3 February 2009
That's correct! No misprint in the title - Andres Bonifacio, Unang Pangulo ... An article posted at no less than the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) website makes this assertion regarding the matter:
"In July 1892, Bonifacio founded the Katipunan which launched the first anticolonial revolution in Asia in August 1896. He formed the first national government established by Aguinaldo from 1897 to 1899.
The Katagalugan government carried over the symbols and teachings of the Katipunan, which the people accepted as the revolutionary authority. This government was democratic in principle, orientation and form. At its inception, it was formed by representatives from the provinces where the Katipunan had a mass-based membership. It adopted as its national standard the Katipunan's red flag with a white sun with the Tagalog letter 'ka' in the center and commissioned Julio Nakpil to compose the national anthem, 'Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan.'
In defining 'Tagalog' as the term for all Filipinos, and 'Katagalugan' as the country's name in lieu of 'Filipinas' which had colonial origins, Bonifacio and the Katipunan sought to define a national identity.
The Katagalugan government commanded the loyalty of a significant portion of the population. It held territory, where it exercised the functions of a state. It had armed forces which fought for, and defended its existence. It had diplomatic component, which attempted to gain international recognition for the new nation.
The governments that succeeded Bonifacio's essentially republican Katagalugan government could only proceed from it. The 24 August 1896 government certainly had a large mass-based following than the 24 August 1897 entity that deposed it. But as a result of the power struggle in Cavite, Emilio Aguinaldo, although only one of many revolutionary generals, usurped President Andres Bonifacio's authority. Aguinaldo reorganized Bonifacio's Republika ng Katagalugan and renamed it Republica Filipina.
The first Filipino national government was established on 24 August 1896. Filipinos should observe the date as National Day, if the 1896 Revolution and the Katipunan are to have any worth at all. And Filipinos should recognize Andres Bonifacio not only the founder of the Katipunan and leader of the Revolution of 1896, but as the first Filipino president: the father of the nation and the founder of our democracy."
Here is the entire article about Andres Bonifacio being our first President: http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-culture-and-arts/articles-on-c-n-a/article.php?i=5&subcat=13
The NCCA is DEFINITELY not some fly-by-night organization. As stated earlier, it is the National Commission for Culture and the Arts created by Republic Act 7356. Among its mandates are to develop and promote Filipino national culture and arts and to preserve Filipino cultural heritage.
I'm off to UP Manila.