PNoy urges Filipinos: Follow Bonifacio's example

Posted at 11/30/2012 10:33 AM | Updated as of 11/30/2012 10:33 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino urged Filipinos to follow the example of Andres Bonifacio whose 149th birth anniversary the nation is commemorating Friday.

In his speech in a commemorative activity in Pinaglabanan Shrine, San Juan, Aquino noted that Bonifacio was not intimidated by the more modern weapons of the Spanish colonizers and went on to fight for what was right.

Pinaglabanan is where Bonifacio led Katipuneros in an uprising against the Spaniards on August 30, 1896.

Aquino said that while Bonifacio did not win a single battle, he did not lose hope.

“Sa bawat sagupaang kanyang pinamunuan, ni minsan hindi nanaig si Bonifacio. Gayunpaman, ang bawat munting kabiguan, ang bawat buhay na naibuwis, ang bawat patak ng dugong dumanak ay siyang dumilig sa lupang uhaw sa kalayaan,” he said.

“Makailang-beses man siyang nabigo, hindi nagbago ang paninidigan ni Bonifacio: ‘Lalaban tayo hanggang hindi natin nakakamit ang kalayaan.’ Nakatutok siya sa kanyang adhika: ‘Matalo man tayo sa mga munting laban, hindi magtatagal ay magtatagumpay rin tayo sa digmaan. Makakamit din natin ang tunay na kasarinlan,’” Aquino said.

Aquino said the country has proven that it is ready to fight for “what is ours.”

“Ngayon, isa tayong malayang bansa. Walang banyagang mananakop. Wala ang tanikala ng mga Kastila. Pinatunayan natin sa lahat ng mga nagtangkang alipinin ang ating lahi na hindi tayo papasindak at handa tayong ipaglaban kung ano ang tunay na sa atin,” he said.

He added that poverty and corruption are the modern-day chains that bind Filipinos.

He said Filipinos today should not be dampened by limitations and that each one has a role in nation building, adding that the country should not allow the return of the abuses of the past.

“Huwag tayong papasakop sa mga magtatangkang ibalik ang pang-aapi ng nakaraan. Lagi nating tatandaan: Lahi tayo ng mga bayani. Hindi tayo mauubusan ng Bonifacio,” he said.

Aquino cited other more unknown characteristics of Bonifacio that have been overwhelmed by his stereotype as a subversive.

He noted that Bonifacio was also a voice of restraint and reason as reflected in his writings such as the Dekalogo and Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog.

“…Makikilala ang boses ng hinahon at katuwiran at nagbubukas ito ng isang anggulo na malayong-malayo sa subersibong niyang katauhan—na bawat mabuting hangad ay makakamit kung may hinahon, tiyaga, katuwiran, at pag-asa sa asal at gawa. Na pagkakaisang-loob at pagkakaisang-isip ang lunas sa karamdaman ng bayan, na dapat tayong humarap ng may sariling damdamin, puri, hiya, at pagdadamayan,” Aquino said.

Aquino also led the kick-off for the year-long commemoration of Bonifacio’s life and works to mark the sesquicentennial of his birth in 2013.