Rizal and Andres Bonifacio

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Two of the most notable heroes who lived in the annals of Philippine history were reformists Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio. Both have shown exemplary acts of patriotism and immeasurable amount of compassion in a desire of independence. They valiantly announce their opposition on the reigning Spanish government compromising their personal goals and ambitions, even life.


About Rizal and Bonifacio

Rizal was well known for his ilustrado standing in the community. No doubt that he had an immense level of advancement. He is a well-traveled man, an eloquent orator, a fearless propagandist and reformist.

Rizal’s action for independence was no easy. He joined various organizations in which he though of increasing his influence. He observed types of economy and government, a part of his plan of preparing himself for a battle against the brutal colonizers.

Rizal was undoubtedly valiant with an inimitable level of senses. He fought the Spanish government in a rare way, but proven effective. The pen was his tool, showcasing its might against sword, and it was fruitful. He had a deep admiration of his country’s tradition and culture, thus he aimed for a government with integrity, and a nation with its own identity.

Bonifacio, on the contrary, originally came from a poor family from Tondo, a deprived area in Manila. Bonifacio got no degrees for he failed to finish his high school education. Financial instability was Bonifacio’s main struggle. Although Bonifacio had no recognition, he did not stop attaining enhancement. He is self-learned, and he had shown exemplary leadership.


It has been a popular subject of discussion among scholars that Bonifacio and Rizal were in no harmony. It has been an argument that often leads into divisions of ideas and solidarity of nationalism.

Rizal and Bonifacio’s connection in fact was indeed extraordinary.

After five years of rewarding observations in Europe, Rizal came back to the Philippines and founded the concealed organization, La Liga Filipina, wherein Bonifacio was one of its compatriots. The Liga was basically composed into groups, the Reformist, comprised by the illustardo of the society, and the Revolutionalist, the underprivileged of the society, including Bonifacio. But the Liga was short live and works under limited parameters. Rizal’s deportation to dapitan ceased the operation of the Liga. The Liga’s end marks the departure of the Katinpunan, a brotherhood of the masses founded by Bonifacio.

The decline of Liga started accusations and malicious statements comparing Rizal and Bonifacio. It resulted in confusion and distaste. It conditioned the mind of the society that the two were affected by class conflicts.

The fact that Rizal and Bonifacio never met, in a way they both ensured the success of one another. Without the novels of Rizal, Bonifacio would never have been inspired to found the Katipunan. Without Bonifacio’s struggle under the cruel Spaniards, Rizal’s dream of freedom would never have become reality. Rizal has influenced his ideals. Rizals struggle becomes Bonifacio’s own struggle, and identifies the birth of the Philippine revolution.

A good proof of Rizal’s influence on Bonifacio was the founding of the Katipunan. Instead of using the old Spanish spelling of letter “c”, Bonifacio used the Tagalog spelling of “k”, as imposed by Rizal on his earlier article in the newspaper La Solidaridad to increase the spirit of nationalism.

On the eve of Rizal’s execution, he wrote a farewell poem, originally untitled. The title “Mi Ultimo Adios” was a title given by his friend Mariano Ponce. Bonifacio was of the first one to give the Tagalog translation titled “Huling Paalam” with 28 stanzas. proving that Rizal and Bonifacio had an exemplary connections.

Alleged clash between Rizal and Bonifacio are only result of misconceptions and insufficient understanding of the history. It has been certain that beyond their differences of status, they were united into a dream of freedom from bondage of Spanish colonizers.

Related articles


  • Ronnie Pasigui and Danilo Hipolito Cabalu, Jose Rizal the Man and the Hero (An Anthology of Legacies and Controversies), C & E Publishing, INC,2006
  • Gregorio F. Zaide and Sonia M. Zaide, Jose Rizal Life, Works, and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist, and a national Hero,Second Edition, All nations Publishing Corporation, INC, 1994

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