11/28/16

A Monument Mural For Manila’s Hero

Bonifacio Day is around the corner, and the Urban Roamer would not be remiss if we do not pay tribute to the memory of this great and tragic figure in our history.

In the past Bonifacio Day editions of this site, the Urban Roamer has already visited the famed Monumento in Caloocan, the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista where his widow lived, and the Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan. For this year’s Bonifacio Day edition, it is time we look at another famed Bonifacio landmark in the City of Manila.

I am of course talking about the Bonifacio Monument and Mural located at Mehan Garden, right across the Manila City Hall.

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11/27/14

A Museum for the Katipunan

Bonifacio Day is fast approaching, so if you are looking into commemorating in your own way the birthday of Andres Bonifacio and his contributions to Philippine history, the Urban Roamer suggests you check out the Museo ng Katipunan, so far the only museum dedicated to the life of Andres Bonifacio and the movement he founded, the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, which we all know better as the Katipunan.

Opened in 2013, (in time for Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary) the museum is located not in Bonifacio’s birthplace in Tondo, Manila. Rather, its location is just beside the vast Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan, the site where Bonifacio and his men launched what was considered to be the first major battle of the Philippine Revolution on August 30, 1896.

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11/30/13

Quiapo’s home of heroes: the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista

On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, one of the country’s foremost heroes, the founder of the Kataastaasang, Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or Katipunan, the secret organization that lit the fire that was the Philippine Revolution in 1896, the Urban Roamer visits a heritage house that has a connection to this renowned figure.

For many people, Quiapo is the epitome of Manila’s urban madness: the “chaos” of people and vehicles on its streets and the commerce that goes by that place each day. That particular madness has brought both good and ill to this bustling district that has long had a rich, colorful heritage. Sadly, rapid urbanization has negatively affected Quiapo’s heritage that many heritage structures in this district have either disappeared completely or fallen into utter neglect.

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In the midst of all this, one particular house has managed to weather the storms brought by urbanization and become one of the few bright spots in this congested district as a symbol of hope for the city’s renewal. But this is not just some old house but it has a rich history embedded in its roots thanks to the people who have lived here in this house we now know as the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista.

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11/25/12

The Bonifacio according to Guillermo Tolentino

Surprising as it may seem, there is not really much documentation about that prominent figure in Philippine history that is Andres Bonifacio. In fact, there is only one known photograph of him that exists, and he is wearing not a camisa but a coat and tie. It is the scantiness of information about him, along with the circumstances of his life and death, that the Bonifacio legend began to grow shortly after his infamous death in 1897.

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the Cry of Balintawak monument which now stands in the UP Diliman campus became associated with Bonifacio even though the figure in question is not really him

For a people seeking a tangible symbol of sorts to identify themselves with, a puzzle arose as to how to depict a man like Andres Bonifacio. Thus was born the popular perception of Bonifacio as a man crying out in defiant anger, armed with a bolo on one hand and ready to charge. This image of Bonifacio became the prevalent depiction in many works of art about him that arose over the years, In one prominent example, a monument erected in memory of the First Cry of Balintawak which depicted a man with an unbuttoned camisa  and holding a bolo and a flag was associated with Bonifacio even though it was not actually depicting the man. Continue reading

11/18/12

Of railways, shopping, and Andres Bonifacio: the story of Tutuban Center

It may be hard to imagine it today, but this particular part of Manila at first did not look like the bustling, at times chaotic, place of commercial activity that we know of today. In fact, this area was then a thriving agricultural community where the people there make a living manufacturing a coconut-based alcoholic drink called “tuba.”

Andres Bonifacio (taken from the web)

It would be in this community along Azcarraga Street where a significant event would occur on November 30, 1863: the birth of who would become the founder of the secret society known as the Kataastaasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (otherwise known as the Katipunan or KKK) that would pave way for the Philippine Revolution. I’m talking about no other than the Supremo himself, Andres Bonifacio. Continue reading