WHAT WE SEEK TO REVIVE
AS WE 'BURY' BONIFACIO
By Ed Aurelio C. Reyes
Kamalaysayan Writers and Speakers
(May 3, 1997)
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FULL CENTURY has passed since May 10, 1897 when Andres Bonifacio, Supremo of the Katipunan and Pangulo ng Haring Bayang Katagalugan was killed in Cavite. All these decades our people have not known his full greatness, because historical accounts have only focused on his bravery and his love for Inang Bayan. But even these positives are often made to carry indictments.
For example, it is claimed that his bravery accounts for his supposed violence and impetuosity, and that his overwhelming love overstretches to irrationality. Everytime these lies get passed on and spread to succeeding gnerations, Bonifacio gets slain again and again. Lack of information makes Bonifacio's own avowed fans often get tricked into "conceding" them as facts.
Actually, Bonifacio was an intellectual with wide and deep knowledge of history, politics and philosophy, the Katipunan that he formed and led was lofty, very spiritual and very ethical in its conduct of the 1896 Revolution, the upheaval that unified the people across our archipelago in one common enterprised and thus birthed no less than our very nationhood. Indeed, we grossly lack knowledge about the full greatness of this national hero.
It has been a century since he died, but he has not yet been accorded even the simplest funeral ceremony. After he was killed on orders of Emilio Aguinaldo, he was simply covered with some earth. When his remains were retrieved decades later, these were displayed at the National Museum, instead of being buried, and was forever lost to us when that American planes carpetbombed Manila after World War II and reduced that building to rubble.
What we, the Filipino people, ought to do now is to give Bonifacio the recognition and tribute he well deserves. It is but proper that we give him a symbolic funeral and other forms of doing him honor. He actually deserves a symbolic STATE funeral, but focusing on Bonifacio has never been part of the priorities of the Ramos administration or the National Centennial Commission. So, what we are having on May 10 is a PEOPLE's symbolic funeral for Bonifacio. It will be held at the Pamitinan Cave in Montalban, Rizal, which is an acknowledged "Temple of the Katipunan Spirit." Before this, we will hold a symbolic wake and vigil at Tutuban in Manila, his birthplace area, and in regions of the country where there are participating people's organizations.
We Filipinos urgently need the light of reason and love for our nation, the unifying guide of the Spirit of the Katipunan, the lessons and inspiration distilled by the Katipunan in its First Cry of Freedom and the ritual of self-purification held by the Katipunan in the legendary Pamitinan Cave. Reason teaches us that we ought to revive the great spirit of Bonifacio and the Katipunan. It's time that we united to revive the nationhood that was birthed by the heroism of the 1896 Revolution.
(Kamalaysayan Media Service)
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