Today, November 30, is the 146th birthday of Andres Bonifacio who founded the Katipunan and is considered as one of the Philippines’ greatest heroes. Act No. 2946, which was enacted by the Philippine Legislature in 1921, declared November 30 as Bonifacio Day and a legal holiday. What’s interesting is that the other Filipinos that have holidays, José Rizal on December 30, and Ninoy Aquino on August 21, are commemorated on their day of deaths, while Bonifacio is commemorated on his day of birth. Anybody who knows Philippine history should know why.
So, let’s now commemorate Bonifacio Day by visiting the famous Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City, popularly known as Monumento. This monument lies at the intersection of EDSA, MacArthur Highway, Rizal Avenue, and Samson Road. It is a prominent symbol of Caloocan City and is often a site for demonstrations and public rallies. However, the monument is dwarfed all around by various shopping malls. In addition, the LRT-1 line and construction of the MRT extension will enclose this public plaza, further diminishing its perceived importance.
The structure itself is composed of a 45-meter-high pylon topped with a winged statue. An elaborate sculpture of Bonifacio and other Katipuneros are found at the pedestal near the base. Moreover, the three martyred priests, Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora, are depicted on the other side of the monument from Bonifacio. The whole monument is the work of Guillermo Tolentino, one of the country’s National Artists for Visual Arts under the sculpture category (awarded in 1973). His design was chosen in a 1930 contest that called for a fitting tribute to Bonifacio, and the monument was unveiled in 1933.
Read this article by the Filipinas Heritage Library to learn more about the Bonifacio Monument.