Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I was inspired to go to Tutuban in Divisoria the other day to take some pictures and video of this monument of Andres Bonifacio on account of two readers. One was Elson T. Elizaga who writes for Mindanao Goldstar Daily; the other was Tony Donato a Filipino history researcher and artist who lives in California.

Firstly, Elson emailed me a couple of months ago and mentioned about an article he was writing in which he cited a local Historical and Cultural Commission(HISCCOM) member, Paulita Roa, who claims that the statue of a man holding a bolo and a flag in Divisoria is not that of the plebian hero Andres Bonifacio, but “a tribute to the local revolutionaries who died during the Battle of Agusan Hill” on May 14, 1900.

In addition, Roa said "the bones of the revolutionaries are buried among the rocks that line below the statue”. She said “the inscription ‘El Pueblo A Sus Heroes’ at the foot of the monument is proof that the statue is not that of Bonifacio but an artist interpretation of the fallen Kagay-anon heroes” during the Philippine-American War.

Elson then wrote in his article that "Roa is correct about the bones of the heroes, but
is mistaken about the monument. The first thing she should have done is visit the park of the municipality of Tagoloan – the hometown of her boss, vice-mayor Vicente Y. Emano, because a statue similar to ours is present there, placed beside that of Dr. Jose Rizal."

The only thing that baffles me in this entire issue is where exactly in Divisoria is this monument of Bonifacio they were referring to located? The only significant monument of Bonifacio that I know of in Divisoria is this one in Tutuban which is near where Bonifacio was born.

Could they be referring to this monument instead (click here) -- created by sculptor Ramon Martinez to commemorate the Cry of Balintawak. It was unveiled on September 3, 1911, in Balintawak, but it has since been transferred in front of Vizon's Hall in the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus.

Perhaps, another fellow blogger may be able to shine a light on this matter and direct us to the exact location of this monument in question.

* * *

UPDATE: 07/02/08

Elson T. Elizaga had just informed me of the following:

1) The term "divisoria" refers to a rectangular area in Cagayan de Oro that was used during Spanish times as a means to stop the spread of fire. It was originally an empty lot, but today it's a park composed of four sections with one statue each: Rizal, Borja, Bonifacio, and Magsaysay. The entire divisoria is also called Golden Friendship Park.

2) As for the exact location of the Bonifacio monument in Cagayan de Oro, click here.

3) As for information on Borja, click here.

Thank you, Elson!

* * *

Now, the other reader, Tony Donato, has been posting lengthy comments lately on several history-related articles I had previously posted. I must admit that his thoughts and opinions were based on impressive research efforts. Wish I have his resources.

The following is one he had recently posted:

Salamat sa pag-alala at sa iyong nasaliksik na mga detaliya sa buhay ni Gat Andres Bonifacio ang Bayani ng Maynila, ang lugar ng Tondo at Katipunan.

When I was growing up in Binondo (Binundok), I used to take photos of historical houses & places as reference for my own curiosity. I came across "Meisic" (I asked my father, who was a history buff himself, the source of this name, I was told that, it's because of the number of Chinese who lived in that place MaINSIK), area surrounding calle Reina Regente and calle Soler, which was the border of Binundok & Tondo district.

In Meisic, there was or might still be the "Jose Abad Santos High School" on it. But during Bonifacio's time Meisic, was a "Quartelles de Guardia Civil" (Spanish Civil Guards Outpost), until the fall of Manila to the Americans, which they took over, then passed it on to the "Manila Police Department" (was still there during the "60s).

To be more detailed Bonifacio was from Tondo, but always hang around with Emilio Jacinto who lived in “Calle Trozo” a place closed to a river where logs like narra, molave, ect...coming from Tanay, Laguna, & other places, were floating to be used for building houses.

The house where Katipunan was founded, was destroyed by fire on calle Azcarraga, near Divisoria. Calle Azcarraga (now Claro Recto) is a shape of a bow, from Divisoria going towards Malacanan. The Malacanan part down to Reina Regente was called "Calle Yriz" & from Reina Regente to Divisoria was called "Calle Azcarraga".

The leaking of the secret "Filibusteros" (subversive) society was because of Padre Mariano Gil, fria-curate of Tondo.

In the first week of August 1896 he dispatched a messenger to the naval commander of Manila to inform him of the existence of Katipunan in Tondo. The commander forward the information to the governor-general, who lost no time in dismissing it as a figment of the imagination. Father Gil then went to the military governor of Manila to try his luck.

Father Gil was nursing his wounded pride when two Katipuneros working in "Diario de Manila", Teodoro Patinio & Apolinario de la Cruz had a quarrel and Patinio probably out of spite, let out the secrets of the Katipunan to his sister. Patinio's sister a devout catholic, was so oppressed with fear, she informed Sor Teresa, the "Madre Portera" of the orphanage were she was an inmate. Sor Teresa advised Patinio to confess to the "Cura Paroco", Mariano Gil.

At six in the afternoon of August 19, 1896, Patinio repaired to the Tondo church to see Father Gil the revelation that there were 1,500 armed men in San Mateo ready to attack the Spaniards. The proofs of existence of the secret society was obtained in the printing shop of the "Diario de Manila". There Katipunan receipts were being printed secretly and daggers were being manufactured between noon and 1:00 pm, during "siesta".

Father Gil sent a message to Lt. Jose Cortez of "Guardia Veterana de Manila", what Patinio had confided to him. This was not enough, Father Gil rushed to the printing shop of the "Diario de Manila" and accompanied by the owner, searched for and found the evidence. Teodoro Patinio was shown the evidence and pronounced them real. With Lt. Olegario Diaz singing paeans to the efficiency and sharpness of the "Guardia Veterana de Manila", the newspapers next day published the discovery of the Katipunan.

Just some detailed additional info, for the interest of our kababayan, specially the youth who were given wrong information and forced to believe by the colonizers, in order to cover their faults, crimes and greed. Tulad ng aking kinathang tulang epikong "Vivora" naaayon sa buhay ni Artemio Ricarte sa huling yugto....

"Bayani ka lamang kung ikaw'y panalo,
ngunit isang sukab pag ikaw ay talo;
kaya't kapalara'y nagdidikta rito
kung ikaw sa bansa'y bayani o lilo."

I recommend visiting Ka Tony Donato's Banlaw Kasaysayan site to read more of his writings.

The video clip below shows the Tutuban Center area in which the monument in honor of Bonifacio is located.


* * * *

Related links:

Gat Andres Bonifacio

Bonifacio and the Cry of Balintawak

Bonifacio Day in Manila

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!


Labels: , ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 11:33 AM


Blogger pusa said...

hmmm i'm trying to remeber another andres bonifacio around divisoria that i saw when i was still young, definitely not in the tutuban area but somewhere in ylaya, ithink... but it seems that staute is gone or i am refering to a different statue? hmmmm gotta ask my mother

July 01, 2008 1:38 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Please do, Agnes. I'd truly appreciate it :)

July 01, 2008 1:57 PM  

Blogger the donG said...

i've seen these statues a number of times. but i never had the time to know who it is and what it signifies.

now from your post it becomes interesting.

July 01, 2008 2:50 PM  

Blogger tony said...

Hi Eric,

Thanks for featuring my blog about Gat Andres Bonifacio. There's a lot of confusion on The Supremo's birth place, for he was "erased" by the Illustrados & the "Aquinaldo Republic" in the "Tayo-tayo & Sila-sila Revolution"

# What I know was that The Supremo was born in one of the houses located opposite the present Tutuban Station, which latter was burn.
# Bonifacio's parents; Santiago & Catalina de Castro brought their child to Fr. Saturnino Buntan with Vicente Molina as godfather for christening at Tondo church.
# He worked for Fresell & Company, a German commercial firm at 450 Nueva St. near Binondo.
# Bonifacio organized the Katipunan at 314 Azcarraga St, Tondo (this house was burned during WW II and it was near a slaughter house we used to call "Matadero")
# Andres & Gregoria de Jesus got merried at Binondo church. Restituto Javier & his wife Benita Rodriquez were the sponsors.
# As a Katipunero, he took his wife at Oroguieta St., Sta. Cruz, the house of their sponsors where they were wed again this time, with the rites accordance to the Katipunan.
# Bonifacio also stayed at 35 Lavezres St., San Nicolas (Pio Valenzuela's home), where The Katipunan news organ was being edited & printed.
# Bonifacio, wanted by the Guardia Civil suspecting were Kalayaan was being printed. He & Emilio Jacinto took refuge at Isabelo Donato's house (close friend of the Supremo's brother Procopio) on Soler St. Stayed for 3 days & as token of appreciation left his Bolo to Donato (for this might cause more trouble to carry with the guardia civils on the street) and brought his revolver. Amparo Donato the wife of Isabelo gave Bonifacio & Jacinto her dress. Both dressed as "matronas" they passed the sentries & went on. (from "Edsa-Ortigas Village Voice article, two parts Sept. 1995 "The First Free Filipino).

Eric I hope you'll find these notes interesting.

Once again thanks so much,
ka tony donato

July 01, 2008 11:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

With a bit of insight, these historical monuments become even more interesting, donG :)

July 02, 2008 7:04 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Studying our local history can truly be a daunting experience, Ka Tony -- not knowing for sure the authors' resources/motives, but we're obliged to absorb them anyway on account of school requirements.

Nonetheless, kudos to history enthusiasts like you who untiringly share your "finds." Hopefully, you will get a chance to publish your book for the benefit of our youths.

Once again, thank you for these information on Bonifacio.

July 02, 2008 7:10 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Indeed, divisoria is the Spanish term for a divider or to divide.

But Cagayan de Oro's Divisoria Plaza is articulated into 5, not 4 sections. The one not mentioned is the Amphitheatre section which is closest to Cagayan River.

BTW, the most popular section is the Bonifacio section because the youth of yesterday and today typically gathers in this section, calling themselves Plazans.

Having once lived along Divisoria, before becoming parks, two sections of the plaza then served as the town's market. In a way then reminiscent of Manila's Divisoria.

July 02, 2008 10:16 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

This blog post reveals how Manila-centric I am, Amadeo. Mention the word "divisoria" and what immediately comes to mind is the famous Divisoria here in Manila. Never had I associated the word for its literal meaning.

Thank you for the additional insight on Cagayan de Oro's Divisoria Plaza.

Boy, have I got a new trivia question for local friends next time we gather around for lunch or dinner .. hehehe.

July 02, 2008 10:36 AM  

Blogger elson said...

Amadeo is correct about the five sections of Cagayan de Oro divisoria.

September 07, 2008 10:24 AM  

Anonymous Shie said...

i should be doing a paper about Bonifacio, but i can't help browsing through sites and blogs like yours [Senor Enrique; as well as Ka Tony's]! ;]

March 20, 2009 2:14 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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