Ask a Filipino who of the prominent Filipinos in history they idolized. It is very likely that majority of the answers will be shared by Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio.
Andres Bonifacio grew up as the father for his siblings. They sold home-made abaniko (fan), cane and other knick-knacks for a living. Together with Emilo Jacinto (the so-called “Brains of Katipunan) and other revolutionaries, he established the KKK (not the Ku Klux Klan) which stands for “Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan” or Katipunan. KKK rebelled against the Spaniards and their rebellion paved the way for the declaration of the Philippine Independence in 1898.
I observed that Andres Bonifacio has few monuments as compared to Jose Rizal, who has statues in almost all the public schools around the country. Some towns even have their own “Rizal Park” like the town of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro.
All of the Andres Bonifacio monuments that I visited are located in Metro Manila. Here are some of them:
1. Andres Bonifacio Monument, Caloocan City
Andres Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City is more popularly known as Monumento. It is at the center of the rotunda where Rizal Avenue, EDSA, Manila North Road and Samson Road converges. The monument is composed of Andres Bonifacio and other heroes of the Katipunan. The monument was created by Guillermo Tolentino.
2. Andres Bonifacio in Tutuban Area
I accidentally discovered another Andres Bonifacio Monument when I got lost in Divisoria. I reached Tutuban Area and saw this one big statue of a man with who is writing on a piece of paper. The monument serves as a reminder that Tutuban Area is the place where Andres Bonifacio was born.
3. Andres Bonifacio amidst the high buidings
|(Source: Traveller's Point)|
I also saw one Andres Bonifacio Monument in the the business district of Taguig City. It made me wonder what will the true Andres Bonifacio think if he is actually standing there surrounded by towers of city.
4. Andres Bonifaco in UP Diliman
|Grito de Balintawak Monument in UP Diliman.|
5. Posing in front of the Post Office
Many toursist take their photo in front of the Philippine Post Office building in Manila. Andres Bonifacio is also one of them.
6. Andres Bonifacio Shrine, Manila
The most dramatic depiction of Andres Bonifacio is the Andres Bonifacio Shrine that is located near the Manila City Hall. The shrine has one big statue of Andres Bonifacio carrying a bolo. The shrine shows the life story of the Philippine hero from his childhood to his death at the hands of Emilio Aguinaldo's minions. The Andres Bonifacio Shrine was unveiled during the Centennial Independence celebration in 1998.
Tomorrow, the Philippines will commemorate the death of Andres Bonifacio. The life of this Filipino patriot is a tragedy. He started Katipunan with the goal of liberating Filipinos from the rule of Spanish Colonial Government. Revolution sparked in Manila and then the whole Philippines. The sad fact is that Andres Bonifacio did not won any battle against the Spaniards. He was deposed by the Illustrados (rich Filipinos) and executed in Cavite.
The death of Bonifacio shows us how divided the Philippine Republic is since the very beginning. Andres Bonifacio is remembered through his monuments that glorify him. Monuments, however, are not enough to commemorate the man and his tragedy, which is also the tragedy of the Filipino people.