6939Re: [pinoy_atheists] Bonifacio Revisited
- Feb 3, 2008i 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.
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From: pinoy_infidel <paetenian@...>
Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 10:32:05 PM
Subject: [pinoy_atheists] Bonifacio Revisited
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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
- 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,
- 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
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 �
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
Reactions to tonyabaya@gmail. com. Other articles in www.tapatt.org and
in acabaya.blogspot. com
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