Bonifacio Flores Arevalo
|Don Bonifacio Arevalo y Flores|
|Born/Died||14 May 1850/13 December 1920|
|Parents||Justo Arevalo, Esperanza Flores-Arevalo|
|Spouses||Trinidad Arevalo, Benita Ocampo|
|Children||Juan Arevalo via Trinidad|
Bonifacio Flores Arevalo (14 May 1850 – 13 December 1920) was a Filipino ilustrado, dentist, sculptor, propagandist, and an ardent patron of music and theater. He was the treasurer of La Liga Filipina and the founder of the Sociedad Dental de Filipinas, which is now known as the Philippine Dental Association.
Family & Education
Bonifacio Flores Arevalo(I) first learned sculpting and then studied dentistry. He first learned sculpting at age seven when he was placed under the care of his uncle, Don Jose Arevalo (town captain of Biñan, Laguna in 1833), also known as "Capitan Cheng-Cheng" (a sculptor and a dentist) when his father Justo Arevalo (who was also a sculptor) died. Cheng-Cheng studied dentistry under a French dentist who was called Petri. Artistry seems to run in the family, as Capitan Cheng-Cheng's wife Eulalia Asuncion, was also a skilled woodcarver. He learned dentistry from his uncle. Later he trained at the San Juan De Dios Hospital(Philippines).
- Bonifacio (I) had a son with Trinidad, named Juan Arevalo (interred at Manila North Cemetery), who became part of the Philippine revolutionary movement in Cavite.
- Juan Arevalo had a son, with wife Maria Basa, named Bonifacio Basa Arevalo (II), who also became a dentist (interred at Manila North Cemetery).
- Bonifacio had a son with Carmen Ordax, named Bonfiacio Ordax Arevalo (III) who was a chemist (interred at The Manila North Cemetery).
- When Bonifacio's wife Trinidad died, he married Benita Ocampo (There is no information available regarding their offspring.)
*Note: There seems to be a confusion as to which Bonifacio Arevalo was buried at The Manila North Cemetery. To clarify, it is Bonifacio Basa Arevalo (II) and Bonifacio Ordax Arevalo (III).
- The burial site of Bonifacio Flores Arevalo (I) is unknown.
- The Arevalo ancestral house in Quiapo, Manila (where Doctor Jose P. Rizal, in his testimony in a trial, dined with Bonifacio Arevalo) was transferred to the Herrera family, after Don Juan Arevalo died and Maria Basa married a Herrera (whose family mausoleum is also located at The Manila North Cemetery). Maria Basa Herrera (formerly Maria Basa Arevalo) had children with her new husband. One of those children was Judge Jose Herrera.
Significance in Philippine History and Culture
- Jose Rizal's testimony on a trial:
- On November 20, 1896, there appeared before the Honorable Court and his Secretary, the accused, and after he had been admonished to tell the truth, declared:
- Jose Rizal Mercado y Alonso, of age, single, a physician, resident of Calamba, province of Laguna, had never before been indicted.
- Q: Do you know Bonifacio Arevalo?
- A: Yes, because one Sunday I ate dinner in his home, but since then, I did not see him again.
After Jose Rizal was deported to Dapitan, La Liga was disbanded and in August 1894 Arevalo joined a new association called the Cuerpo de Compromisarios, that chose to carry on the peaceful reforms rather than support a revolution or the radical organization (Katipunan) of Andres Bonifacio (former La Liga member) that wanted Philippine Revolution separation from the Spanish Empire. Nevertheless, they were still associated to the organization that when the arrests were made to capture the members and supporters of the Katipunan, Arevalo was one of captives and was imprisoned for nine months.
After his release in 1898, he was appointed to the Asamblea Consultiva together with C. Arellano, Pedro Paterno, and Isaac de Rios under the its aim of convincing the revolutionaries to support Spain's war against the Americans. He was designated colonel of the militia of the revolutionary army and detailed in Sampaloc, Manila, by General Emilio Aguinaldo. He had been serving as the intendente of the second zone of operations of the revolutionary army until the early part of the Philippine-American War when he was jailed by the American forces.
When he was released he decided to lead a quiet life and dedicated himself to his dental practice and other concerns such as business. Aside from practicing dentistry, he also engaged in cultural activities as a sculptor and a patron of the arts. He tried to engage in business by establishing a number of small Sari-sari stores or retail stores that would try to compete with the more established stores of Chinese merchants. This venture failed within a short time. Later, he intended to erect a textile factory patterned after the factories he saw in Japan. On September 27, 1909, Arevalo went to Japan to study the operation of a textile factory preparatory to the proposed acquisition of machinery for his planned establishment of a textile plant in the Philippines. The plan never materialized. In the same year he formed an organization of hatmakers and local weavers.
His skill in dentistry was passed to him by his foster parent, his uncle Don Jose Arevalo. In 1876, Bonifacio opened a dental clinic in Quiapo, Manila. In 1908, he founded the Sociedad Dental de Filipinas, now known as the Philippine Dental Association. He was one of the very few licensed dentists of Manila during that time.
As a sculptor, his works mainly fall into one of three categories: those with religious subjects or motifs; tipos del pais (country genre) on pieces depicting local customs, scenes, and occupations; and portraits. He mostly worked with wood. His favorite medium was the santol wood. He trained Mariano Madriñan of Paete, who gained fame through his participation in the Amsterdam Exposition in 1882 where his Mater Dolorosa won raves. Bonifacio Arevalo won the Gold Medal from the 1895 Exposición Regional de Filipinas, and in 1902 the Hanoi Exhibition Awards.
Music & Theater
As a patron of music and theater. In 1890 his lucrative practice of dentistry allowed him to save the Pasig Bandfrom being dissolved. He reorganized the group, bought new instruments, and hired Marcelino Asuncion, the former director of a Spanish military band, to lead it. It was later known as the "Banda Arevalo". It was one of the bands that performed for the Revolutionary Government of the First Philippine Republic in Malolos. It served as the official band of the Revolutionary Government in 1898. Arevalo also managed an Italian opera company during its tour in the country. As a patron of the theatre arts he organized an actor’s company and regularly staged productions of the then very popular moro-moro plays, like “Ibong Adarna,” “Jason at Medea,” and “Juan Tiñoso.” Some of the actors he trained, and who were truly in need of a benefactor such as himself, were Julio Mariano, Ildefonsa Alianza, Felisa Cleofas, and Pantaleon Aldana.
- Founding President of the Sociedad Dental de Filipinas
- 1902 - Hanoi Exhibition Awards
- 1895 - Gold Medal, Exposición Regional de Filipinas
- La Purisima Concepcion (The Immaculate Conception)
- San Rafael (St. Raphael)
- Cristo de Velasquez (Christ of Velasquez)
- Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)
- Calvario (Calvary)
- Bayad (Payment)
- Magmamais (Corn Vendor)
- Zapatero (The Cobbler)
- Mga Pulubi (Beggars)
- Bust of Governor General Ramon Blanco
- Bust of Cayetano Arellano
- Manuel, E.A. "Altar". In CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed., Vol. 4, 311-312. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.
- Gwekoh, Sol H. “Art-industries pioneer,” The Manila Times, May 18, 1966.
- Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana
- Quirino, Carlos. Who’s who Philippine History: Tahanan Books, 1995.