P150 commemorative coin for GomBurZa’s death anniv goes viral anew

June 16, 2023 - 7:33 PM
The popularly shared image of the three martyred priests from the National Library of the Philippines. (Photo sourced from the website of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines)

(Updated; June 17, 4:30 p.m.)  A picture of the commemorative coin of three martyred priests in the Spanish Colonial Era went viral anew on social media.

Albert Vincent Fontanares Barretto, a museum researcher at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), shared in February that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has released a P150 commemorative coin.

He accompanied his post with pictures of the limited, non-circulation coin, including a close-up photo of its face featuring the portraits of the GomBurZa.

The GomBurZa refers to three secular priests, Mariano Gomes (Gom), Jose Burgos (Bur), and Jacinto Zamora (Za), whose martyrdom led to the first stirrings of the historic Philippine Revolution.

National hero Jose Rizal dedicated his last novel “El Filibusterismo” to them.

Meanwhile, Barretto’s February post once again made rounds in June, when the comments section of the close-up photo of the commemorative coin blew up with quips and other comments.

The sole picture has amassed a whopping number of 5,200 likes and reactions, 132,000 shares, and several recently-written comments.

GomBurZa commemorative coin
Picture of the limited P150 commemorative coin released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as uploaded by Facebook user Albert Vincent Fontanares Barretto on Feb. 17, 2023 (albertbarretto1996/Facebook)

Some of the recent comments include:

“Kahit ako makikipag-away sa jeepney driver ‘pag ‘di ako sinuklian eh,” a Pinoy joked.

“LITERAL barya na lang talaga sasahurin mo,” commented another Facebook user with laughing emojis.

“Tatlong barya [na lang] sahod ng 8 hrs [eight hours],” wrote another Filipino.

“‘Pag nahulog ‘to sa inidoro, talo-talo na. Mag-Safeguard na lang,” another user commented, referring to an antibacterial soap brand.

It was in January when the BSP announced the availability of the limited commemorative, non-circulation, legal tender coins featuring the portraits of the GomBurZa.

It had the denomination of P150, marking the priests’ 150th death anniversary on Feb. 17, 2022.

According to the BSP, it releases commemorative coins “to honor a specific person or recognize the significance of a place or event that made a mark in the history of [the] Philippines.”

Most of these coins are minted from precious metals like gold and silver, making them extraordinary and more expensive.

Meanwhile, the GomBurZa were Filipino priests who were accused, tried and sentenced to death through garrote by the Spanish authorities on Feb. 17, 1872 for supposedly instigating the mutiny in Cavite despite doubtful evidence.

The Cavite Mutiny, which happened on Jan. 20, 1872, was an uprising of Filipino soldiers and laborers who revolted against the Spaniards for voiding their exemption from the payment of tributes.

The incident prompted massive arrests against those who openly campaigned and supported liberal ideas, even those not connected with the mutiny.

These included the GomBurZa, who has long voiced out unequal treatment towards secular Filipino clergy in favor of the Spanish friars.

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