Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ang Supremo

Andres Bonifacio, a-tapang a-tao...

When I was a kid, this was a popular rhyme with a naughty ending. One of the bravest, the most aggressive, and the most ambitious of the Filipino heroes, the Supremo was one of the founding members of the Kataastaasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan. Later on, the Katipunan led the "premature" armed revolt which sparked the independence of our country.

Married twice after the loss of his first wife to leprosy, he never had any direct descendants. From accounts of historians, he wasn't a prestigious military leader but was a great tactician. He was never really good at politics but he could rally people with his passion and his love for his countrymen and country. Too bad because he was beaten to the presidency of the Philippines and was "executed" for crimes of treason against a "government" which his Katipunan created and nullified on a council session. I'd say he was assassinated, to which many historians agree.

Ka Andres by Jebbie Barrios
Still, no matter how bitter Andres' end was, his accomplishments are just too great to ignore. Even though Jose Rizal did not give blessing to him (did Andres really needed that?), probably because of lack of plan to fully execute a successful revolution, he was the first to rally the thousands who are willing to die for freedom. We went to war anyway, and although he initiated, he didn't expect things to go as they did. But the important thing is he rose to the occasion. Acts of violence is a last resort, during the time of Bonifacio, the choices are to wait, get abused and raped, or stand-up and fight. He said we must choose to fight. And we won our freedom.