February 23, 2009 § Leave a comment
On May 10, we will be commemorating the death of the great Plebian Andres Bonifacio. This is not marked as a holiday in any of our calendars. Yet, it bears remembering here, since that treacherous death signalled the new chapter in the Katipunan revolution. As what fellow Historian Ambet Ocampo wrote in his book on Bonifacio, his death led to a shift in leadership, from the worker’s class to the propertied class. With Bonifacio gone, pseudo-revolutionary thought permeated within the Katipunan, promoted by Filipino peninsulares and intelligentsia, the likes of Paterno and Aguinaldo. These propertied men tried to erase the millenarian character of the revolution and attempted to pattern the revolt with Western models. The adoption of Western war tactics paid off, but, these concepts carried conceptual baggages like diplomacy, truce and sell outs. History is replete with instances of sellouts by the Filipino propertied class to subvert the pure Filipino concept of revolution. Despite these attempts at diluting the millenarian nature of the Katipunan revolution, manifestations of Katipunan revolts mark every chapter of Philippine history. The mark of these revolts bear noting, since these are not just agrarian nor worker’s based outbursts. Rather, they bear the Katipunan trademark, ascribing the struggle as that of Jesus Christ, with all the markings of the Pasyon written all over it. One such incident was that of Macario Sakay, who led the New Katipunan against American colonialists. Like his forebear Bonifacio, Sakay was a victim of treachery. Dr. Reynaldo Ileto in his book, ” Pasyon and Rebolusyon” (Passion and Revolution) wrote many manifestations of the Katipunan Spirit, as recently manifested in the EDSA revolt. Ileto said that EDSA I and the Katipunan bear striking resemblance due to the millenarian character of these two revolts. It just showed that there is, still, a continuing revolution which claims its roots from the Bonifacio led revolution. Like its predecessor, EDSA I has its pasyon chapters in it. The birthing of EDSA is the ” baptism” chapter. Cory’s revolutionary cabinet was like Jesus Christ’s formation of his 12 disciples. Enrile’s highly publicized resignation as Cory’s defense minister was history’s version of Judas Iscariot’s alleged treachery. And the series of coup attempts made against Cory was like Jesus Christ’s passion. The interregnum (Ramos’ administration) can be likened to Christ’s descent to hell where he tried to save as many souls as he can. Yet, it was interrupted by an attempt to re-institute a hellish version with Erap’s administration which led to an obvious attempt at “re-birth” with EDSA two. So, we see that our history is replete with highs and troughs, bearing the mark of Christ passion. Predictably, what we are in right now is what I call the “treasorous” stage where former architects of the revolution are reprising their Judas Iscariot roles all over again, much the same way as those propertied class did against Bonifacio and Sakay. Last Sunday’s EDSA picture, showing Enrile, Honasan and the RAM boys sipping tea with Mrs. Arroyo is obviously a painting likened to Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” except that the characters show a pseudo-Christ partaking food with Judases in barongs. It was an attempt to promote a new kind of philosophy rooted in what Mrs. Arroyo termed as “a new kind of boldness”. Arroyo’s new boldness philosophy is being made as a counter-ideology against the rising and fully gestating true expression of Katipunan revolution. That picture of Mrs. Arroyo with Enrile and the RAM boys and that Inquirer ad showing various organizations uniting behind the leadership of Danny Lim are filled with meanings. It revealed two competing forces in modern Philippine history, much the same way as those of Magdalo and Magdiwang during the revolution. However, one obvious question remains—which among the two forces will win it this time? What people don’t know is that the real inspiration behind the RAM is actually not Honasan. No. Honasan did played a key role but the ideologues behind that historic movement are not those in that stage with Mrs. Arroyo. Those who sipped and partook of the poison fruit by Herr Majesty last Sunday are like the Macabebe scouts who betrayed Sakay. They are the inheritors of the ignominious role played by Col. Makapagal who pulled the trigger that killed the Great Plebian in that mystical mountain in Maragondon Cavite. Like historical traitors, these former comrades will also share the same fate as their father who hanged himself in the tree. When these RAM boys staked their legacies for a fistful sum of gold, they threw their souls along with it. Like those Katipuneros who betrayed Bonifacio, they will all share the same fate as that of Aguinaldo’s who died of old age (Enrile?) What is certain is that light always triumph against darkness. This “show of forces” which we witnessed today mark the continuing, not the end, of this revolution started centuries ago. Mrs. Arroyo’s “boldness” speech tried to stab this revolution to death, yet, what she failed to recognize is that no force is strong enough to kill the “dream”. The dream may have died with Enrile, Honasan and the RAM boys of Gloria. Yet, those words etched in the RAM offices in Makati are still pretty much burning within the hearts of the True Patriots of Bonifacio’s revolution. With God’s help, that dream, will, someday, if not soonest, become a reality.