Andres gave up his studies
to work full time to support his bothers and sisters. At first he
was a bodeguero (warehouse keeper) in a mosaic tile factory in Sta. Mesa in Sampaloc. Later
he got a job as a clerk. After that he bought tar and ties as an agent for the English firm of J.M.
Fleming & Company in Binondo.
In 1886 the Manila Railway
Company had plans to build a railroad line from Manila to
Dagupan, Pangasinan. They asked the Fleming company to help build the railroad. The
railroad tracks would cut across Tondo. The Fleming company bought many houses, including
the Bonifacio house in Tutuban, and knocked them down to make way for the railroad. Today,
over a hundred years later, the trains still run through the Tutuban railroad station, near the
place where Andres Bonifacio was born.
Andres was an honest
and hard worker. He tried his best to feed
and care for his brothers
and sisters. He helped his two brothers find jobs. Ciriaco became a train conductor and Procopio
worked for the Manila Railway Company.
Andres was always trying
to find ways to make money for his family. He had
penmanship and made attractive posters for companies such as clothes dealers. He had learned
to make rattan walking canes and paper fans from his father. He continued to make them with
his brothers and sisters in the evenings. By day their canes and fans were sold in the busy streets
of Manila. Andres also wove and sold dozens of bamboo hats. In his free time he acted on stage
with his brothers in moro-moro plays in Palomar, Tondo. Moro-moro plays were about the
fight between Muslims and Christians.
After five years, Bonifacio
left the Fleming company and joined a German firm named Carlos
Fressel & Company. He worked there as a bodeguero and supply clerk. He was paid twelve
pesos a month. By 1892 he was promoted to sales agent.
Bonifacio took great care
to dress neatly and well even though he couldn’t afford to have
stylish clothes. According to a close friend, Andres always wore an open coat with a matching
necktie and black hat. Rain or shine, he always carried an umbrella.