Bonifacio: A short life dedicated to the Filipino
On Nov. 30, we celebrate Bonifacio Day. One should not only treat this day as a pleasant day off, but also to think about Andres Bonifacio and his honorable goals.
Bonifacio fought against colonial rule and exploitation of the Philippines. Revolutions aim to bring about changes that improve the living conditions of the people and give the country freedom. I am not a Filipino citizen but of German-French origin; should I, as a foreigner, comment on Bonifacio? What I have to say is a message of hope and pride from the Philippines, there is no negativism here.
Bonifacio loved books about the French Revolution and the 1871 Commune in Paris. He was highly intellectual and, to this day, a pride of this nation. And rightly so! He had the courage to found the Katipunan in a time of oppression—this deserves respect. He also faced difficulties among his own ranks, but he fought on. He was 33 years old when he was shot. A short life but a life dedicated for Philippine freedom. He is rightly considered a national hero.
He also had many domestic enemies because as president, he wanted to enforce the distribution of wealth and land holdings. Bonifacio, full of idealism, was too naïve to see through political maneuvering. Before he could leave Cavite, he was convicted and then executed for treason. What a loss for the Philippines!
The Filipino-German production “Bayani (The Hero)” (director: Raymond Red, music: Alan Hilario) was produced in 1992. It was shown at the Biennale. Bonifacio deserves to be honored because he was a “child of the people.” If I were to meet him today, I would say “Thank you for being here with us.”
JÜRGEN SCHÖFER, Ph.D
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