Historians still debate over the exact dates and locations of the famous Cry of Bonifacio. This historic event was the day when 1,000 Katipuneros gathered together and tore up their cedulas in a collective gesture of defiance that marked the start of the Philippine Revolution.
Those who were influenced by the bestselling History of the Filipino People by Teodoro Agoncillo are convinced that Andres Bonifacio’s famous Cry of Balintawak did not take place in Balintawak but in so many kilometers away in Pugad Lawin near Balara as the gospel truth. However, for some historians like National Artist Nick Joaquin believed that the “Cry” took place at Balintawak in Caloocan.
The venue for this historic event, aside from Balintawak and Pugad Lawin, can also be in Kangkong, Bahay Toro, Pasong Tamo, etc., etc. Also, the date of the historic event is equally confusing. History books have presented varying dates claiming that the “Cry” occurred from the days on or between 20th to the 26th of August 1896.
According to Ambeth Ocampo, all these conflicting accounts are reminiscences of participants involved in the Philippine Revolution of 1896 written or orally transmitted in the 1920s and 1930s. These accounts came from first hand experiences of Pio Valenzuela, Gregoria de Jesus, Julio Nakpil, and Santiago Alvarez.
Perhaps this has resulted to several monuments erected in different sites to commemorate the Cry of Bonifacio.
The first known monument that was unveiled at the site where the “Cry of Balintawak” was believed to have taken place -Balintawak. The statue was given the titled “Ala-ala ng bayang Filipino sa mga Bayani ng ‘96”(Memorial of the Filipino Nation to the Heroes of ’96). This statute has been moved in front of Vinzons Hall in the University of the Philippines.
Another monument was erected in Caloocan. This bronze masterpiece was painstakingly researched by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino and it is popularly referred to as the Monumento.
A small plaza commemorating the Cry of Pugad Lawin stands in the middle of a crowded residential area in Barangay Toro, Project 8, Quezon City. This tableau depicting Katipuneros in their defiant act of tearing their cedulas was commissioned by National Artist Napoleon Abueva.
Regardless of this controversy, it remains clear from various first hand accounts that the gathering of men and women with the common desire to be free did take place. This Cry of Bonifacio is an outright symbol of the revolution against the Spanish oppressors.