount Hulog, a mountain in Maragondon, Cavite. Bonifacio and his younger brother Procopio were accused by the Spaniards of rebellion and were sentenced to die. On May 10, 1897, Mariano Noriel handed a sealed envelope to Lazaro Makapagal and instructed him to take the two Bonifacio brothers to Mount Taal. Once there Bonifacio requested Makapagal to open the envelope. In it was the order to execute both brothers. Makapagal had no recouse but to follow the command, lest he be punished severely. In doing so, he executed the Filipino who sprearheaded the Philippine Revolution against Spain.