Monday, November 30, 2009

If Not the Spark, the Fire that Spread: Bonifacio

“… A single spark can start a spectral fire…”
- Quarantined, (defunct) At the Drive-In -

There has been a remark given on an entry of mine about Andres Bonifacio in commemoration of his birth last year which I have failed to follow up. And as Bonifacio Day comes again today, I cannot possibly leave it out again.

The remark concerns my statement on Bonifacio being the necessary spark for the revolution that came to be known as the Philippine Revolution. A fellow blogger said that this is not the case, for Jose Rizal rightfully holds the title. Well then, I would agree with it for the following reasons which I have tried to figure out (but do not think that it has taken me a year to do this).

If I remember my history classes well, Bonifacio have already been exposed to some of the relevant books on liberal ideas, among them about the French Revolution. But I believe that Jose Rizal’s novels further opened the minds of the people at the time about their dire situations under the Spanish rule to such an extent that even his name was used as a password within KKK, the organization that Bonifacio founded for the ‘armed’ struggle against the Spaniards. Bonifacio could have the idea of forming KKK eventually but without the moving influence of Rizal (and his works) KKK would have emerged at a much later point in our history. And that would have changed the entire revolution story!

Thus in many ways Rizal was a central and vital figure in hastening the commencement and spread of the revolution and for this he rightfully owns the title necessary spark. The reason why I have ‘awarded’ the name before to Bonifacio was that I saw that Bonifacio had the courage to push through with the armed fights, despite many misgivings and objections to it, one well known was the interview of Dr. Pio Valenzuela with Jose Rizal in which Rizal refused to agree with the idea of an armed struggle.

It seems to me now that Bonifacio assumed the fire that spread the moment Rizal gave off the necessary spark. Even if he intended it to happen, Rizal himself contributed to the revolution.

Nevertheless, any issue about this should not cloud the celebration of the day, the day we remember the birth of the great plebeian Andres Bonifacio!

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