Friday, December 07, 2012

Constantino, Renato, and Constantino, Letizia R. Excerpt from A History of the Philippines: From the Spanish Colonization to the Second World War. New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 2008 [1975]. 162-166. 



Bonifacio’s own lower middle class origins may be gleaned from his biography. His mother was a Spanish mestiza who used to work as a cabecilla in a cigarette factory. His father, a tailor, had served as a teniente mayor of Tondo.26 Bonifacio was born in Tondo in 1863. The early death of his parents forced him to quit school in order to support his brothers and sisters. Bonifacio first earned his livelihood by making walking canes and paper fans which he himself peddled. Later, he worked as a messenger for Fleming and Co. and as a salesman of tar and other goods sold by the same firm. His last job before the Revolution was a bodeguero or warehouseman for Fressell and Company.
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Monday, December 03, 2012

Nery, John. "No Marx or Lenin." In Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2011. 122-142.



“No Marx or Lenin”

In 1921, an official holiday to mark the birthday of the Philippine revolutionary supremo Andres Bonifacio was celebrated in the Philippines for the first time; it came a generation after his execution. As labour leader Hermenegildo Cruz was to later recall, the day before the new holiday his school-aged children asked him, “Sino ba iyan si Bonifacio? -- Who is that [man] Bonifacio?”

The pioneer labour organizer and nationalist writer was stunned. “Wari ako’y natubigan -- I felt like I had been doused.” After he recovered, he began to tell his children about Bonifacio and the Katipunan:
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Sunday, December 02, 2012

St. Clair, Francis. Excerpt from The Katipunan: Or, The Rise and Fall of the Filipino Commune. Manila: Tip. "Amigos del Pais," 1902. 130-138.


Note 16. Andrés Bonifacio was the soul of the Katipunan movement; he was the President of the “Council of Ministers of the Supreme Popular Council.” His social condition was of a low grade, that grade from which many of the most fanatical pseudo-reformers have come; he was a warehouseman, a porter. In this capacity he was employed in the establishment of Messrs Fressel and Co., and was one of the humblest of the employees.

Bonifacio was, however, very vain and quixotic. He was, too, a man of sanguinary character, and held the people over whom


he attained ascendancy, in awe.
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Mojares, Resil B. Excerpt from Brains of the Nation: Pedro Paterno, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, Isabelo de los Reyes, and the Production of Modern Knowledge. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2006. 464-466.


In August [1895], Mabini wrote del Pilar saying that the decision had been reached to stop the publication of Solidaridad. Intimating that the mood had turned insurrectionary, Mabini wrote that many people have lost hope in the paper and "have transferred it [hope] wholly to another direction."181 (Within a few years Mabini himself would change direction and become the leading theoretician of the Philippine Republic.)

Solidaridad folded up with its issue of November 14, 1895. Del Pilar and Ponce were informed that a meeting would take place in Hong Kong to discuss plans (including Solidaridad's possible revival somewhere outside Spanish jurisdiction). To escape persecution at home and solicit Japanese assistance for the movement, Jose Ramos was already in Japan in August of 1895 and was joined there by Doroteo Cortes in May 1896.182 Del Pilar and Ponce were preparing to leave Barcelona for Hong Kong when del Pilar was taken ill. He died in Barcelona on July 4, 1896.

What Mabini meant by "another direction" was the Katipunan. On the night Rizal was arrested, July 7, 1892, Andres Bonifacio, a member of Liga, and others founded Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Highest and Most Respectable Society of the Sons of the People), a secret society committed to uniting Filipinos to wage a revolution for Philippine independence.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Corpuz, O. D. Excerpts from The Roots of the Filipino Nation, Vol. II. Quezon City: AKLAHI Foundation, Inc., 1989. 211-19, 243-55.


The Original Katipunan

The 7 July decree deporting Rizal to "one of the Southern islands" also provided for stricter rules throughout the archipe-


lago against the entry and circulation or possession of Rizal's writings, as well as of every manifesto or handbill "directly or indirectly attacking the Catholic religion or the national unity." A decree the next September dismissed a number of persons from government employment in Batangas, Binondo, and Pampanga and ordered the "enforced change of domicile" (euphemism for exile) of Doroteo Cortes and Ambrosio Salvador of Manila; Antonio Roxas of Bulacan; Mariano Alejandrino of Pampanga; Leon Apacible of Batangas; Jose Basa of Cavite; and Vicente Reyes of Laguna.

But the Katipunan was in no position to take action. Isabelo de los Reyes, who claims intimate knowledge of the origin and development of the Katipunan, wrote of its handful of founders that Jose Dizon was an employee in the Mint; Deodato Arellano was a clerk in the arsenal; Bonifacio was a warehouseman in a brick factory; and the others "clerks, assistants of the Secretaries, or clerks of courts. Among them there was not a single rich man, nor one of a learned profession...."
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Richardson, Jim. "Documents of the Katipunan: the Supreme Council, March 15, 1896". (May 2006).


Transcribed below (in the original Tagalog, followed by an English translation) is a document of the Katipunan Supreme Council dated March 15, 1896. Written in a neat calligraphic script by Bonifacio himself, the document details the agenda and arrangements for a meeting to be held in Mandaluyong the following Sunday, March 22. Then still separated from Manila by open country, Mandaluyong was fast becoming a major centre of KKK activity, and by the outbreak of the revolution it had as many as fifteen separate Sangunian Balangay or local councils. The Spaniards rightly labelled the town an insurrecto stronghold -- a "baluarte del Katipunan".

The meeting on March 22 is to be a session of the "K.K." or Kataastaasang Kapisanan (Supreme Assembly), a body that comprised the members of the Kataastaasang Sangunian (Supreme Council) plus principal officers of the local councils.

Bonifacio and Jacinto signed the document as the president and secretary of the Supreme Council. Beneath their signatures is a list of topics for discussion at the meeting on March 22, and beneath that list fifteen other leading Katipuneros have signed their code names (some in cipher, some not) to confirm that they will attend the meeting.1
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Monday, July 10, 2006

Richardson, Jim. "Andrés Bonifacio in Cavite, February 13, 1897". (March 29, 2006).


Transcribed below (in the original Tagalog, followed by an English translation) is a previously unpublished letter that Bonifacio wrote on February 13, 1897 to Julio Nakpil, the president of the Katipunan government in the "Northern District", the region to the north and east of the capital.

This brings the total number of known "Bonifacio letters" to nine -- four to Emilio Jacinto, two to Mariano Alvarez, two (1, 2) to Julio Nakpil and one to the High Military Council in the Northern District. In date order, they are as follows:
To the High Military Council in the Northern District, December 12, 1896.
To Mariano Alvarez, January 2, 1897.
To Julio Nakpil, February 13, 1897.
To Emilio Jacinto, March 8, 1897.
To Emilio Jacinto, undated but probably about March 16, 1897.
To Emilio Jacinto, April 16, 1897.
To Emilio Jacinto, April 24, 1897.
To Julio Nakpil, April 24, 1897.
To Mariano Alvarez, April 27, 1897.
Readers of this website will be aware that the provenance of some of the letters has been contested, but the balance of probability now is that most are authentic.1 Aside from its significance as an addition to the still slender corpus of Bonifacio’s known writings, the letter transcribed here is interesting mainly for its references to Fr Antonio Piernavieja, a Spanish friar then being held captive by Katipunan forces.
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Richardson, Jim. "Notes on Kalayaan, the Katipunan paper" (November 30, 2005).


The rapid growth of the Katipunan in the months immediately prior to August 1896 is often attributed in large part to the circulation of the first and only issue of its paper, Kalayaan. Unfortunately, no copy of the paper has yet been located, and with three signal exceptions –- the poem "Pagibig sa Tinubuang Bayan" and the articles "Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog" and "Pahayag" –- its incendiary contents are little known.

This piece recapitulates what has been written so far about the paper; details (in the endnotes) where various versions of items from Kalayaan have been published to date; and reproduces, for the first time, Tagalog versions (with English translations) of a substantial section of its lead editorial -- "Sa mga Kababayan" -- and an article entitled "Katuiran din naman!" It also reproduces a Tagalog version of "Pagibig sa Tinubuang Bayan" that differs (though not greatly) from those published hitherto. The piece is part of a "work in progress" that I intend to submit for publication in due course, and any corrections or comments will be most welcome.
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