Why Rizal Day on Jose's death date and Bonifacio Day on Andres' birth date?
|Jose P. Rizal|
By BERTENI "TOTO" CATALUÑA CAUSING
Author of the book entitled "Simplified Libel Law in the Philippines"
Do you ever have any reasonable idea why is it that Rizal Day was fixed on the day Jose Protacio Rizal was murdered by Spanish authorities by firing squad at the Bagumbayan (now Luneta)?
Along with this, do you have any acceptable theory why is it that Bonifacio Day was fixed on the day Katipunan Supreme Leader Andres Bonifacio was born?
Regardless of any idea my readers would have, let me present mine.
The universal idea in marking a day for a hero, nations choose the day that is distinctive to have happened for the cause of each nation. It is one that is usually during the death of a hero because it is only when a special person died when friends recognize the irreplaceable importance of that special person. Any person knows the significance of his loved ones when that loved ones die. A child will know the extreme importance of the mother or the father when the mother or the father dies, the reason so much tears are she Like Jessie Robredo, his being a person of irreplaceable integrity in public service came to be known only when he died in a crash moments after his plane flew out of Cebu; the same manner when then President Ramon Magsaysay died in a crash also moments after his plane flew out of Cebu: in both crashes, there was one survivor, the aide police Senior Inspector June Paolo Abrazado in the case of Robredo and Philippine Herald reporter Nestor Mata in the case of Magsaysay.
In the case of Jose Rizal, the extreme importance of his contribution to the construction of the Philippines as an independent country came to be recognized only at the moment of his death when he was murdered in a firing squad on 30 December 1896. Thus, it is but natural that Rizal Day has been commemorated every 30th of December.
In the case of Andres Bonifacio, he was killed by traitors led by Emilio Aguinaldo also in a firing squad on 10 May 1897, or less than five (5) months since Rizal was executed by a firing squad. The fire of the first revolution was started by Bonifacio. The same revolution was waged by the children of the Philippines who offered lives by joining the Katipunan to start that revolution. The same Katipunan was organized by Bonifacio. There is no doubt that this death highlighted all the works done for the country. There is also no doubt that Bonifacio's death on 10 May 1987 was connected to his works as the Supreme Leader of the Katipunan that aimed for no less than the independence of the "Indios." Thus, his death far outweighed by thousands of miles whatever importance there was in his birth.
So many issues have been spawned in the death of Bonifacio. Even until today, many Filipinos still want Aguilnaldo to answer for the treacherous death of the national hero.
The Americans who formally governed the Philippines in 1901 regarded the Katipunans as the "Abu Sayyaf" of today. The last Katipunero general to be killed, Macario Sakay, who I regard as the First President of the Philippines, was hanged by the Americans. Since Andres Bonifacio is a leader and founder of the Katipunan, Americans must have opposed the investment of the honor as the national hero on Bonifacio because doing so would slap them for their official stand that Katipuneros were terrorists during that time.
So that the reasons why the birthday of Bonifacio was made as the official "Bonifacio Day" are not limited to the following:
1. They did not want to discover the real stories of betrayal by Aguinaldo and his allies, hoping that by making the birthday as the Bonifacio Day nobody would inquire into the circumstances that occurred leading to his death; and
2. The Americans did not want to be put to shame that after officially regarding the Katipunan as a terrorist group they would hail the leader of the Katipunan as the national hero of their territory.
INDEED, treacherous acts of a leader cannot go down uncovered and unpunished.
In the September 15, 1935 presidential elections, Manuel L. Quezon trounced Emilio Aguinaldo who was then accused during the campaign as having accepted bribes from the Spanish authorities to agree to be exiled in Hong Kong. Another issue that time was Aguinaldo's order of executing Bonifacio by a firing squad. These and more have hounded to blacken the memory of the death of Aguinaldo.
Nevertheless, LONG LIVE THE MEMORIES OF JOSE RIZAL.