Is Andres Bonifacio the first Philippine president?

There are those who believe Andres Bonifacio had another role in Philippine history — as the country's first president.

The bid to recognize Bonifacio as the first president has now become symbolic in light of recent events.

The belief that Bonifacio should be recognized as the first President of the Philippines is based on his position as Supremo of the Katipunan revolutionary government from 1896 to 1897.

He was assassinated in May 1897 by the men of Emilio Aguinaldo, who is currently the officially recognized first president of the country.

Aguinaldo won in a snap election during the Tejeros Convention between the Magdiwang and Magdalo — two rival factions of the Katipunan.

On August 24, 1896, Andres Bonifacio convened the Kataastaasang Kapulungan (Supreme Council), declaring an armed revolution against Spain.

The Katipunan, under Bonifacio’s leadership, ceased being a secret society and was forced to come out in the open as a revolutionary government with its own laws, bureaucratic structure and elective leadership. It was the intention of Bonifacio to have the Katipunan govern the whole Philippines after the overthrow of Spanish rule

Bonifacio’s presidency was acknowledged in contemporary Spanish publication La Ilusraction Española y America in its February 8, 1897 issue, accompanied by a portrait of Bonifacio in a black suit and white tie, with the caption 'Andres Bonifacio/Titulado (Presidente) de la Republica Tagala.

Bonifacio referred to the country as Haring Bayang Katagalugan ("Sovereign Tagalog Nation"), historian Milagros C. Guerrero wrote in "Reform and Revolution, Kasaysayan: The History of the Filipino People 5."

In letters addressed to Emilio Jacinto in 1897, Bonifacio's titles and designations included Ang Kataastaasang Pangulo and Pangulo ng Haring Bayang Katalugan—his concept of the Philippine nation.

The campaign for Bonifacio’s recognition will take many forms with a focus on raising awareness among the youth.

Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution
Bonifacio's Undead Legacy
Bonifacio, the Katipunan and the Independence
Si Maypagasa at ang Bayang Malaya
Bonifacio reveals fervor through his writings

Author: Paul Michael Camania Jaramillo

Student| Youth Advocate | Leader | Environmental Advocate | Writer | Blogger | RH Advocate

I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious. — Albert Einstein
I write about darkness because I want to show the light — Jose Rizal

He has been involved in different advocacy and defending human rights. As a blogger, writer, netizen and an advocate, he has found focus & interest on sexuality & reproductive health, deaf rights & legal access and youth development, leadership, environment advocacy, issues in the nation and in the world, religion, culture and human rights At the age of 14, he has fully embraced the call of leadership.

He was a Lussoc National High School 'The Sring' and 'Ang Batis' news editor. A radical visionary leader, he has led organizations of the Supreme Student Government, Science Club, Youth for Environment in Schools Organization, Interact Club, Math Club, Philippine National Red Cross and other organizations in their institution. He was also awarded as a distinguished student leader as a former officer of the Supreme Student Government and received President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Campus Journalism Award. He attended two National Leadership Training for the Student Government Officers, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Youth for Environment Summer Camp, Science Leaders Congress and Schools Press Conference. Joined and won in the several contests from their school to the national level.

He is an organist and an officer of the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo).

Paul is a BS Accountancy student at the Northwestern University. He works for CBAA Biznews and  The Blog of Innocence: SilentVoice Points. He is the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Ilocos Chairperson. CEGP is the oldest and broadest intercollegiate alliance of student publications in the Asia-Pacific.

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