Espiridiona “Nonay” Bonifacio was a pioneer `Katipunera’, one of the first female members of the Confederation established by her older brother Andres Bonifacio, together with older brother Ciriaco and Procopio Bonifacio. The women’s chapter of the Katipunan was limited only to wives, daughters and close relatives of Katipuneros. She joined the revolution as a teenager, going with either the group or her brothers wherever they went. Her older brothers were her de facto parents. The Bonifacio siblings were orphaned at an early age and Andres had to act as the family’s breadwinner. Nonay, as a teenager, was dependent on her brothers for guidance. Her three older brothers were all part of the armed struggle.
During the revolution, women were involved in gathering arms and ammunition. Espiridonia herself was able to accumulate arms by concealing them under her skirt to evade attention. In some instances, she hid bullets in the pots she cooked rice in and hid guns under her skirt. Espiridonia also took care of the wounded and sick Katipuneros and cooked for them.
In 1893, when she was seventeen years old, she married Teodoro Plata, one of the founders of the Katipunan. She was widowed when Plata was executed in Bagumbayan in 1896 when the Spaniards discovered the Katipunan. She died on May 26, 1956, in Paco, Manila, and was buried at the Manila South Cemetery.
Navarro, Atoy M. 1998. “History of Filipino Women in the Popular Movements (1896-1935).” Review of Women’s Studies 56-72. • a•
Ms. Joahnna Paula Corpuz