Thursday, November 29, 2012

Uncle Bonie's Day

We surely know why it will be a national holiday tomorrow as we celebrate the 149th birth anniversary of the light that guided the revolution - Andres Bonifacio.

Among the hometown men in our history, my sympathy goes to the supreme katipunero. I think that he was too robbed of life, being born in a humble family and died in an unfair circumstance.

A difficult early life sparked Bonifacio the courage to face the tall odds of life. He was the eldest of six broods of a poor couple named Santiago Bonifacio and  Catalina de Castro.

When he turned fourteen years old, he was orphaned and had to take his younger siblings under his wings. To make both ends meet, he had to sacrifice his schooling.

Yet even if Bonifacio stopped going to school, he continued reading novels about ideals of freedom. He had read a great deal and had a library but was destroyed at the time his house burned down.

Bonifacio's cry: "Bring out your cedulas and tear them to pieces to symbolize our determination to take up arms!" signified the Filipino outbreak of uprising against the long colonial occupation.

One early morning midst the revolution, an another group of Filipino soldiers brought Bonifacio and his brother to the mountains. One of the soldiers opened the sealed letter from the Filipino general, which secretly ordered to kill the two men. Using bayonets and bolos, the soldiers dug a shallow grave, covered the two dead bodies with weeds, and hurriedly left to escape.

Anyone who knows our history will understand why Bonifacio is remembered on his birthday, November 30, rather than the date of his death, May 10. Unlike Rizal who was executed by the enemy, Bonifacio was executed by fellow countrymen.

Oh, poor Uncle Bonie! Tomorrow will be that day 149 years ago when you came into this vale of tears! They betrayed you but you proved that even a plebeian can make a big difference and give his motherland the gift of heroism!

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