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The Bonifacio legacy

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Along with national hero Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio is the only other Filipino hero that is honored with a non-working holiday for his contribution towards shaping our national identity. Bonifacio Day, which we celebrate today, commemorates his birthday.

Andres Bonifacio came from a working class background. His early studies were interrupted when he had to start earn a living, working as a craftsman, a messenger-clerk, storekeeper and an agent of foreign commercial firms in Manila. Born of humble means, he was immersed in the daily struggles of the working class and exemplified the aspirations to nationhood and freedom of the nation’s poor. He is admired and emulated for embodying the Filipino bravery and deep love for country.

He is most remembered as a revolutionary leader who advocated armed struggle to depose the Spanish colonial rule, organizing and leading the Katipunan as it grew into an armed revolutionary movement that spread from Manila to several provinces.

The objective of the Katipunan was to bring about the separation from the Spanish empire and the establishment of a self-governing nation, the Republic of the Philippines, and although Bonifacio lost the internal power struggle to Emilio Aguinaldo who eventually became the first President of the Republic, today’s holiday gives us an idea just how much his contributions to the nation are appreciated.

Andres Bonifacio was a man of action. He did not want to endure or compromise with the Spanish regime, he wanted to end it and for that goal, he was willing to give his life. That is why we still admire him and his deeds today, 159 years after he was born.

Thanks to men like him, our country has earned its independence from Spain. But until now, the Philippines still needs Filipinos to fight for best interests of our country, as we face other threats to the freedoms we have gained and the lofty aspirations great men like Andres Bonifacio had for this nation when they imagined what the Republic of the Philippines would be like.

As we continue building this nation, fighting for it and its future, let us turn to the life and dreams of our hero, Andres Bonifacio, for the inspiration and guidance needed so we can also take the necessary action whenever it is needed, no matter how difficult it may seem.*

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May 2024
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