Opinions: Rizal VS. Bonifacio

A country evolves so much throughout its history that it produces unforgettable events, questionable issues, and extraordinary individuals. These individuals give their countrymen and future generation someone to look up to, emulate, or even pattern lives after. This is a blog which discusses the validility of these two Filipino heroes, in context of who should be the rightful NATIONAL HERO of the PHILIPPINES.

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In our opinion, the subject of RIZAL isn't relative anymore, its old, nearly archaic. What's so releveant about someone who died 110 years ago.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006



And the winner is......


In comparing the life of our two great Filipinos, one can clearly see the differences in their background. Rizal was talented, but moreover, blessed to be born into a good family who can afford to send him to prestigious schools. Bonifacio, on the other hand, was born into a poor family. One can clearly point out that the reason for the different courses of action taken by the two are very well linked with their backgrounds. Rizal is the Idealist, wherein he used his intellect in making known his feelings. Through his writings, he was able to define what he saw wrong. Switching sides, Bonifacio, although intelligent himself, resorted to physical warfare as the means of making his beliefs known to the public. No matter how much we want to identify which of the two men was better, there’s no point in doing so. They may be similar in their goals, but their ways were different.

In our opinion, the national hero should be the one with the greatest influence. For this reason, we believe that Rizal is the worthy one, since he himself influenced Bonifacio to act up. A hero should exude an aura which is definitely hard to avoid and be influenced by. This is what Jose Rizal was all about. Posted by Picasa



Background:Bonifacio

In the mere sense of finding our true national hero, we must first rewind and go back to our history. For what is now happening in the present is the result of our past. We ask ourselves why there is a need to rethink who our national hero should be. The answer is simple. For in the past, we uncover the events that led to this decision. The situation at that time resulted in the conflict that we are tackling today. The decision of whether it is Rizal or Bonifacio would forever be debated upon. One thing is for sure – these two men stood up for what they believed in using the best possible way that they knew how to, and given the current situation that they were faced with.


since both come from different backgrounds, yet both managed to make a difference in our country’s fate. So should there be a clear cut comparison of who is the better hero of the two? First though, one must take a closer look at the lives and contributions of Rizal and Bonifacio



ANDRES BONIFACIO
- was born in a shack in Tondo, Manila on November 30, 1863.
- 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
- made wooden canes and paper fans, which he sold in the streets.
- completed only what we call grade four
- learned how to read and write by himself.
- the books he read were Rizal's novels, the lives of presidents, Victor Hugo's Le Miserables, the ruins of Palmyra, and the French Revolution. Those books prodded his spirit of rebellion and gave him impulse to organize the Katipunan.
- Bonifacio presided the conference to establish the Republic of the Philippines
- Emilio Aguinaldo was elected President, Mariano Trias, Vice-President and Bonifacio
- Daniel Tirona questioned Bonifacio's qualifications, and Bonifacio was offended.
- Bonifacio moved to Naic, Cavite and started to form his own government and army.
- Aguinaldo sent men to arrest him, but Bonifacio resisted arrest and was wounded. He faced a trial for acts inimical to the existence of the new government and was given the deathAguinaldo's men executed him in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897.
- Bonifacio, who got insulted during the Tejeros Convention for his lack of diploma, was fluent enough in Spanish to translate Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios in Tagalog. He also wrote the head-stirring poem, Pagibig sa Tinubuang Lupa, and most probably, was well-versed in French and English. Posted by Picasa
as Secretary of the Interior. sentence by a military tribunal.


Background:Rizal


In the mere sense of finding our true national hero, we must first rewind and go back to our history. For what is now happening in the present is the result of our past. We ask ourselves why there is a need to rethink who our national hero should be. The answer is simple. For in the past, we uncover the events that led to this decision. The situation at that time resulted in the conflict that we are tackling today. The decision of whether it is Rizal or Bonifacio would forever be debated upon. One thing is for sure – these two men stood up for what they believed in using the best possible way that they knew how to, and given the current situation that they were faced with.


since both come from different backgrounds, yet both managed to make a difference in our country’s fate. So should there be a clear cut comparison of who is the better hero of the two? First though, one must take a closer look at the lives and contributions of Rizal and Bonifacio



JOSE RIZAL
- was born on June 19, 1861, in the town of Calamba, Laguna. He was the seventh child in a family of 11 children (2 boys and 9 girls). Both his parents were educated and belonged to distinguished families.
- At the age of 3, he learned the alphabet from his mother; at 5, while learning to read and write, he already showed inclinations to be an artist.
- at the age of 16, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with an average of "excellent" from the Ateneo Municipal de Manila
- he sailed for Spain where he continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid. On June 21, 1884, at the age of 23, he was conferred the degree of Licentiate in Medicine and on June 19,1885, at the age of 24
- Having traveled extensively in Europe, America and Asia, he mastered 22 languages.
- Wrote daring novels: Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which exposed the injustices of Spain in the Philippines.
- he was committed to Fort Santiago
- After a mock trial, he was convicted of rebellion, sedition and of forming illegal association.
- December 30, 1896, Rizal was shot in Bagumbayan
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Contradiction

So in essence, refering to the last post, there are also a lot of Filipinos in our past who qualify as heroes. One of them is Andres Bonifacio. It would be interesting to look and compare Bonifacio with our national hero Rizal. Their views and opinions were truly different from each other, giving way for us to challenge which of the two would be a better national hero. First point, if one looks at the national hero of other countries, they would find that their heroes were the leaders of their Revolution. We have Che Guevarra for Argentina, George Washington for America, and Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam just to name a few. SO why then does our country have a national hero that was not a leader of the Revolution? Clearly if this were the case, then Andres Bonifacio would be our national hero. He was the Father of the Philippine Revolution. Instead, we have a hero that was actually against the revolution. Rizal wanted nothing but for the Philippines to be equals with Spain. He did not want to be free from it. He felt that the country was not yet ready to be independent. In other words, his plan of attack was different. On the other hand, Bonifacio created the Katipunan in goal of freeing the whole nation from Spanish rule, whether it meant having to use physical means of warfare. Even before he started the Katipunan movement, Bonifacio sent Pio Valenzuela to Dapitan, where Rizal was exiled. This was in hopes of convincing Rizal or rather asking for his blessing to start the revolution. However, Rizal

We have to focus on what separated the strategy of our two heroes here. In the first place, Rizal was an educated ilustrado. Any educated man during that time would not revert to physical violence in order to be independent of the mother nation. Instead, he would choose reform. This was evident in Rizal’s novels, saying that being liberated was different from being independent. In other words, he felt that the country’s status could improve even without being free from Spain. Actually, what Rizal really wanted was for the Philippines to be a province of Spain. Warfare was certainly not his style; it was education. He felt that once FilipinosSpain would find no use in colonizing the country, and therefore would jus opt to leave us alone. This was quite logical for the Philippines’ economy was booming at that time. Bonifacio, on the other hand, was a self educated man. This man experienced what the normal indio felt at that time. He was the bravest of them all who decided to stand up against the Spaniards. It is a shame, however, that this man died in the arms of his own brothers. That internal conflict between himself and Aguinaldo caused his untimely death; Bonifacioindependence from Spain. Had he died during one of the battles against Spain, then it would have been a totally different story. There would have been more reason for Bonifacio to be a national hero side by side to Rizal.
turned the offer down. were educated, then did not live to witness the country’s Posted by Picasa


What makes a national hero?

Adopted by the Technical Committee of the National Heroes Committee on June 3, 1993


1. Heroes are those who have a concept of nation and thereafter aspire and struggle for the nation’s freedom. Our own struggle for freedom was begun by Bonifacio and finished by Aguinaldo, the latter formally declaring the revolution’s success. In reality, however, a revolution has no end. Revolutions are only the beginning. One cannot aspire to be free only to sink back into bondage.

2. Heroes are those who define and contribute to a system or life of freedom and order for a nation. Freedom without order will only lead to anarchy. Therefore, heroes are those who make the nation’s constitution and laws, such as Mabini and Recto. To the latter, constitutions are only the beginning, for it is the people living under the constitution that truly constitute a nation.

3. Heroes are those who contribute to the quality of life and destiny of a nation.

4. A hero is part of the people’s expression. But the process of a people’s internalization of a hero’s life and works takes time, with the youth forming a part of the internalization.

5. A hero thinks of the future, especially the future generations.

6. The choice of a hero involves not only the recounting of an episode or events in history, but of the entire process that made this particular person a hero.”
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SPONSORED HERO?

Rizal is our national hero. However, one can ask how he became our national hero. It is a known fact that it was Emilio Aguinaldo who declared the first Rizal day. Some arguments have been made that Rizal is an American-sponsored hero. This is partly true; however, one has to realize that Rizal has been considered the idol even before the AmericanPhilippines. Rizal was considered as the sort of “godfather” and the soul of the Revolution. His name was used as a password during their meetings. in addition, Rizal was the honorary president of the Katipunan. So the question arises of whether or not there is truth to the American support to push this matter. If one thing is for sure, it was the Americans who instilled this fact to the Filipinos. They could have simply stated and enforced for another national hero. But yet, they stuck with Rizal. Why? Rizal was a reformer, and not a separatist. Of course the Americans would favor a hero who would not contest their policies on the country. In, addition, it was Governor Taft who thought of the idea of the Philippines having a national hero. He pitched the idea to his fellow Americans and to conservative FilipinosPhilippine Commission was made up of conservative ilustrados. When we say conservative, there is no doubt that Rizal would win the battle for the prestigious title of national hero. colonization of the
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A country evolves so much throughout its history that it produces unforgettable events, questionable issues, and extraordinary individuals. These individuals give their countrymen and future generation someone to look up to, emulate, or even pattern lives after. It is no question that the Philippines created a lot of these types of individuals. They are the heroes of the country. However, someone has to stand up above all the others. There is a need to acknowledge the best individual in terms of his or her actions, attitude, and legacy left to the future generation. For us Filipinos, this hero above all heroes is Dr. Jose Rizal. He is our national hero, for reasons of his many contributions to our country. We see him as the perfect role model; the pride for which we are proud to be of the same race. There is so much to RizalJose Rizal is the most spoken of among all our national heroes.

To add to this matter, our law even requires tertiary level students to take up a course on his life and works. The late Claro M. Recto was one of the crucial reasons for this being so. Mr. Recto fought for the passage of making the Rizal course a mandated law by passing the Republic Act 1425, or better known as the Rizal law. For this reason, college students study about him. Who knows how many research papers have been made about Rizal. One thing is for sure, Rizal was, is, and may always be a part of the Filipino way of education. Why shouldn’t he be? He’s but our national hero. Posted by Picasa that countless books have been written about him. We even have a province named after him. In addition, we have a college with his name on it. It is no wonder that

Monday, July 24, 2006


SOME FACTS

In 1901, during the American occupation of the Philippines, Civil Governor William Howard Taft (1901-1903) suggested to the Philippine Commission that the Filipinos should be given a national hero. From candidates such as Andrés Bonifacio, Marcelo H. del Pilar, and even anti-American Apolinario Mabini, Pepe went above them as the Philippines’ undisputed national hero. According to Civil Governor William Cameron Forbes’ (1909-1913) opus, The Philippine Islands, the American civil government and the Philippine Commission chose Pepe over all candidates due to the fact that he “never advocated independence, nor did he advocate armed resistance to the (Spanish) government.” What he did was campaign for reforms, appealing to the public conscience through his writings which were most of the times controversial. His writings rode on the high-octane level spirit that former Spanish colonies had had during their respective revolutions which earned for them their independence. This proved to be effective for Pepe since his ideas spurred the nucleus of the independence movement led by the Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, or the Katipunan for short. They’re the local version of the US’ Klu Klux Klan. Both used KKK as initials. And both have Masonic origins. The American KKK killed Afro-Americans. The local KKK killed Spanish friars. But going back to our story, Pepe condemned the KKK revolution. This he emphasized by siding with Spain when one of the colonies, Cuba, had an insurrection during that same period.

This is what America had really wanted to emphasize. They wanted to bury the sentiments of the Filipinos’ burning desire to become independent. At the same time, Pepe’s declaration as the country’s national hero somehow helped convince the Filipinos into hating their former masters, the Spaniards, since the former was executed by the latter. The true motives behind Pepe’s writings were deemphasized, i.e., his anti-clericalism. The US, which was just starting out to become a superpower, needed some additional ammunition from the Filipinos to be used against themselves. This will cleverly and safely uncompromise then US President McKinley’s so-called Benevolent Assimilation (which eventually wiped out 1/6 of the country’s population!!!).

Although Emilio Aguinaldo, way back during 1898, did declare 30 December as a day of national mourning, he wasn’t able to declare it on a national or large-scale level the way the Americans did. Besides, the Philippine Commission has had a very motivated member in Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera, a creole who, ironically, came to loathe both the Malay and the Spaniard in himself. He was one of the first American butt-kissers, a “tuta ng Kanô,” who championed the cause of this oh-so polite language I’m now using (how translatable are the words “crap, pissed off, shithole, fucked up, etc.?). He also worked hard to eradicate all traces of Spanish culture from the Philippines.

Rizal Laws

·

RA 1425
An act to include in the curriculum of all public and private Schools, Colleges and Universities courses on the Life Works and Writings of JOSE RIZAL, particularly his novels NOLI ME TANGERE and EL FILIBUSTERISMO, Authorizing the Printing and Distribution Thereof, and for Other Purposes.

·

RA 229
An act to prohibit cockfighting, horse racing and jai-alai on the thirtieth day of December of each year and to create a committee to take charge of the proper celebration of rizal day in every municipality and chartered city, and for other purposes

·

Memorandum Order No. 247
Directing the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports and the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education to fully implement Republic Act No. 1425

·

CHED Memorandum No. 3, s. 1995
Enforcing strict compliance to Memorandum Order No. 247


SOME THOUGHTS



!!!The truth it was General Aguinaldo, and not the second Philippines Commission headed by Civil Governor Taft, who first recognized Dr. Jose Rizal as "national day of mourning" in memory of Rizal and other victims of Spanish tyranny. Full text of these decree in two languages, Tagalog and Spanish, appeared in the government organ, El Heraldo dela Revolution on December 25,1898.

It is interesting to recall that the first celebration of
Rizal Day in the Philippines was held in Manila on December 30,1898, under the sponsorship of the Club Filipino. This was In pursuance of General Aguinaldo’s Decree of December 20,1898. On the same date (December 30, 1898), the patriotic town of Daet in Camarines Norte, likewise celebrated Rizal Day, the festivities being climaxed by the unveiling of the Rizal monument, which was constructed at the expense of the townfolks. This was the first monument ever created in the Philippines-and still exists today.

!!!No law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero. However, because of their significant roles in the process of nation building and contributions to history, there were laws enacted and proclamations issued honoring these heroes.

Even Jose Rizal, considered as the greatest among the Filipino heroes, was not explicitly proclaimed as a national hero. The position he now holds in Philippine history is a tribute to the continued veneration or acclamation of the people in recognition of his contribution to the significant social transformations that took place in our country.

Aside from Rizal, the only other hero given an implied recognition as a national hero is Andres Bonifacio whose day of birth on November 30 has been made a national holiday.

Despite the lack of any official declaration explicitly proclaiming them as national heroes, they remain admired and revered for their roles in Philippine history. Heroes, according to historians, should not be legislated. Their appreciation should be better left to academics. Acclamation for heroes, they felt, would be recognition enough.


REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
(Decree of December 20,1898)



In recognition of the aspirations of the Filipino nation and in proclaiming its noble and patriotic sentiments, I hereby decree.

Article 1. In memory of the
Filipino patriots, Dr. Jose Rizal and the other victims of the past Spanish domination, I declare the 30th of December as a national day of mourning.

Article 2. On account of this, all
national flags shall be hoisted at half-mast from 12:00 noon

Article 3. All offices of the
on December 29, as a sign of mourning.Revolutionary Government shall be closed during the whole day of December 30.

Given in Malolos, December 20,1898
(Signed) EMILIO AGUINALDO