Saturday, August 2, 2008

Like wild fire

There are many historical records in the archives of Spain that have remained unread by Filipino historians and among these are Masonic papers which Dr. Jaime Veneracion believes could pertain to the Katipunan. ( Dr. Veneracion is the resident historian of my daily radio program “Krus na Daan” where he guests every Wednesday.) Because the Katipunan was a secret organization using some Masonic rites and symbols, the Spanish military intelligence agents of those days may have been confused. There were about 30,000 katipuneros like Manuel and Domingo Abella, Leon Adia, Julian Aguila , Jose Alberto, Jose Antonio, Gregorio Barbaque, Anastacio Francisco, Teodoro Guerrero, to name only a few. How fascinating that there may be much more to the Katipunan than what we know today.

At the City of Manila, the foundation of the La Liga Filipina on 3 July 1892 was commemorated at a charming plaza that bears its name, at the corner of Rajah Matanda and Ilaya streets in Tondo. On the same site used to stand the house where Rizal’s mutual benefit society was founded with such noble goals as the unification of the archipelago into a vigorous , homogenous unit; the protection of the poor ; aid to members who have suffered losses by lending them capital for industry and agriculture; the introductionof new machines needed by the country and the establishment of shops, stores and other enterprises as sources of livelihood for Liga members. Today, we call these small and medium enterprises.
Among the La Liga Filipina members were Ambrosio Salvador, Agustin de la Rosa, Deodato Arellano, Bonifacio Arevalo, Macario Sakay, Artemio Ricarte, Timoteo Paez, Juan Zulueta and Isidoro Francisco. Not many people know that Andres Bonifacio and Apolinario Mabini had joined and both tried to reorganize the Liga after Rizal was summarily deported to Dapitan, barely four days after it was founded. .
It can be argued that the tragic turn of events convinced Andres Bonifacio about the futility of peaceful reforms and led him to establish the Katipunan the anniversary of which we celebrated yesterday the corner of El Cano and Claro M. Recto streets and at the Bonifacio Shrine behind City hall where a short re-enactment of its initiation rites was performed by the Barasoain Kalinangan Foundation. The Katipunan was not just a Tagalog affair, it spread like wild fire from the original eight of southern Luzon to the Ilocos, Abra, Cagayan and Batanes in the north and in the south to Mindoro, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros, Leyte, Samar, Surigao, Cotabato and Misamis.

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