Ways to celebrate Bonifacio at 150
MANILA, Philippines - On July 30, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) revealed the official list of activities leading up to the 150th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, known to many as the "Father of the Philippine Revolution."
The hero and founder of the revolutionary Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK or Katipunan, in short) was born in Tondo, Manila on November 30, 1863. As Supremo of the Katipunan, he led Filipinos in major battles against the colonizing Spaniards. He also iconically initiated the tearing of cedulas or community tax certificates to symbolize defiance against Spanish rule.
Controversies and mysteries abound in the telling of Bonifacio's story. His death by execution marred the reputation of another revolutionary hero, Emilio Aguinaldo, who purportedly ordered his death. The location of the tearing of cedulas, a moment called the "Cry of Pugadlawin" or "Cry of Balintawak," is still disputed.
Some historians also argue that it is Bonifacio, not Aguinaldo, who deserves to be called the First President of the Philippines. Others also point out that the title of National Hero should go to Gat Andres instead of Jose Rizal.
But though so many uncertainties prevent us from seeing Bonifacio's story clearly, what is certain is that he was a man worthy of commemoration.
Here are some events you can look forward to in the days leading up to November 30:
1. The reprinting of seminal works on Andres Bonifacio's life
These include "Bonifacio the Revolutionist" by Isabelo delos Reyes, "Ang Himagsikang Filipino" by Teodoro Kalaw and reports by El Commercio, an old newspaper that published revolutionary literature by Katipunan members.
When: July to August
2. "Bonifacio Para sa Kabataan," a multi-arts learning tour for kids grades 5 to 7
The project is a joint endeavor by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), NHCP, the Department of Education, My Masterpiece Movement and SM Malls.
When: August 8 (Cebu City), August 22 (General Santos City), September 12 (Cagayan de Oro), October 17 (Davao City)
3. A lecture series for high school and college students
Lectures on the topics "Bakit Maypagasa ang secret name ni Andres Bonifacio?" and "Andres Bonifacio–Sino ka ba sa aming buhay ngayon?" will be held in schools all over Metro Manila.
When: August 19 (Universidad de Manila), August 23 (Quezon City Polytechnic University), August 26 (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina), August 28 (KKK Museum, San Juan City)
4. Announcement of the winners of the Bonifacio@150 Commemorative Stamp Design Contest
This is a joint project by NHCP and Philpost.
When: August 15
5. Commemorative program for the 117th anniversary of the "Cry of Pugadlawin"
When: August 23 in Brgy. Bahay Toro, Quezon City
6. Formal opening of the Museo ng Katipunan in Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine, San Juan City
When: August 27
7. Ballet, rock music and history in "Rock Supremo," a musical celebrating Bonifacio's life and works
When: September 20 to 22, 27 to 28 in Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)
[See original image here]
8. "San Andres B," a modern opera in two acts
It shows the life, failures and successes of Bonifacio. The performance reveals the secret life of the hero and how it influenced the Philippine Revolution.
When: November 29 to 30, Dec 1, 6 to 8 at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, CCP
9. Rock Supremo Concert
It puts together the country's hottest artists and bands — from Ebe Dancel to Radioactive Sago Project — on one stage to celebrate Bonifacio's heroism.
Where: Bonifacio Global City
10. The raising of the Philippine flag and laying of wreaths
This will simultaneously take place in sites important to Bonifacio's legacy such as:
- The Bonifacio National Monument (Caloocan City)
- Bonifacio Trial and Execution sites (Maragondon, Cavite)
- Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine (San Juan City)
- Bonifacio Shrine (Manila City Hall)
- Bonifacio Monument (Cloverleaf, Quezon City)
- Bonifacio Birth Site (Tutuban Center, Manila)
- Bonifacio Monument (Bonifacio Global City, Taguig)
When: November 30
11. The Great Boni Fiesta
A day-long art, food and games extravaganza. "Run BGC-Tak Bonifacio" is a highlight in which runners re-enact chase scenes between Katipuneros and Guardia Civil. Starting 6pm, visitors can watch Philippine films to be screened oudoors.
When: November 30, Bonifacio Global City
Andres Bonifacio image from Shutterstock
For more information on Bonifacio@150, visit www.nhcp.gov.ph.