Yikes... they should add 'Magdalo vs Magdiwang' to 'religion' and 'politics' hehehe....
My own two cents if I may...
I like to think that we as people - not just Filipinos or Americans or whatever - just tend to have such a lofty view of heroes that we can either think they could do no wrong or its difficult to think of them as ordinary men with flaws. The recent ALAMO movie comes to mind with its less than flattering but, according to a lot of historians and Texans, much more historically accurate portrayal of such legends as David Bowie, Colonel Travis and David Crockett (so much so that they do differentiate between 'Davy Crockett' of legend and coonskin hat and 'David Crockett' the real historical American figure). I would also recommend such works as Bayaning 3rd World by Mike De Leon, A Question of Heroes by Nick Joaquin and even Gibson's 'Braveheart' as an exploration of how modern film can contribute and remake a 'legend' as well as being an interesting study on how a legend can grow and spread - Gibson does a good job IMHO of showing a very human character, William Wallace, who gets caught up in his own legend with people not recognizing him because he's "not tall enough" and stories of how he cut a swath through his enemies like "Moses through the red sea".
On Bonifacio, I believe that, whatever his motivations - and we all have them - its an undeniable fact that he was the driving force behind the Katipunan and his leadership and recruiting skills built the organization - with chapters as far afield as the Visayas and Central and Northern Luzon - into something of a national resistance movement, a key difference from the regional revolts of past centuries (one can only imagine what Bonifacio may have done with the successful but disparate revolts of Dagohoy, Palaris and Silang during the era of the British invasion - might he have been the Filipino George Washington then?)
That he was a great organizer cannot be denied - however, examining the historical record, one has to sadly conclude that he was either a bad general or 'unlucky' - like the Napoleonic tale goes, Napoleon once asked of a general who was up for promotion to the Marshalate, "Yes, but is he lucky?" If it's true that he lost San Juan del Monte for sleeping late like Napoleon at Waterloo then it was a bad start, though to be fair starting a revolt in Manila, where the highest concentration of troops and guardia civil was located, would be ridiculously difficult at best. Bonifacio would be fighting on ground of the enemy's choosing so to speak with a ridiculous disadvantage in skill and arms.
Aguinaldo, for his part, was 'luckier' than Bonifacio in that he was fighting in his own province AWAY from Manila, he had a loyal coterie around him in the form of the Tirona brothers and other province mates, he obtained the services of Edilberto Evangelista who was trained by the future hero of Liege himself, General Leman (IIRC, need to confirm) and he did have some sense of battlefield tactics. I love the scene in Braveheart where they depict Stirling (sans the bridge) - the strategy employed there is almost a carbon copy of Aguinaldo at the Battle of Imus (a holding force stopping the vanguard and keeping their attention while Aguinaldo led a flanking force that hit the Spanish and caught them by surprise). I could almost picture the Katipuneros with their bamboo lances, Remingtons and bolos charging down on panicked Guardia Civil and Regimento Fijo soldiers caught in the mud instead of the Scots and English archers.
When it came down to it, it was treachery in general, not so much Magdalo vs Magdiwang treachery apparently but just plain greed, ambition, crab-mentality, what-have-you, that did in Bonifacio as well as the latter's apparent arrogance (to be fair it's tough taking a backseat when you rightly feel you started the whole thing), his 'algo despota' attitude that may have rubbed even his supporters the wrong way. IIRC his own partymates in the Magdiwang faction were the ones who shafted him and even convinced Aguinaldo to 'leave the gun, take the canoli' in the end. Also there are reports that Bonfacio was jeopardizing military operations by pulling troops out, refusing to support Magdalo efforts, etc. at the time when Polavieja's offensive was barrelling through Cavite.
The problem though perhaps lies not with Bonifacio or Aguinaldo or Rizal - they're all heroes and their place in national history is well deserved and secure IMHO - it's how we remember them, either that they could do no wrong and attributing victories to them that they never won, or being so afraid to see them as humans who COULD 'suck' from time to time, just like all the rest of us, to look at them like Oliver Cromwell said, 'warts and all'.
We had the Rizal film which made out San Juan del Monte to be some sort of Filipino victory with absolutely idiotically choreographed action scenes - my apologies in advance if I'm treading on anyone's toes here but I thought that the action scenes, particularly when that woman leaps on a Spanish soldier and tries to wrestle him, were stupid and comic - when it was a bloody defeat which resulted in escaping Katipuneros being shot down as they tried to flee via the Pasig and captured Katipuneros being executed by musketry in Bagumbayan. Likewise the creation of Bonifacio as a 'masa hero' who is venerated, it seems, mainly because of his origins, yet eclipsing his ambition, his diligence to pull himself up by his bootstraps and become a clerk with a foreign company (I guess that would make him a sort of 19th century call center agent LOLZ), to learn to read, to imbibe those revolutionary texts and ultimately to organize and lead the Katipunan, that all gets lost in the 'masa' rhetoric. No less deplorable is the elevation of Bonifacio to the seeming exclusion of other heroic names because we're all chanting Bonifacio, Bonifacio, Bonifacio. For me it's context, context, context. Bonifacio is a hero, one of the greatest in the national struggle but so were Evangelista, Yengko, Paua, the Alvarez boys, the Tirona brothers (Daniel's deplorable faux pas at Tejeros notwithstanding), Licerio Geronimo who was active in both revolutions, led a sizable force against Spain that was AFAIK not defeated in the field by Biak Na Bato, fought against the Yanquis in 98 and killed General Lawton - yet so little is known about him that when some students approached me for help with a research project there was so little I could give.
While we don't want to be too revisionist to the point of becoming virtual 'Holocaust deniers' we should also strive to learn the truth, as much as it can be learned, about our heroes, even if it risks 'cutting them down' from their pedestals. As Denzel Washington says in Courage Under Fire, we need to tell the truth, the cold, hard, brutal truth because until we do that, we dishonor them and all those who fought for our country.
Well said Tom. I agree with you about learning the truth. I just don't buy the part in Balacanao's statement that the factionism in LA's Filipino community is due to having Bonifacio as a hero. Maybe he was just at a loss for a good segueway into his Bonifacio analysis, and that was the best he could think of.
While it is tempting to put the blame on 'the great man' or 'the flawed hero' for all our present ills I really think that whatever problems Pinoys have with disunity can be traced back to our historical environment/situation and the collective 'education' we were given by our former colonial masters.
The Philippines is an archipelago establishing some sort of national consciousness between disparate people groups that don't even share a common language was a tough job. It was tough enough for countries like the USA to form a national consciousness out of 13+ states that were not separated by vast waters, how much more for us with 7,107 islands.
It is said by some that Lapu Lapu wasn't fighting for the Philippines so much as he was fighting for his kingdom and most of the succeeding revolts were localized uprisings aimed not at national liberation but at local independence. The Spanish capitalized on this by fostering differences, refusing to give us a common language (their own - Spanish) till much later in our history and using the people/tribes of one province to subdue revolts in another. What Andy and Miong were going through was not the start but merely a link in a long history of disjointed national consciousness and cultivated disunity, a symptom of the illness rather than the cause.
That our 'top rated' national heroes - Rizal, Bonifacio and Aguinaldo - were able to create some form of consciousness out of collective chaos (through the Noli/Fili, the Katipunan and the later Revolutionary Government) in spite of Spanish (and later American) pressure is something in itself.
Last Edit: Mar 13, 2008 3:20:24 GMT -5 by 79thfoot
I kow this is an old topic but I'm just posting this for Perry per his request since he can't login to the forum.
------------------- Hello Mr. Dumindin;
I'm an enthusiast in history & very grateful for knowing friends and sharing ideas through this forum. Even I have been corrected many items in my historical diorama artwork, reproduction & researches by friends, fellow enthusiasts and researchers. This forum is a very healthy medium for sharing knowledge through friendly discussion. I would also like to share with you my research info in the Katipunan & the Rayadillo. I truly believe that the Katipunan wore the Rayadillo uniform :
1. There is a list of initial members of the Katipunan who served with the Spanish army as part of their profession or job. These men including Bonifacio (Supervisor in a Railway), Macario Sakay ( a sales agent, who also continued the war vs. the Americans until 1907) and a Filipino corporal in the Spanish army who wore a Rayadillo himself even in 1892.
2. There were many errors or stereotypes in sculptures, paintings we see around. Bonifacio always wore a white Kamiseta de Chino, with red pants, most of the time bare footed,... Bonifacio did wear that attire but not most of the time. Since Bonifacio became an icon of the masses to symbolize & give a drama to artworks, artist preferred to depict him dressed as such.
Actually, Bonifacio himself also wore a Rayadillo. You can also interview a researcher / artist / curator & descendant of a Katipunan soldier Mr. Dan Dizon of Villa Gloria Angeles Pampanga (his historical /detailed paintings about the uniforms during the Katipunan, Phil. Revol & WWII can be seen in AFP Bulwagan Enrile Museum, Camp Aguinaldo). You can also refer to the photo below were Bonifacio is wearing a Rayadillo.
3. I'll discuss the Katipunan Ranking System. Just after the Battle of Pinaglabanan in Aug 1896, the Katipunan adopted a ranking system shown below. But after 2 months in Oct 1896, they changed the ranking system & placed the ranks on the cuffs as shown below & was used until 1898 until Gen. Luna changed the ranking system again, placing the ranks on the shoulder board.
Note the ranking system of Oct 1896, these ranks were placed on the Rayadillo uniform & the Filipino soldiers of that time were still under the Katipunan organization before Aguinaldo disbanded the Katipunan in 1897.
These show that the Katipunan wore the Rayadillo.
Your thoughts and inputs are highly appreciated. You may e-mail me at email@example.com since I cannot access this forum regularly.
Truly Yours; Engr. Pedro Antonio V. Javier, MBA Sr. Quality Assurance Engr, Amkor Tech Phil. Artist / Reenactor / Researcher
Post by insurrectomad on Apr 3, 2009 2:12:49 GMT -5
This is an old thread I know, but seeking out any means to obtain a replica Mauser or Remington and get it through Phil. customs has prompted me to add my pennith-worth. A relative here in Porac, Pampanga, has 2 old American hunting guns which came through Phil. Customs 4yrs ago. I is an old air-gun but the otherri is not. In UK it is permitted to have deactivated weapons. this entails filing off the hammer point, smooth boring of fling in the barrel and plugging base of barrel. Perhaps the guns seized from the cadet corps by the Phil. Authorities could be treated the same way and leased out for ceremonial occasions by the police on the day just as they do in England? Does anyone have enough prestige and clout to bend the ears of a leading police commander in Luzon? It's surely worth a try is it not given that at the most one would fire only blanks, just like a sports-field starting gun? -insurrectomad.