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In honor of national hero, Andres Bonifacio’s 156th birth anniversary, here are a few words from the Father of the Philippine Revolution himself.
156 years ago today, the Supremo of Katipunan was born. And if you did your Philippine history homework, you would know of the heroic things he did for the country. But aside from being the brave and mighty hero that we know he is, Andres Bonifacio was also quite the wordsmith. And his words are as relevant as they were over a century ago.
Aling Pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila
gaya ng pag-ibig sa sariling lupa
Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga, wala.
— Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa
Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa was a poem and published in the first issue of Katipunan’s newspaper, Kalayaan. Bonifacio wrote it under the initials A.I.B which then stood for Agapito Bagumbayan. What better way to begin a revolutionary newspaper than to remind the people what true patriotic love means.
Kaya nga halina, mga kaibigan,
Kami ay tulungang ibangon sa hukay
Ang inang nabulid sa kapighatian
Nang upang magkamit ng kaligayahan
—Tapunan ng Lingap
This poem showed Bonifacio’s faith as he asked God to spare some care and protection for what seemed then as a godforsaken country with godforsaken people. But as much as it was a plea to God, it was also a plea to the Filipinos to get up and fight for the motherland.
Itinuturo ng katwiran na tayo'y magkaisang-loob, magkaisang-isip at akala, at tayo'y magkalakas na maihanap ng lunas ang naghaharing kasamaan sa ating Bayan. Panahon na ngayong dapat na lumitaw ang liwanag ng katotohanan. Panahon nang dapat nating ipakilala na tayo'y may sariling pagdaramdam, may puri, may hiya at pagdadamayan.
—Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog
Also published in Kalayaan, Bonifacio wrote the essay Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog to stir up the people and be united in revolt.
Ikintal sa puso ang pag-asa na malabis na kapurihan at kapalaran na kung ikamamatay na tao’y magbubuhat sa pagliligtas sa pagkaalipin ng bayan.
— Dekalogo ng Katipunan
If Bonifacio wrote the last line of Lupang Hinirang, "Ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo," it would sound like this. Thi is a testament that is with the greatest honor that one would die for the country.
Sa inyong pamimiyapis mangyayaring abutin ang kayo'y tanghalin bangkay sa gitna ng parang ng pakikidigma; nguni’t ito’y isang kapurihang inyong maipamamana sa ating Bayan, sa ating lahi, at sa ating angkan
— Marahas na mga Anak ng Bayan
Bonifacio did not sugarcoat the truth from his fellow Filipinos and Katipuneros. They could die in the midst of the war, but he reminded them that dying for the people is a legacy to the country and the Filipinos.
There is no doubt that Bonifacio lived by his words, dying an honorable death, leading the country to freedom, and leaving behind a legacy we celebrate today.