President Rodrigo Duterte on November 30, 2020, joined the nation in commemorating the 157th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, urging Filipinos to draw inspiration from the heroism of the Supremo (supreme leader) of the Katipunan amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) health crisis.

Top photo: REMEMBERING BONIFACIO. A teenager holding a wooden jungle bolo and clad in Katipunero attire poses like Andres Bonifacio at the Bonifacio monument near the Manila City Hall on Sunday. The country on Monday (Nov. 30, 2020) commemorates the 157th birth anniversary of Bonifacio, one of the greatest heroes of the Philippine revolution. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

In a taped speech, Duterte cited Bonifacio’s legacy of sparking the fires of a revolution that awakened national consciousness and served as the foundation of this Republic.

“His love of country which aroused our ancestors to fight for our freedom and secure our rightful place in the community of nations is very vital,” he said.

Duterte asked Filipinos to take a leaf from Bonifacio’s values that helped him stage actions that changed the course of history.

“Now, more than ever, as we overcome the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic, as we remember his life and deeds, may the values he fought for inspiring us all to become worthy heirs of a just, progressive and inclusive society that he envisioned more than a century ago,” he said.

He hopes that Bonifacio’s bravery in rebelling against Spain’s colonization would serve as an example for Filipinos in the fight towards a more progressive Philippines.

“Fueled by Bonifacio’s extraordinary courage and determination, let us surmount the many challenges ahead and secure a much better and brighter future for every Filipino,” he added.

In a separate statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar enjoined Filipinos to emulate Bonifacio’s nationalism and aspire to be modern heroes to overcome the country’s societal problems.

“Let us pay tribute to the Father of Philippine Revolution by remembering Gat Andres Bonifacio’s fervor, alongside our other heroes, in pursuit of our country’s emancipation from its colonizers,” he said.

Driven by Bonifacio’s thirst for independence, Andanar was optimistic that it would “propel” the nation towards justice, prosperity, tranquility, comfortable life for all Filipinos, and recovery.

“May his bravery and courage, that helped to awaken in our forefathers the desire for liberation and self-determination, be a source of inspiration to all Filipinos as well as be a source of strength as we continue to face societal ills and challenges such as poverty, insurgency, terrorism, corruption, illegal drugs, and recently, the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

Under Republic Act 2946, November 30 of every year is a regular holiday to commemorate Bonifacio’s birth anniversary.

Workers in the private sector are expected to get paid twice their regular daily wages on Bonifacio Day, a regular holiday, which falls on Monday this year. (Azer Parrocha, PNA)