Andres Bonifacio

Andrés Bonifacio was a key figure in the Philippine struggle for independence during the late 19th century. Born to a poor family in the Tondo district of Manila, Bonifacio faced a challenging upbringing and had to work various jobs to support his family. Despite his humble background, he had a strong desire to rise into the middle class and educate himself.

Bonifacio was deeply influenced by nationalistic ideas and became involved in the independence movement. He attended the only meeting of José Rizal’s Liga Filipina in 1892, and after Rizal’s banishment, he founded his own movement called the Kataastaasang Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, also known as the Katipunan or KKK. The Katipunan was a clandestine society dedicated to independence and the establishment of a republic.

Bonifacio’s movement attracted members primarily from the lower middle class and emphasized the equality of women, which was a rejection of the patriarchal Catholicism of the time. The Katipunan employed mystical rituals, blood pacts, secret codes, and other covert methods to maintain secrecy and unity among its members.

In 1896, Bonifacio declared war against Spanish rule, sparking a widespread uprising across the Philippines. However, Bonifacio proved to be an inept military leader, and his attack on a Spanish warehouse in Manila resulted in heavy losses for his forces. Meanwhile, another leader named Emilio Aguinaldo emerged as a more capable and charismatic figure in the revolution.

Bonifacio’s leadership was challenged by Aguinaldo, and he was eventually executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896. Despite his shortcomings as a military leader, Bonifacio’s role in igniting the revolution and his dedication to the cause of independence made him a significant figure in Philippine history.

Philippine 10 Pesos Coin