Little-Known Facts about Andres Bonifacio, the Supremo

Many patriotic individuals had carved their names into the pages of Philippine history. However, the current generation of Filipinos can only recognize a few names. Of the many heroes, it seems only Dr. Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are the most popular ones. In fact, they both have special days that are declared regular holidays in the country. Further, Rizal and Bonifacio seem to be rivals as Filipinos are divided on who should really be the country’s national hero.


Copy of Bonifacio’s only existing photograph.

Photo credit:

Between the two historical figures who lived in the same era, Filipinos seem to know Rizal more than Bonifacio. While the two have a fair share of stories in history books and movie depictions, college education includes study of Jose Rizal’s life.

What many Filipinos know about the brave Bonifacio is that he was orphaned at a young age and became the leader of a secret movement known as KKK.

Should he be considered the Philippines’ first President?

What else should the countrymen know about the “father of Philippine revolution?”

Eight Details You Might Not Know

It’s never too late to discover some little yet meaningful details that made Andres Bonifacio a great person. Below are some little-known facts about him:

  1. He was named after a saint—Saint Andrew. This proves that naming a child born on a saint’s feast day has long been a tradition in the country.
  2. He did not live in poverty (prior to the death of his parents). Contrary to    popular beliefs, Bonifacio did not come from a poor family (but from a middle-class family). His parents had high-paying jobs allowing him to have a private tutor.
  3. He acted in plays. Bonifacio held several jobs, such as warehouseman, clerk messenger, warehouse supervisor, and a theater actor. His favorite role was that of a fictional giant named Bernardo Carpio.
  4. He preferred using revolver rather than a bolo. Perhaps the depiction of him as a warrior using a bolo was inspired by this weapon’s association with the Katipuneros.
  5. He was a bookworm. Bonifacio read many books and novels, including Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, and the History of the French Revolution.
  6. He and Emilio Jacinto were best friends. The two heroes were allies during the time of revolution having worked on numerous plans. No wonder, they were tagged as father and brains (respectively) of their revolutionary society.
  7. He once dressed as a woman. According to historian Ambeth Ocampo, this move aimed at concealing his identity to be able to pass through a checkpoint in Balintawak.
  8. He was stabbed using a bolo. Along with his brother Procopio, Andres was executed by a team led by Lazaro Macapagal on May 10, 1897 in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite.

On the occasion of Bonifacio’s birth anniversary this November 30, let us relive the spirit of nationalism within ourselves. Let’s thank him for offering a life in exchange of national freedom.

Sources: (2013), (2012), (2013)


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