ANDRES BONIFACIO  

Andres Bonifacio (1863-1897), Father of Philippine Revolution.
[Source of Photo: www.bakbakan.com.heroes.html]

Andres Bonifacio is known in the Philippines as the Great Plebeian. He was born to a poor family in Tondo, Manila, on November 30, 1863. His parents were Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro.

Although not well-schooled (he reached only primary school), he was quite literate and fluent enough to read and write in Spanish. He admired Jose Rizal, whose works on Noli Mi Tangere and El Filibusterismo inspired him and developed a strong sense of nationalism. He organized a secret society and revolutionary group, Katipunan, in 1892 when Rizal was arrested and deported to Dapitan. Shortly after, Bonifacio became the Supremo (head) of the Katipunan. Unlike those in the middle class, 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. The Katipunan became the core of the revolutionary army under Emilio Aguinaldo whose election as President of the Philippine Revolutionary Government cost Bonifacio's downfall. After being tried by the council of war on charges of treason, General Lazaro Makapagal led a group of soldiers who executed Bonifacio and his brother Procopio on May 10, 1897.

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