Andres Bonifacio Monument

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The Andres Bonifacio Monument is a sculpture of note dedicated to the lifework of Gat. Andres Bonifacio, a Philippine hero known for his role in inciting and leading the revolutionary war against the Spanish colonizers. It was created by Guillermo E. Tolentino, one of the National Artists of the Philippines.[1] Construction began in 1930 and was completed in 1933.

Location

Before the 1930s, the site where the monument now stands was a large open area. With the monument now standing at the end of the Avenida and the beginning of the Manila North Road, the structure greets any visitor coming from the north. The road heading west of the monument is Samson Road, named after Apolonio Samson, the Katipunero who was the cabeza of Barrio Pugad Lawin Balintawak, where the Cry of Pugad Lawin took place.[1]

History

Before the construction of the monument, no commemorative structure was deemed impressive enough to honor the "Great Plebeian," as Bonifacio was called. All that existed were busts of the hero. A monument which used to stand at what is now the Cloverleaf, an interchange of the Manila North Expressway, was not in honor of Bonifacio but dedicated to the heroes of 1896. The original plaque read: “A los Heroes de 1896.” That plaque is now lost and replaced with “Bonifacio” and the statue was relocated to the front of the Vinzons Hall at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

Though Bonifacio had been long recognized as one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines, it was only in 1921 when he was given formal recognition. On February 9 of that year the Philippine legislature enacted Act No. 2946 proclaiming November 30, his birthday, as Araw ni Bonifacio and observing it as a national holiday.[1]

The move to build a national monument for Andres Bonifacio was led by former Katipuneros, particularly Bonifacio’s friend and comrade Guillermo Masangkay. On February 23, 1918, Act No. 2760 was passed by the Philippine Legislature approving the erection of a national monument in memory of Andres Bonifacio. On 29 August 1930, a jury convened to select the best design for a monument. Headed by architect Andres Luna de San Pedro, the group also included   sculptor Vicente Francisco and architect Tomas Mapua. Painter and director of the UP College of Fine Arts Fabian dela Rosa was supposed to preside in the deliberation but later declined to ensure fairness when he learned that one of his colleagues from his college was one of the competitors.[1]

The cornerstone for the monument was ceremonially laid the year before the start of the construction (1929) by Aurora Quezon, the wife of then Senate President Manuel L. Quezon.[2]

The chosen design was Guillermo Tolentino's “Batang Elias,” which consists of a 45-foot pylon topped by the winged figure of victory. At its base is a platform-like structure with figures symbolizing the causes of the Philippine Revolution. The pylon is composed of five parts which correspond to the five aspects of the Katipunan, or Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK). The monument stands on a base in the shape of an octagon whose eight sides symbolize the first eight provinces placed under martial law for revolting against Spain, which are also represented by the eight rays on the Philippine flag. Three steps lead to the monument, representing the three centuries of Spanish rule. The base, pedestal, obelisk and pylon are finished with granite from Germany.[2]

Tolentino had a budget of P125,000 (equivalent to P40 million in today's money). Construction of the monument took three years with the help of a team of artists, including Anastacio Caedo and Francesco Riccardo Monti.[2]

The monument has become Caloocan City's most famous landmark.[1]

Reference

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Andres Bonifacio Monument.The Manila Times, 1898. Accessed on 7 October 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Andres Bonifacio Monument. Malacanan Palace Presidential Museum & Library. Accessed on 21 May 2021.

Citation

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