Next to Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio is the second-most popular national hero, yet there is scant verified information about the founder of the Katipunan.
From his looks down to the circumstances of his death, details about Bonifacio's life have been subject to so much speculation and controversy.
On the hero's 150th birth anniversary, “Cheche Lazaro Presents” celebrates the life of the hero who espoused armed resistance against Spain but died in the hands of his fellow Filipino revolutionaries.
In the hour-and-a-half-documentary, broadcast journalist Cheche Lazaro joins historians and descendants of members of the Katipunan who worked with or crossed the path of Bonifacio in piecing together a more accurate picture of the tragic hero -- his views, and the revolution that he led.
Their accounts, which sometimes contradict "traditional" history books, provide a new perspective to the Bonifacio and the Katipunan that most Filipinos never knew.
Of great significance in the retelling of Bonifacio's life and times is the documentary's use of new information from the Archivo General de Madrid about the Katipunan.
More-than-a-century-old, the documents were written in Tagalog and turned over by Spain to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. These included correspondence among the Katipunan hierarchy such as Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Dr. Pio Valenzuela as well as ordinary Katipuneros.
By itself, the archive documents have the effect of rewriting portions of Philippine history. Among other things, it debunks the prevailing belief that Rizal's La Liga Filipina was a precursor of the Katipunan. Six months before the birth of La Liga Filipina, Bonifacio's Katipunan was already in place with a clear vision and organized system of government guided by strict morals.