Silva, Bonifacio

Bonifacio (Pasyo) Solon Silva

(14-May-1900 –

“To the cockpit went the poor man to risk what little he had in order to make money without working, as well as the rich man who went to amuse himself with the money left over from his parties and the thanksgiving Masses; but at least the latter was staking his own money and his cock was trained with great care, perhaps with even greater care than his own son, his successor in the cockpit, so this was no ground for complaint.”  –Jose Rizal (Noli me Tangere)


Son of Benito Barcenas Silva and second wife Severa Solon Limbaga.

Cockfight aficionado and unofficial town layman circumciser;

Every day every summer vacation time, troops of primary to elementary-grade pupils would make a beeline to Bonifacio Silva’s house and asked to be circumcised; every Sunday the whole year before that, Bonifacio Silva himself also made a beeline to the sabungan to make holy St. Peter’s favorite bird; Carcar will always remember him for those two skills he shared with the town;[1]

An apocryphal anecdote about Pasyo had him going to confession. His previous confession was probably his wedding day, the story continues, so he had to recall hard how to start.  But soon “Bless me father for I have sinned, my last confession was…”  “Go on, when was your last,” goaded the priest in the confessional. “Easily 20 years, Father (actually the Visayan version was ‘Hayahay lang 20 ka tuig, ‘Dre).” By then the priest, also a cockfight enthusiast, had already recognized his voice, “Pasyo ikaw na (is that you?)” “Yes, Father.” “That talisayon of yours last Sunday was mismatched…(ten minutes of cockfight fare in the confessional)…Sigue,  see you on Sunday.”  “My penance, Father?” “Ah, okay, one Our Father.” Apocryphal? Maybe, we all know about the Seal of the Confessional but, come to think of it, layman Pasyo was not bound by that seal.

Bonifacio Silva died on his seat at the cockpit.  Bearing out Rizal’s keen social eye, Pasyo’s son, Cesar, took over the raising of fighting cocks.

Married to Anselma Embrado Cui with 2 children.

[1] Bonifacio Silva’s heritage: Nobody has counted how many boys he had circumcised in his lifetime; and on cockfighting, his godson, Manuel Bonifacio T. Yap, providentially born on Bonifacio Day, and who lived next door, became champion twice in a row in the annual Philippine International Cockfight Derby at the Araneta coliseum the first two years the format had been upped to 8 cocks from 6, even sweeping all 8 in 1970, the first year.

(page under construction)

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