Andres Bonifacio, the supremo, a self-taught revolutionary, a national hero. He was born to a poor family in Tondo, Manila, on November 30, 1863. His parents were Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro. When both his parents died in the 1870's, when he was 14, he left school to support his five brothers and sisters. He worked as a craftsman, messenger and warehouse keeper. He read the same kind of books that Rizal was reading such as Eugene Sue’s Wandering Jew and Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, and that proves that he was not as poor and illiterate man as other writers and historians said. Although not well-schooled because he reached only grade 4 in primary school, he was quite literate and fluent enough to read and write in Spanish. Through reading, he made himself aware of the social conditions, and open to the realities. He did not make poverty as an excuse to be illiterate. Unfortunately the history is so unkind to him that he was often pictured as illiterate, poor and plebian. Bonifacio left few accounts and journals. These are “Pahimakas” and “Pag-ibig sa Tinubunag Lupa”. By the mid-1880s, he had become a fervent Filipino nationalist; when José Rizal established the La Liga Filipina in July3, 1892, Bonifacio was one of its first members together with Mabini. He admired Jose Rizal, whose works on Noli Mi Tangere and El Filibusterismo inspired him and developed a strong sense of nationalism. Rizal’s writings laid down the foundation of the revolution. He organized a secret society and revolutionary group, Katipunan, in 1892 when Rizal was arrested and deported to Dapitan. It derived its ideology from the French revolution. Shortly after, Bonifacio became the Supremo (head) of the Katipunan. Unlike those in the middle class or illustrados who just want power and equality in the society, Bonifacio and his circle of plebeians did not seek reforms from the Spanish government. Their aim was to liberate the native Filipinos from tyranny and procure their independence. It ignited the burning desire of the Filipinos to be free from the bondage of tyranny leading the road towards freedom and independence.
The Katipunan was untimely discovered on August 19, 1896.Bonifacio’s advocacy of bold and radical spirit was the one who led the first revolution in Asia in 1896. Following the execution of Rizal in 1896, Bonifacio proclaimed Filipino independence on August 23, 1896 together with the Katipuneros as the “Cry of Balintawak” by affirming the historical tearing of the cedula. It is evident in the revolution that he had potent edges in organizational and leadership skills. This time, the Spaniards moved against him, forcing his flight to the Marikina Mountains, while other forces headed by Emilio Aguinaldo were more successful and won control over some towns. The Katipunan became the core of the revolutionary army under Emilio Aguinaldo whose election as President of the Philippine Revolutionary Government in the Tejeros Convention cost Bonifacio's downfall. When Bonifacio tried to rein him in, Aguinaldo ordered him arrested and charged with treason and sedition. General Lazaro Makapagal led a group of soldiers who executed Bonifacio and his brother Procopio on May 10, 1897 in Mount Tala in the hills of Maragondon.
Emilio Jacinto was an admirer of Jose Rizal. He was regarded as an heir apparent of Rizal with a Rizaline soul and considered as second to Rizal. He was born in Trozo, Tondo, Manila on December 15, 1875. Jacinto was the son of Mariano Jacinto, a merchant, and Josefa Dizon, a hilot. His family belongs to lower middle class. Jacinto was fluent in both Spanish and Tagalog, but preferred to speak in Spanish. He attended San Juan de Letran College, and later transferred to the University of Santo Tomas to study law. At the age of 18, he joined the secret society, Katipunan, that attracted more members to the...