Of oppressed people wanting to become BONIFACIO
It is quite remarkable that there are people who tried to uphold the legacy of struggle such as those from Rizal and Bonifacio. However, it is the latter what the ones on high tend to treat it with scorn and treating their successes as graces for the slaves such as those of revolution. But despite this writer made this writeup late, least trying to convey respect to the "supremo" as well as making the apathetic understand the very essence of his revolution such as a bloody one.
As recognized by many, the revolution of 1896 was a major revolt of the poor, destitute and of the oppressed; as contrary to earlier revolts that rather led by a conspiratorial elite. Bonifacio's actions tried to put Rizal's works into practice yet it turned radical in a way a reader of Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo ought to turn every chapter into action as he/she endures repression of those times. His revolt was and is entirely a total reaction so to speak, that the oppressed indio gave up enduring the bastinado, of threat, and instead carrying the hardened, sharpened bamboo and the bolo just to fight for land and independence.
Bonifacio, despite his mestizo lineage and lower middle class background, rather joins with the people, particularly with the masses such as wearing the barong tagalog or camisa de chino while at formal times ought to wear the ones ilustrados wore; he may've been similar to the Novales and the Bayot brothers due to their aspirations for self-rule, yet he chose to side with the natives as he himself lived with him in the working class district of Tondo; he may've been less educated yet his work in a warehouse, his understanding of foreign language such as English and German and love for reading books such as Les Miserables, Wandering Jew, and Rizal's novels would meant a blow to the Americans if he lived instead of Aguinaldo who required having a Tagalog-speaking British for an interpreter during his sojourn in Hong Kong and to the ones who made slander out of him yet end up kissing the feet of a foreigner such as the traitorous Daniel Tirona whom became a servant of an American colonel and others who swore under the old glory as well as capturing those who carried the Katipunan standard "simply because they equate Bonifacio to a Bandolero". remember Sakay?
Bonifacio's legacy of struggle, as it tries to realize Rizal's works radically, tends to encompass the entire archipelago as different from the conspiracies of the Ilustrados to revolts of the regions tired by forced labor and tax collections. The rampant corruption of the nobles during Spanish rule created these catastrophes that certain decrees from the crown failed to materialize with, that Ilustrados such as Rizal, del Pilar, Luna tried much to pressure the peninsulares certain reforms in the spirit of the constitution of 1812 that effectively making those living in the Philippines as Spaniards, yet obviously aren't. After all, how come the natives and the mestizos be treated as second class citizens if by law they are be treated as co equals with the insulares and the peninsulares? Such discrimination and toleration of repressive policies created bolo-wielding, gun-toting rebels such as Bonifacio and his band of Katipuneros who tries to tends to realize the works of the reformists yet made radical with their passions such as Independence than Assimilation.
Obviously, they prefer Independence for they are tired of the repressive, discriminatory policies made by the corrupted officials including religious orders whose actions were far from their teachings of the church such as having vast tracts of land including those of communal ones farmers used to till and share their crops together. The ideals of the French revolutionaries like Robespierre, Marat, Danton, Babeuf as well as the aspirations of the natives shaped these people that made the carry the weapon in a way the idealistic Crisostomo Ibarra became the revengeful Simoun.
And yet, despite all efforts, it end wasted due to traitors and apathetics who wished to preserve the system whilst bannering change or not to care at all except themselves. And come to think of it, how come Americans present Filipinos their concepts such as Thomas Jefferson and his ideals, quite nice indeed yet he was the same Jefferson who owns a plantation and having slaves as well! The elites and the middle class appreciated him, the latter for his concept of freedom, the former? Perhaps for his interpretation based from a perspective of a landowner.
And as people continuously clamoring for social change gather at Plaza Bonifacio and marching towards Mendiola in Manila, paying respect to the Supremo isn't enough, but instead they want to advance the struggle what their forefathers wanted: they don't just clamor for independence as what textbooks stated, they clamor for land, bread, civil rights, peace, increase in wages and fair distribution of wealth against those on high such as foreign interventionists, oligarchs, landlords, corrupt bureaucrats and gun toting thugs whose mindsets are as same as the Guardia Civiles and Constables roaming around in search of Revolucionarios whom they called as Ladrones y Bandoleros.
That somehow continues to prevail as Rebels from the mountains continue resisting in a decades old protracted war out of centuries-old repression same as militants who rose out of disgust towards a regime who tries to keep firm despite its rottenness as well as the idiocy given by institutions against them, what on earth would institutions wanted people to be apathetic while at the same time clamor to take part in nation building? Change is both internal and external, it can't be from the self alone but for the society as well. If change is limited to the so-called self, how come old structures remain then? After all, some, if not most people are scared of having old structures dismantled in the name of change such as a social one.
Anyways, as long as old, repressive structures remain, the struggle continues still. Life is struggle as people think of, and Bonifacio's aspiration, same as those from the Katipunan and other heroes serve as guide to the modern day Katipunero that is youthful, fun, free, and rebellious in midst of repressive, backward nonsense.
images from Gerilya, Lukansthoughtworld and Arkibong bayan.