H ave you watched Heneral Luna the movie or Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral? Get to know the Supremo, Andres Bonifacio more as go back over his final moments of his life in Cavite.
We all know that Cavite is one big historical province where the famous Aguinaldo Shrine is prominently placed in Kawit, Cavite. But did you know that Aguinaldo’s alleged mortal rival is also enshrined in Cavite? That hero is none other than Katipunan’s Supremo, Andres Bonifacio. His shrine remained in the distant town of Maragondon, Cavite.
Resting on top of Mt. Nagpatong, this shrine commemorates the place where Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were shot in 1897. It is also the place where Andres Bonifacio was once buried. Occupying a four-hectare lot, the monument features bronze sculptures, spelling the words “KKK” and “Bayani”. The park also has a clubhouse for events, two swimming pools, a camping area and picnic ground for visitors.
On May 4, 1897, the brothers of Bonifacio were accused by the court with treason and sedition. On May 6, 1897, they were sentenced with the death penalty.
The blueprint for a new government was created since the beginning of the revolution on August 23, 1896. Its aim was to unite the Katipuneros under a single leadership. The Magdalo faction selected Emilio Aguinaldo while the Magdiwang faction claimed Bonifacio, who was the “Supremo” of the Katipunan.
The revolutionary government was established at the Tejeros Convention on March 22, 1897. Daniel Tirona of Magdalo, questioned Bonifacio’s qualifications for the said position. That time, Emilio Aguinaldo was the president of the new government while Bonifacio was declared as the Minister of Interior. Upon his authority as the presiding officer, Tirona declared all the proceedings null and void.
Bonifacio, then, formed his own government in Naic, Cavite. Because of that he was arrested for refusing the revolutionary government, upon the orders of Emilio Aguinaldo, at Indang, Cavite on April 28, 1897. Gregoria de Jesus, his wife and his brother, Procopio, was also arrested.
On May 4, 1897 Andres Bonifacio was brought to a military court in Maragondon for a pre-trial hearing. Bonifacio brothers were charged by the court with treason and sedition. On May 6, 1897, they were sentenced with death penalty.
They were brought by Major Lazaro Macapagal to Mount Tala on May 10, 1897. As soon as they reached Hulog, a barrio within the vicinity of Mount Nagpatong, Major Makapagal opened his sealed orders, upon Bonifacio’s assertion. The order revealed that serious punishment waits for him if he would fail to execute them.
The death of the Father of the Revolution, Andres Bonifacio, remains to be controversial at present
Bonifacio Trial House
The court-military of the Bonifacio brothers was held in Maragondon, Cavite in a bahay-na-bato built by Teodorico Reyes in 1889. The trial house has been converted into a museum. The Museo ng Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio was formally inaugurated on November 28, 2014. It houses life-size dioramas commemorating the trial scene, storyboard with historical facts discussing the life and death of Andres Bonifacio. The museum also has an audio-visual corner offering a brief documentary about the trial and death of Andres Bonifacio and an e-learning room for online lessons on the history of the Philippines.
A shrine of a True Hero
The Bonifacio Shrine with marble with metal monument are shaped within the letters “K.K.K” an abbreviation for “Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan” which Bonifacio founded and the word “Bayani” narrating the later fate of the Supremo. Found at the leftmost side stood a 12-foot statue of Bonifacio and his chained brother Procopio.
The mystery of Bonifacio’s remains.
We all know that Jose Rizal is buried under the Rizal Monument in Luneta, Emilio Aguinaldo behind his mansion in Kawit, and Apolinario Mabini in Batangas. His wife, Gregoria de Jesus is joined by many other historical people in the Manila North Cemetery. But where is Bonifacio buried? The Supremo has not been given a proper burial because no one knows where his remains are.
In 1918, some bones unearthed in Maragondon, Cavite, were said to be Bonifacio’s. This made me question its authenticity because history tells us that Andres and Procopio Bonifacio were executed in Maragondon on May 10, 1897. They were buried in the same grave, yet only one set of bones was exhumed in 1918. If these are the remains of Andres Bonifacio, where are the remains of Procopio? If these are the bones of Procopio, then where are the bones of Andres?
So every time we observe, make floral offerings and speeches at the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan, the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila, and even here at the Bonifacio Shrine in Maragondon we commemorate a hero before empty graves.