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Bonifacio still an inspiration

12:05 AM November 30, 2015

ALMOST EVERY nation has a hero who symbolizes the revolutionary aspiration of its people for national liberation. There is George Washington of the United States, Simon Bolivar of Latin America, Sun Yat-sen and Mao Zedong of China, Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, and our very own Andres Bonifacio of the Philippines.

Born on Nov. 30, 1863, we commemorate each year the life and struggle of the supreme leader of the Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalangang, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Katipunan), the liberation forces of the Filipinos against imperial Spain.

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Bonifacio’s contribution to the revolution was invaluable. Inspired by the French Revolution, he saw the imperative of armed revolution in order to overthrow Spain’s ruthless colonial rule in the country even as most conservative members of the anticolonial movement were against it. The father of the Philippine revolution stood his ground and organized the Katipunan. Bonifacio fought for freedom with resolute passion until his very last breath. After his death, the ilustrados seized the leadership of the Katipunan, undermining the revolutionary enthusiasm of its members via one compromise after another. The rest is history.

More than just a dead hero or a landmark monument in Caloocan, Bonifacio remains a major influence in the Filipino people’s struggle for genuine independence. The pre-martial law organization Kabataang Makabayan, for instance, was founded on the hero’s birth anniversary, and so was the progressive youth group Anakbayan. Both draw inspiration from Bonifacio and the patriotic mass movement.

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The supremo taught the Filipino people the value of loving the motherland and the need to defend it against foreign oppressors and plunderers. This is also why the unfinished revolution of Andres Bonifacio is bound to continue until the country finally breaks loose from the vicious claws of imperialism.

—DANIEL ALOC, [email protected]

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