Bonifacio not a Kapampangan | Inquirer Opinion

Bonifacio not a Kapampangan

12:01 AM December 14, 2015

THIS IS a reaction to the article titled “Tracing Bonifacio’s roots in Pampanga” (Across the Nation, 11/25/15).

As a literary piece, the article is interesting, impressive and well-crafted. It is a fine work of art.

As a factual report, the article honestly reveals that: (1) Researcher Joel Regala wanted to prove that Andres Bonifacio was a Kapampangan; (2) Regala candidly admits that, after five years of trying, he failed to do so.

Four years ago, a similar article titled “Sword and other Bonifacio ties to Pampanga” was published in the Inquirer (Across the Nation, 12/4/11). In reaction to that, I wrote the piece titled “Was Andres Bonifacio a Kapampangan?” (Opinion, 12/27/11)


This reminds me of a famous propaganda principle concocted by Hitler’s political publicist, Joseph Goebbels: If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, people will believe it. In Bonifacio’s case, an unproven claim repeated often enough could ultimately be believed.

Regala told me that, in the absence of solid evidence to prove his hypothesis, the last resort would be DNA testing. “But that is very expensive, he said, and so it will take a long time before it can be done.”

Regarding his question as to where the name “Bonifacio” came from, let me help a little bit. “Bonifacio” or “Boniface” (pronounced bo-ni-fas) comes from the Latin words “bona” (cheerful) and “facies” (face) or from “bonum” (good) and “facio” (I do). It is the name of a Benedictine abbot who evangelized the Germans. He is referred to as “The Apostle of the Germans.” Originally known as Wynfrith, he was given the name “Bonifacio” (good deeds) by Pope Gregory II, who made him the first archbishop of Mainz. He is now known as “Sanctus Bonifatius” or “San Bonifacio.” He lived sometime between the 600s and 754, according to accounts.

There have been nine popes who carried that name: from Bonifatius Primus (Boniface I) to Bonifatius Nonus (Boniface IX), although the seventh one was antipope.


Here, in the Philippines, there was a member of the Augustinian Order named “Fray Francisco Bonifacio.” He was a minister in the Visayas (1596-1611), then in Pasig (1617), in Tondo (1618) and in Bulacan (1620).

From 1626 up to his death in Manila in 1645, he took charge of the missions in Luzon which, of course, included Macabebe and Masantol. (Blair and Robertson, vol. 24, pages 67- 68, 73-74, 77, 133-136)


It is highly probable that a family in Tondo adopted his surname and one of its descendants was Andres Bonifacio, our national hero; and that a family in Macabebe-Masantol, not related to it, also adopted his surname and one of its descendants was Proceso Bonifacio. So, the Kapampangan Proceso was not related to the Tagalog Andres. And so, Andres Bonifacio, our national hero, was not a Kapampangan.

—FR. EDILBERTO V. SANTOS, [email protected]

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Andres Bonifacio, Bonifacio, kapampangan, letter, opinion, Pampanga

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.