To this day, the mystery that is Gat Andres Bonifacio’s life still haunts albeit fascinates historians and followers alike. Unlike his revolutionary comrades like Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini and Emilio Aguinaldo, very few facts are known about the Supremo of Katipunan – all of which are secondhand accounts from his wife Gregoria de Jesus and fellow Katipuneros.
As told in history books, Bonifacio was an orphan who supported his siblings by selling fans and umbrellas. He was married to Gregoria de Jesus, led the armed revolution against the Spaniards and was executed in Maragondon, Cavite together with his brother Procopio for sedition
Other vital pieces of information are hazy and debatable. His remains were never found or authenticated to be found (the set of bones exhumed in Maragondon couldn’t be verified as his or his brother Procopio’s). His lone photo, said to have been taken during his wedding day, is still being questioned.
National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino, to ensure the authenticity of the image of Bonifacio in his national monument in Caloocan, even consulted a spirit medium to discern the true likeness of the hero.
But even with all the questions, speculations and inconsistencies about his life, one fact remains true for all Filipinos. Andres Bonifacio is a hero, a man who never assumed veneration, but out of patriotism and love for his country, headed a revolution that changed Philippine history.
Reliving Bonifacio’s glory
In Administrative Order No. 27, the Office of the President directed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to lead and implement program of activities in commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio on November 30, 2013.
The NHCP, in its Memorandum Circular No. 8 has included the Department of Tourism (DoT) to be part of the Technical Working Group for the said event. In this regard, the department (through the Office of Product Research and Development, DOT-National Capital Region and DOT-Region IV) has collaborated with NHCP, concerned Local Government Units and the private sector to launch the Byaheng Bonifacio: Byaheng Bayaning Bayan Tour Program.
The program aims to encourage tourists to visit and learn more about the heroism of Gat Andres Bonifacio in all identified sites in Metro Manila, Cavite and Rizal Province.
Following are the sites included in the program: Tutuban, Manila, K.K.K Foundation Site at El Cano St., Tondo, Binondo Church, Bahay Toro, Quezon City, Krus na Ligas, Quezon City, Pinaglabanan Shrine, San Juan City, Hagdang Bato, Mandaluyong, Pasig Catholic Church and Valentin Cruz Marker, Pasig City, Imus Plaza, CaviteTribunal in Noveleta, Cavite, Tejeros Convention Site in Rosario, Cavite, Pinagbarilan in Indang, Cavite, Casa Hacienda de Naic, Cavite, Trial House and Execution Site in Maragondon, Cavite and Pamitinan Caves in Rodriguez, Rizal.
“The DoT is one with the nation in remembering the life and heroism of Andres Bonifacio by revisiting the sites that had significance in his journey. From his birthplace in Tondo, through his jaunts in the greater Manila area like Caloocan, Quezon City, Pasig, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Rizal, down to his final days in Cavite,” said Tourism Assistant Secretary Rolando Cañizal during the launching of Biyaheng Bonifacio at the activity center of SM City North EDSA.
Cañizal further explained that with the help of the local government units involved in the program, the department will do its best to provide a renewed interest in the abovementioned historical sites. “This activity is one with the DoT’s objective to preserve our rich historical treasures,” he said.
Collect your snapshots
The DoT will be giving special tokens and certificates to the first 100 participants to complete the Biyaheng Bonifacio pilgrimage. Visit all the 16 sites featured in the Bonifacio brochure (available at the NHCP and DoT offices) and attach photos taken at each site.
“The first 100 participants to complete shall receive exciting tokens and a certificate from NHCP,” said Ryan Sebastian from the DoT Office of Product Research and Development. “Biyaheng Bonifacio is a do-it-yourself tour. The competition is open to both domestic and international tourists.”
For more information visit www.tourism.gov.ph or www.nhcp.gov.ph