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Little-known facts about Andres Bonifacio

October 19, 2013 3:25pm
His image has been carved into monuments and printed on several memorabilia, and his role as the Katipunan’s leader has been celebrated countless times. But apart from what we read in history books, what else do we really know about Andres Bonifacio, the Father of the Philippine Revolution?
 
Get to know the man behind the hero with these facts about the Katipunan’s Supremo.
 
Bonifacio didn’t usually wear a white camisa de chino and red patadyong
 
Andres Bonifacio is often depicted as a fighter clad in white camisa de chino and red patadyong. The red and white ensemble has become synonymous to Bonifacio and the members of the Katipunan that a lot of Filipinos will most likely think of them whenever they see someone dressed in similar clothing.
 
Bonifacio’s association with the camisa de chino and patadyong is said to have originated from a Carlos “Botong” Francisco painting where the hero was drawn wearing these clothes.

“Iniuugnay kasi yun sa ibang manggagawa at sa ibang mga magsasaka kaya nagkaroon ng paniniwala na ganun yung kadalasan na isinusuot ni Andres Bonifacio,” explained historian Reymar Yson of the National Teacher’s College.
 
Instead of the camisa de chino and patadyong getup, Bonifacio actually usually wore Chinese-collared long sleeves and slacks.
 
Bonifacio did not come from a poor family
 
Orphaned at the young age of 14, Andres Bonifacio, the eldest son of Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro, had to drop out of school to support his five younger siblings. However, Andres did not live in poverty prior to the death of his parents. In fact, he even had a private tutor from Cebu who helped him learn arithmetic and Spanish.
 
His mother worked as a “supervisor” in a cigarette factory and his father worked directly under the gobernadorcillo.
 
Despite his parent’s death and the discontinuation of his formal education, Bonifacio kept on learning on his own by reading numerous books, including the works of Victor Hugo and Dr. Jose Rizal.
 
Bonifacio had several stable jobs
 
Andres Bonifacio worked hard to raise his siblings. He became a bodeguero, a clerk messenger, and a warehouse supervisor. 
 
“Ang suweldo o ang kita ng isang bodeguero ay P20 at ito’y ‘di hamak nga na mas malaki doon sa mga kininikta ng mga talagang nandoon sa ilalim,” clarified Lito Nunag, a historian from UP Diliman. “Mas mataas ‘yung suweldo niya doon sa mga high school teachers nung panahong iyon.”
 
Aside from these jobs, Bonifacio also acted in plays together with Macario Sakay and Aurelio Tolentino. Bonifacio’s favorite role is that of Bernardo Carpio, a fictional giant who stopped two mountains from colliding with each other.
 
Bonifacio’s weapon of choice is the revolver
 
Many of the monuments made to commemorate Andres Bonifacio depict him as a warrior who uses the bolo as a weapon. Contrary to this, Bonifacio preferred to use a revolver in real life.
 
“Para sa akin, iyon ‘yung mas practical. Kasi halimbawa, merong mga biglang sumugod sa kanila, may initiative sila na makakilos kagad sila ‘pag revolver kagad,” said Yson. “Kaya lang bolo kasi inugnay siya sa kadalasan na gamit ng mga Katipunero.”
 
According to Nunag, recent documents about the Katipunan also reveal that many of the correspondences made among Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and the other members of the Katipunan often mentioned the use of firearms.
 
Bonifacio was married twice
 
Andres Bonifacio was married twice. Little is known about Bonifacio’s first wife except for the fact that her name is Monica and that she died of leprosy.
 
“Maaari nating i-assume na si Andres Bonifacio ay very caring husband,” said Xiao Chua, a historian from DLSU Manila. “Kasi tandaan natin na ‘yung ketong noon ay isang sakit na pinandidirian at noon ay itinuturing na walang lunas. Kaya kung mag-alaga ka ng asawang may ketong hanggang sa ito ay mamatay ay nagpapakita ng kadakilaan mo bilang isang lover.”
 
Bonifacio fell in love again with the young Gregoria de Jesus who was also called “Oriang”. They had a son who took his name after Andres. However, the child passed away after acquiring a disease.
 
“At nagkaroon din ng anak ulit eh, kaso lumalaban na sila noon sa mga Kastila,” shared Chua. “So kasa-kasama si Gregoria. Malamang nabinat si Gregoria. Ayun, nakunan.”
 
Emilio Aguinaldo sentenced Andres Bonifacio to death
 
After Emilio Aguinaldo was elected as president in the Tejeros Convention, Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were tried by the Council of War. Both of them were sentenced to death after being found guilty. Emilio Aguinaldo was the person who ordered the execution of the Bonifacio brothers.
 
“Yung mga taong nakapaligid kay Aguinaldo, sina Mariano Noriel at Pio Del Pilar, ang siyang nag-convince kay Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo,” Chua clarified. “Si Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, ayaw naman niyang sundin ‘yung consejo de guerra na patayin. Gusto niya ipatapon lang sa malayong lugar.”  Lara Gonzales/CM, GMA News



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