|Andres Bonifacio was born to Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro,
a Spanish mestiza in Tondo, Manila on November 30, 1863.
He started his early eaducation in the school of Guillermo Osmenia of Cebu. He reached only primary school, at the age of 14 his father and mother died, forcing him to quit his studies and to look after his younger brothers and sisters. As a means of support, he had them help him make wood canes and paper fans, which he sold in the streets.
Having leanrned how to read and write, he bacame a clerk messenger of Fleeming and Company, a business firm dealing with rattan, and other articles of trade. Because he was industrious, he was promoted as agent. But his earnings were still not sufficient to support his orphan brothers and sisters. He moved to Fressell and Company as agent. He showed such determination and industry in his job that made him hold it.
He supplemented his low education through reading and self study. Among the few books he read were Rizal's novels, the lives of Presidents, Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, the ruins of Palmyra and French Revolution. Those books prodded his spirit of rebellion to act and gave him impulse to organize the Katipunan. This organization spread rapidly in 1894, in many parts of the Philippines. He felt he was about ready to lead a successful revolt in May 1896. However, before he could act the Katipunan was discovered by the Spanish authorities. More than 1,000 Katipuneros assembled with him at Pugad Lawin, Caloocan, on August 23, 1896. Since that time the Katipunan was discovered by the Spanish authorities to evade arrest to them. Bonifacio and his men ill-equipped, tired and hungry and with little aid faced their enemies and encountered uncertain victories and severe defeats. This prompted the Magdiwang faction to invite Bonifacio to Cavite to settle their differences and remain united. An assembly was called at Tejeros, Cavite. Bonifacio presided the conference, to establish the Republic of the Philippines.In the election, Aguinaldo was elected President; Mariano Trias, Vice President; and Bonifacio as Secretary. Bonifacio was offended and evoking his authority as the Supreme head of the Katipunan, declared the proceedings void. Bonifacio moved to Naic, Cavite and started to form his own government and army. Meantime the advancing troops of the Spanish General Camilo de Polavia threatened to capture Cavite. Aguinaldo ordered Pio del Pilar and Noriel who were being given higher positions to leave Bonifacio camp and go back to their duties.
Bonifacio with his family left Naic for Indang and on his return to Montalban, Aguinaldo sent men to arrest him but Bonifacio resisted arrest and was wounded. He faced trial for his acts inimical to the existence of the New government and was given the death sentence by a military tribunal. Aguinaldo's men executed him in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897.
Until today, Bonifacio is famous among Filipinos with his bravery and which is aptly described with these lines:
|Si Andres Bonifacio ay isinilang kila Santiago Bonifacio at Catalina
de Castro, isang mestisang Kastila sa isang kubo sa Tondo, Manila noong
ika-30 ng Nobiyembre, 1863.
Inumpisahan niya ang kanyang unang pag-aaral sa paaralan ni Guillermo Osmenia ng Cebu. Tinapos lang niya ang mababang paaralan, at sa gulang na 14 ang mga magulang niya ay namatay, na siyang pumilit sa kanyang ihinto ang kanyang pag-aaral at alagaan ang mga nakakabata niyang kapatid na babae at lalake. Bilang hanap-buhay, inatasan niya ang kanyang mga kapatid na tulungan siya sa paggawa ng kahoy na baston at papel na pamaypay na kanyang itininda sa lansangan.
Dahil siya ay marunong magbasa at sumulat, siya ay naging isang kawani
ng Kumpaniyang "Fleeming and Company", isang kumpaniya na nagtitinda ng
rattan at iba pang mga paninda. Dahil siya ay masipag, siya ay ginawang
Dinagdagan niya ang kanyang kakulangan sa pag-aaral sa pamagitan ng
pagbabasa at sariling pag-aaral. Kasama sa sa mga kakauinting aklat na
kanyang binasa ay ang mga nobela ni Rizal, Ang mga buhay ng Pangulo, Ang
"Les Miserables" ni Victor Hugo, Ang pagkasira ng Palmyra at Himagsikang
Pranses. Ang mga aklat na ito ang nagsiklab sa kanyang kaluluwa ng paggawa
ng Himagsikan at pagtatag ng Katipunan. Ang samahang ito ay mabilis na
kumalat sa maraming bahagi ng Pilipinas. Naramdaman ni Bonifacio na kaya
na niyang umpisahan ang himagsikan noong Mayo ng 1896. Subalit, bago pa
man siya mag-umpisa; ang Katipunan ay natuklasan ng mga Kastila. Mahigit
sa 1,000 Katipunero ang sumama sa kanya sa Pugad Lawin, Caloocan noong
ika-23 ng Agosto, 1896. Buhat noon ang Katipunan ay natuklasan ng mga Kastila,
kaya hindi sila makatakas sa pang-aaresto ng mga Kastila, at ang mga tauhan
niya na kulang sa armas, pagod at gutom at kakaunti ang tumulong ay nakaranas
ng malabong tagumpay at malubhang pagkatalo.
Si Bonifacio kasama ang kanyang pamilya ay umalis sa Naic pauntang Indang
at sa kanyang pagbabalik sa Montalban, si Aguinaldo ay nagpadala ng tauhan
para siya ay arestuhin, subalit si Bonifacio ay lumaban at nasugatan. Humrap
Hanggang ngayon si Bonifacio ay kilala ng mga Pinoy sa kanyang katapangan na inilarawan sa mga katagang ito:
" Andres Bonifacio Matapang na Tao...."