BONIFACIO DAY, commemorates the birth of Filipino nationalist and revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio y de Castro in Tondo, Manila on November 30, 1863. Bonifacio is considered “the Father of the Philippine Revolution and Filipino Nation” for founding and leading the Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (more popularly called Katipunan) that fought for independence from Spanish colonial rule in the 1890s. The Katipunan was a secret revolutionary society that instigated military revolts against the Spanish colonizers.
Bonifacio became the Katipunan’s military leader and the president of the revolutionary government, which (according to some historians) makes Bonifacio the first president of the Philippine Republic. Bonifacio and the Katipunan recruited many citizens to their cause, eventually becoming the most prominent revolutionary force the Spaniards had to face.
|1937 Araw ni Bonifacio Program|
However Bonifacio’s leadership was contested by some others, and in particular, Emilio Aguinaldo. After a series of leadership challenges and internal rifts, Aguinaldo violently took over the revolutionary forces and ordered Bonifacio to be tried and executed under the guise of treason. Historians have condemned the trial of the Bonifacio brothers as unjust. The jury was entirely composed of Aguinaldo’s men; Bonifacio’s defense lawyer acted more like a prosecutor as he himself declared Bonifacio’s guilt and instead appealed for less punishment; and Bonifacio was not allowed to confront the state witness for the charge of conspiracy on the grounds that the latter had been killed in battle, but later the witness was seen with the prosecutors.
Bonifacio verdict was a foregone conclusion. He was found guilty of plotting to overthrow the revolutionary government. He and his brother Procopio were sentenced “to be shot in an open place, up to five shots for each. . . ”
Bonifacio Day is held every 30 November. Unlike the main national hero, José Rizal, Bonifacio Day is celebrated on his day of birth, rather than his day of death. This is because Bonifacio was killed by his fellow countrymen, rather than at the hands of foreign colonizers.
To commemorate Bonifacio’s greatness as the “Great Plebeian” I have collected some of his memorabilia. This collection was inspired by the heroism and patriotism of Bonifacio amid the struggles the country has gone through in fighting for liberty and dignity, freedom, and sovereignty for the land of our ancestors.
|Andres Bonifacio photo from a 1898 magazine. Taken from the article "What the American Saw In the Philippines"|
|1933 Dia De La Sinukuan Lodge flyer featuring Andres Bonifacio|
|1925 ANDRES BONIFACIO No. 1 de los Legionatios Del Trabajo receipt|
|1950 Kapatirang Alagad Ni Bonifacio, Inc. receipt for the Bonifacio Day Celebration.|
|1930s Bonifacio Monument Postcards|
|Balintawak Monument, First Cry of Andres Bonifacio. |
|Pocket watch, postcard and button featuring the Balintawak Monument|
|1896 Cedula Personal issued to a certain Seberino Constantino of Manila. This is similar to the cedula torn by the Katipuneros.|
|KATIPUNAN inspired Cigarette wrappers (1910s-1940s)|
|Andres Bonifacio Centennial 1863-1963 National Heroes Commission Medal|
|500 Piso Andres Bonifacio Centennial 1897-1997, Death Centenary|
|1 Peso Andres Bonifacio 1863-1963 National Hero, Birth Centenary|
|1950 Peace Fund Commission Stamp - "For My Country And Home - I Pledge My All"|
|Popular poster of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio from the 1950s|
|FILIPINO ILUSTRES featuring Jose Rizal and Bonifacio with the other heroes of the revolution. 1920's postcard.|