Bonifacio was born on November 30, 1863 in Tronzo, Tondo,
Manila. His parents were Santiago Bonifacio and Teodora
Catalina de Castro. He was named after St. Andrew the
Apostle who was the patron saint of Manila. Andres had
five siblings. They were Ciriaco, Procopio, Esperidiona,
Troadio and Maxima.
It was in the year 1877 when the family experienced so
much hardship. There was a cholera outbreak in the city
and a cattle disease almost wiped out the whole animal
population. As if it was not enough, a killer typhoon
hit their place. Life became harder for the poor like
His mother worked as a supervisor at a cigarette factory
in Meisic (now Chinatown) while his father was a porter
in the docks of Binondo. His father stopped working when
he contracted tuberculosis. To make matters worst, even
his mother contracted the disease. The years 1881-82
were one of the saddest times of their lives after their
mother and father died one after the other.
Andres was only 14 years old then. Being the eldest in
the brood, he stopped schooling. With his brothers and
sisters, they helped each other, earned a living by
making and selling paper fans and canes. Andres also
worked as a warehouse man/ clerk-messenger and sales
agent of rattan products. While working, he studied the
English language since already knew how to speak and
write in Spanish.
He bought books about The French Revolution by
Robiespiere, The Wandering Jew by Eugene Sue/ Les
Miserable by Victor Hugo, Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo by Dr. Jose Rizal, The Ruins of Palmyras,
the Holy Bible, International Law, Penal and Civil
Codes, Lives of the Presidents of the United States and
some of the novels Written by Alexander Dumas.
Monica was the first wife of Andres. She died of
leprosy. Andres fell in love again with Gregoria de
Jesus who hails from Kalookan.
Andres joined La Liga Filipina because of his ardent
admiration of Jose Rizal. When Rizal was exiled in
Dapitan, he believed that the time has come for the
Filipinos to take up arms to achieve the freedom they
were longing for.
He wrote the essay What The Fillipinos Should Know? (Ano
Ang Dapat Malaman ng mga Pilipino?) He said in the essay
that Filipinos would never get a fair treatment from
their Spanish colonizers.
Andres, together with Ladislao Diwa, Teodoro Plata and
Deodato Arellano founded the first triangle of the
Katipunan on July 7, 1892. He and Gregoria got married
in 1893 at the Binovndo Church barely a year after
Andres founded the Katipunan. Andres and Gregoria had a
son but died of smallpox.
Andres and his party scaled the mountains of San Mateo
and Montalban on April 12,1895 where they discovered the
Makarok and Pamitihan caves. They chose Pamitinan cave
as their initiation site for the would-be members of the
Andres called a meeting among Katipunan leaders at the
house of Apolonio Samson in Kangkong (Pugadlawin) on
August 21. There they talked about their planned revolt.
August 23,1896 would be remembered in history as the
First Cry of Balintawak. It was then when Andres and
other leaders of the Katipunan tore their cedulas and
shouted Long Live the Philippines! They vowed to fight
the Spaniards no matter what the cost.
Andres and Emilio Jacinto attacked a gunpowder
storehouse in San Juan del Monte (Pinaglabanan, San
Juan, Metro Manila). The Spanish guards retreated. It
emboldened Andres and his men. Andres, with Emilio,
Guillermo Masangkay, Aurelio Tolentino, Faustino Manalac,
Pedro Zabala and other Katipuneros triumphed over the
Meanwhile, a major conflict was brewing between the
Katipunan's Magdalo and Magdiwang groups in Cavite. They
sent an invitation to their supreme leader to unite the
two factions at the Imus Assemby. Nothing was achieved
though. Another meeting was called in Tejeros on March
Aguinaldo was elected president. Andres was chosen
minister of the interior. However, Daniel Tirona
questioned the credibility of Bonifacio because he does
not hold a law degree. Andres almost killed Tirona
because he could not bear the insults he hurled at him.
Andres refused to recognize the Aguinaldo government. He
founded a new government that questioned the results of
the Tejeros Convention. More than 40 Katipuneros signed
the military agreement on March 24.
Colonel Agapito Bonzon and Jose Ignacio Paua,
Aguinaldo's brother-in-law arrested Bonifacio and his
party on April 26,1897. They were brought to a military
court headed by General Mariano Noriel. They were
charged with treason and was sentenced to die. It was on
May 10,1897 when Andres and his brother Procopio were
brought to Mt. Buntis in Maragondon. Major Lazaro
Makapagal and his men killed them.
To this day, Filipinos honor Bonifacio as the true
"Father of the Philippine Revolution."