Wednesday, November 25, 2015


PHILIPPINE HISTORY BOOKS gave a hazy account of the circumstances leading to the death of Andres Bonifacio. He died not from the wounds by the very people he was fighting against but by his own people. History is written by those who benefit from the system fostered by economics, politics or by conflict or by a combination of all. But, do you really know who Andres Bonifacio was before his death?

Bonifacio came from a poor family and, like most Filipinos of that time, has no formal education. The Spanish colonizers deemed it right not to educate the natives for their own good so as to ensure their control of the economy by keeping the most desirable lands for themselves and to assure their places and privileges in society. Bonifacio learned to read and write in his own home, safe enough to be spied upon by anybody.

His industry and good common sense brought him to decent positions in an international trading house where no pure-blood Filipino had been. He taught himself bookkeeping which appeased his masters and learned foreign languages, aside from Chinese and Spanish, which gave him a rare privilege to hobnob foreign traders, businessmen, guests and dignitaries. He could understand and converse a little French and, probably too, of a little English.

He was known to keep many books, to include French and English titles, and from among these, he may have read of the French Revolution, the taking of the Bastille, of George Washington and the American Revolution. For low-caste Filipinos, access to books are hard to come by and, if ever they are fortunate enough to possess one, it would be indecipherable by virtue of their illiteracy. Possession of books not approved by authorities at that time subject one to severe punishment, public humiliation, dispossession or death.

Bonifacio was just an ordinary man yet he has leadership skills excellent enough to lead men of even greater standing than he, organize an effective resistance against the oppressors through many successes in armed engagements and gained a lot of adherents for the Katipunan because of his willingness to lead his men on the frontlines. He was a man of action and emphasized that by tearing down his personal document which gave him access to travel to his place of work and to exercise his occupation.

His renown and accomplishments have parallel similarity to that of Scotland's greatest hero – William Wallace. They both were of the common class, fought with a blade and went down in history succumbing to the intrigues, ambitions and betrayals perpetrated by the upper class of the very people that each championed. Bonifacio, together with his brothers, were murdered and his wife raped and history was written by those who benefited from this dark chapter.

On November 28, 29 and 30, 2015, the Warrior Pilgrimage Blog and the Camp Red Bushcraft and Survival Guild honors his memory as a true hero of the people by holding the first-ever BONIFACIO DAY SPECIAL BUSHCRAFT CAMP. It would be held at Camp Damazo, somewhere among the hidden jungles of the Babag Mountain Range, Cebu City. It is a three-day wilderness skills training akin to the Philippine Independence Bushcraft Camp.

This writer convenes this special bushcraft camp for the benefit of those that failed to participate the recent PIBC MMXV and that the long weekend which culminate to the commemoration of Bonifacio Day may well be a good excuse. For the first time, seven minors would be participating. It is a great privilege to impart real-world skills to young people considering that most of them are wired to the electric outlet resulting to that phenomenon called nature-deficit disorder. They would join twelve others.

First day would start with a long Discovery Hike from the assembly area in Guadalupe to Camp Damazo passing by grasslands, forests and jungle streams. Upon setting up of camp, lectures will immediately start. Introduction to Bushcraft, Ethical Bushcraft and Knife Care and Safety would take much of the day until dusk falls where a campfire would be lit up. Aljew Frasco (2013) and Mark Lepon (2015) will assist me during the instructions.

Second day shall be devoted for Survival Tool-Making, Shelter, Plant ID and Foraging, Firecraft and Outdoor Cooking. All, including the camp staff, shall experience the angst of a person in a survival situation by fasting and all shall take feast on the results of their Nocturnal Hunting. Campfire Yarns and Storytelling shall commence to enhance more camaraderie.

Third day will be an occasion for the observance of Bonifacio Day thru the singing of the national anthem and followed by pledging of allegiance to flag and country. Then the bushcraft tradition of the pageantry of the knives becomes the center of attraction called the Blade Porn and photo sessions follow. Official Camp Hawkeye will be Eli Bryn Tambiga (2012). Together with Christopher Ngosiok (2015), he will also attend to the chores as Camp Medic.

Clearing of camp follows and all proceed to the Lanipao Rainforest Resort for relaxing in its spring-fed swimming pools and to enjoy refreshments and that deserved lunch prepared by our Camp Fixer – Ernie Salomon (2011). Giving of Certificates of Training and the raffling of freebies to all participants shall be carried out by our Camp Ramrod – Jhurds Neo (2012) - during the socials.

The Knifemaker of Mandaue City and Seseblades of Pampanga supports this initiative by providing their blade products for use and for free giveaways. Paracord Manila will also give away their products. Paracord bracelets made by the different PIBC alumni will also be given away aside from the items prepared for by Jhurds Neo, the President of Camp Red.

An event T-shirt will be part of the minimal P800 registration fee paid by each participant aside from the certificate, transportation, real camping experience, a meal and the use of the amenities of the Lanipao Rainforest Resort. Finishing the Bonifacio Day Special Bushcraft Camp gives you the option to join Camp Red. You can either improve yourself further through self-practice or through participation of activities hosted by Camp Red. This bushcraft camp will open many possibilities for you that you have thought had not existed.

Andres Bonifacio did not die in vain. He united the different ethnic groups and gave a sense of a nation for all native inhabitants to aspire for and govern for themselves. His dreams of a Free Philippine Republic gave hope to all who have been subjected to the yoke of a harsh and cruel master. His dreams never died. It lived on. Dreams Never End.

Andres Bonifacio art from the Concerned Artists of the Philippines
Document done in LibreOffice 4.3 Writer

1 comment:

LAGATAW said...

Salute to your unrelenting dedication to sharing some of your knowledge and skills to those who are willing to learn. Keep spreading the truth in every thing big or small. History has always been fluid. It is up to the seeker of truth to discover hidden truths about the present.