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6939Re: [pinoy_atheists] Bonifacio Revisited

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  • Oliver Floralde
    Feb 3, 2008
      i wonder if the author could provide us (the readers) some concrete evidence, references to his various claims. i say claims cause these stuff were not in our history books, which we use as standard in the absence of contrary opinion.

      The article is full of assumptions (e.g., suspected of..) and contradictions.

      Assuming that what the author just pointed out here is all true; the cause-effect relationship of supposedly modern Filipino flaws (especially in organizational aspect) attributable to Bonifacio's traits is completely farfetched and problematic, why? first off, cause-effect study is the hardest to prove cause it involve years... and so many variables (academic, spiritual, philisophical background, etc, etc) to study (in this case, what we are talking about are not just years but generations) secondly, the connection made i think, is too stretched, at one side of the world there is divisiveness or problems among individuals who can't seem to get along then on the other the supposed flaws of one of our national heroes then there's the connection... its just as some filipinos might call it pilit.

      some readers may even argue that although bonifacio was not a good military strategist, his organizational skills were superb, being the one who founded the Katipunan and all. or that he fight for his ideals and principles (whatever they were) to his death, unlike some 'heroes' who agree and compromise everytime the oppurtunity provides it, like going into exile in exchange of money and comfort but that is a different story altogether.


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: pinoy_infidel <paetenian@...>
      To: pinoy_atheists@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 10:32:05 PM
      Subject: [pinoy_atheists] Bonifacio Revisited

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      Curves, fitness
      and weight loss.. Bonifacio Revisited
      By Antonio C. Abaya
      Written on Jan. 30, 2008
      For the Standard Today,
      January 31 issue

      In keeping with the `on-the-other- hand' spirit of this column, I yield
      the space to Engineer Dante G. Balacanao of Los Angeles, CA, who not
      only has a critical view of Andres Bonifacio, he also draws the
      conclusion that Bonifacio's personality flaws encapsulate the fatal
      tendencies of modern Filipinos towards dysfunction.

      Wrote Balacanao: One aspect of my job as an Engineering &
      Manufacturing Technology Specialist is to find ways to improve the
      process. When a negative trend occurs, a root cause analysis is
      required to prevent reoccurrence, inform the workforce, and improve
      the culture. With this in mind, I decided to write this article after
      witnessing a number of incidents that showed a negative cultural
      trend. These incidents happened in the Los Angeles area in the early
      1990s, but similar situations (have) occurred among Filipino
      organizations in other cities in the U.S.

      The events concerned three local organizations: the alumni
      associations of the University of the Philippines and Ateneo
      University , as well as Radyo Pinoy (a CB radio hobby group). These
      groups had similar experiences. They had normal disagreements, but
      what followed wasn't. Instead of making up by finding common ground,
      some members decided to quit and form rival groups.

      In one case, the feud was serious enough that it ended in court! In
      Radyo Pinoy's situation, new chapters sprung up as a result of
      internal conflicts. In a five-mile radius, there were 5 chapters. This
      was extraordinary because distance or communications were non-factors.
      CB's range thousands of miles and every member owned cars. Yet they
      couldn't find common ground to unite. This wasn't normal for educated
      people for education teaches unity based on common goals. This spurred
      me to do a root cause analysis for such odd behavior and take
      appropriate action to reverse the trend.

      I was disappointed when the cause led to the second most popular
      national hero, Andres Bonifacio, my idol since Philippine Science
      High. If heroes were meant to be role models, then the members of
      these fractious organizations were consciously or subconsciously
      imitating the infamous act that led to Bonifacio's execution. In that
      incident, Bonifacio attempted to split the revolutionary movement by
      forming a rival group after loosing the leadership. With its possible
      impact on Filipinos, I decided to research whether Bonifacio deserved
      to be a national hero or villain. The results were more
      disappointments. What Bonifacio did reflects the modern ills of
      Philippine society. Here are some of the results in timeline.

      - July 7, 1892, Katipunan, the secret organization that will
      eventually lead the fight for Philippine independence was founded in
      Manila by a group of indios. The first president or supremo was
      Deodato Arellano. Bonifacio was the first comptroller.

      - Feb. 1893, Roman Basa replaced Deodato Arellano for being ineffective.

      - 1894, Tomas Remigio accused Andres Bonifacio of mismanaging
      Katipunan funds.

      - Early 1895, Andres Bonifacio deposed Roman Basa as supremo due to
      disagreements over the management of Katipunan funds and personal issues.

      - Aug. 19, 1896, Teodoro Patino exposed the Katipunan to Father Gil of
      Tondo. It was Bonifacio's idea to implicate innocent Filipinos who
      wished to remain neutral by drafting fake documents against them. More
      than 500 were imprisoned, tortured, or executed based on pretext.

      - Aug. 29, 1896 � Bonifacio failed to give the signal for a
      coordinated uprising at midnight. He overslept. Bonifacio's tardiness
      was partially blamed for their defeat.

      - Early Dec. 1896, 2,000 soldiers and 6,000 rifles arrived from Spain
      . On Dec. 17, Bonifacio went to Cavite in order to settle the feud
      between the two dominant Katipunan factions, the Magdalo and the
      Magdiwang. It was written that Bonifacio already lost the fight in his
      areas of Manila and Morong. According to two Jesuit historians, Andres
      lost all twenty-seven (27) of his battles. The last province left able
      to fight was Cavite . Andres would be welcomed at the border by Emilio
      Aguinaldo and Edilberto Evangelista. Emilio would later get elected as
      the first president of the republic. Edilberto, a native of Manila
      with an engineering degree from Belgium, would later die from a
      sniper's bullet. Edilberto was responsible for training the indios in
      trench warfare. Emilio Aguinaldo and other prominent Magdalos wished
      for Edilberto the presidency because he was educated and effective. It
      was reported after that meeting that Aguinaldo and Evangelista had the
      same impression, that Bonifacio acted like "parang Diyos" one who
      suffers from god complex. The 27 defeats weren't enough to humble the

      - Dec. 29, 1896 � the first attempt (the second would be Tejeros
      Convention) to consolidate the Katipunan factions through an election
      was held in the house of Baldomero Aguinaldo (then leader of the
      Magdalo) in Imus. The event quickly fell apart, thanks to Andres
      Bonifacio's lack of decorum, divisive action and arrogance. From the
      onset, Andres invited himself to the presidential table, as well as
      his Magdiwang allies, to sit with him (the Magdiwang was led by
      Mariano Alvarez, a relative of Bonifacio's wife). Andres then
      proceeded to preside over the occasion without allowing the homeowner
      and leader of the rival Magdalo faction to say anything. It was total
      insult. The meeting was called off without resolution.

      - Feb. 16, 1897, Edilberto Evangelista, who was supposedly out of
      range from the ongoing battle in Binakayan, was killed by a sniper's
      bullet. It was suspected to be an assassin hired by Bonifacio, because
      Edilberto was the biggest threat to Bonifacio's leadership at this point.

      - March 1897, Bonifacio prevented Magdiwang fighters from reinforcing
      the Magdalos who were fighting a major battle. Bonifacio went to the
      extent of threatening bodily harm to whoever disobeyed him. In another
      incident, Bonifacio handed out cash like it was his, to the Magdiwang
      forces that won a battle. The money came from Katipunan funds since
      Bonifacio was poor.

      - March 22, 1897, the Tejeros convention/election was held. A great
      majority of voters were Bonifacio's men and his Magdiwang allies. The
      result, all elected officers except the presidency were Magdiwangs.
      Emilio Aguinaldo, the only Magdalo and president-elect, was absent
      during this event; he was leading his men in the battle of Salitran.
      Bonifacio didn't win any post because even his own men knew he was
      incapable of leadership. This was an example of democracy that worked
      because it was able to expel the ineffective without bloodshed.

      - March 24, 1897 Gen. Crispulo Aguinaldo (Emilio's brother), who
      assumed command in order for Emilio to take his oath of office, was
      killed in the battle of Salitran.

      - April 29-30, 1897, during the trial of the Bonifacio brothers in
      Naic, it was divulged that Andres refused to honor the result of the
      Tejeros Convention, that Andres tried to form a splinter group and
      paid an assassin to kill Emilio Aguinaldo.

      - May 10, 1897, the Bonifacio brothers were executed for treason.

      - Early 20th century, the Bonifacio letters were touched up, improved,
      or forged.

      - 1932, Philippine Congress declared Nov. 30 Bonifacio Day, one of
      only two national holidays named after individuals (the other was Jose

      Before passing judgment, I'd like to share this story for perspective.
      It happened to a country with better unity and loyalty. Thanks to
      farsighted founding fathers that understood their choice of heroes and
      villains will likely become the blueprint for the national conscience.

      It involved the most brilliant general of the American Revolution. A
      man who won so many battles that if not for a bullet to the leg that
      ended his military career, he could have taken Canada for the US . In
      one victory, they were outnumbered 20-to-1. Yet, this man turned
      traitor for he tried to set the capture of George Washington to the
      British. His name was Benedict Arnold. There's a statue of his
      likeness in New York State without his name. For even today, the name
      Benedict Arnold stands for treachery, the biggest obstacle to nation
      building. The Americans anticipated the consequences if Arnold got a
      favorable verdict; his bad example would be copied. I believe the
      negative cultural pattern in the Philippines was the result of
      Bonifacio being declared a national hero.

      Comparing outcomes, it's obvious the American founding fathers made
      the right call. They had the foresight to anticipate that elevating a
      man guilty of treason to hero status was like poisoning the mind or
      injecting virus into a computer. The result will be total system
      failure. By branding Arnold a traitor, American founding fathers
      started a positive cultural pattern for future generations to follow.
      Comparing Arnold 's plan to sell Washington to the British and
      Bonifacio's idea of starting a civil war in the midst of revolution
      would be like surgical cut to major depopulation. Yet as bloody as
      Bonifacio's plan was compared to Arnold , Bonifacio became a
      Philippine national hero while Arnold the unofficial "national
      villain" of America ! The Americans knew the importance of setting
      high standards for their heroes.

      It's worth noting Bonifacio's character traits, for this mirrors the
      worst in modern Philippine society. I'm referring to the pride,
      divisiveness, corruption, crab-mentality, and last but not least,
      selfishness. For it was said that all sins stem from selfishness.
      Bonifacio deserved to be called the most selfish revolutionary of his
      generation. He chose self-interest over the greater good. For this, he
      shouldn't be considered a true warrior.

      With these in mind, it could be said that the congressional act of
      1932 was the catalyst for the corruption of modern Filipino psyche
      (pilipit na katwiran). For that irresponsible stroke of legislative
      pen pried the pegs of reason and virtue off the cultural foundation,
      plunging the country into dysfunction. For morality and critical
      thinking was replaced by what could be termed the Andres Bonifacio
      complex. These are splitting the organization to form a rival group,
      showing extreme pride after committing shameful acts and refusing to
      relinquish power. His elevation to heroism condemned future
      generations to unjust suffering by holding on to wrongful or
      superficial values.

      Isn't it amazing how a talented hard-working people, with solid basics
      at hand by the middle of the 20th century, managed to squander
      everything? It's like inheriting a bad habit of snatching defeat from
      the jaws of victory��.It is time to cast the name Andres Bonifacio
      from the roster of Philippine national heroes. A decent country
      deserves a better role model than a "hero" with a legacy of conceit,
      deceit and defeat. Dante G. Balacanao, Los Angeles , CA *****

      Nationalists- communists worship Andres Bonifacio because he had the
      "right" social background; he came from the proletariat. Unlike Jose
      Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo who came from the property-owning upper
      middle-class. (When Joma Sison organized the Kabataang Makabayan in
      1964, we pointedly held our first general meeting on November 30 �
      Bonifacio Day.)

      But, comrades, Bonifacio overslept when he was supposed to lead the
      initial uprising, and lost ALL his subsequent battles. He also came
      close to wrecking the revolutionary movement, just because he could
      not win its leadership. Surely we deserve more heroic heroes than
      this. *****

      Reactions to tonyabaya@gmail. com. Other articles in www.tapatt.org and
      in acabaya.blogspot. com

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