BLIP with me


be your own hero

I remember a lot of things about my grade school years and one in particular are usual questions and assignments on who our favorite heroes are.

Growing up in Laguna, our usual answers, including me is Dr. Jose Rizal. Other than the fact that every town has a monument of him and he is our national hero, coming from the same province, I believe me and my classmates felt a special "connection" with him.

But not to brag or anything, I had the idea even as a child that our freedom is not all about Rizal, nor is he the only person responsible for it. When I was about 8 or 9, a family friend gave my mom three books about heroes for us to read maybe. And so I learned about other heroes of the time and their stories, Bonifacio, Mabini, the Silangs, del Pilars, Lunas and Aguinaldo (although I later doubted his heroism due to stories pointing that he actually ordered Bonifacio's execution). It is not all about Jose Rizal.

Years later, as our family moved to Manila for our studies, I learned about heroes based on streets. Trust me it is a good history practice. My first year at the University of Santo Tomas taught me that Arsenio Lacson is a former Manila mayor, and all the nearby streets in the Espana area have something to do with Rizal (Dapitan, Dimasalang, Laong Laan, etc.).

Lately, husband and wife tandem Ninoy and Cory Aquino are our modern day heroes.

If you asked me today who my favorite hero is, I have none.

This nation cannot be changed by one person alone. We all have to do our parts, because at the end of it all, we are our own "heroes". And so having a favorite hero, to me, is disrespect to others who in their own little ways help defend our country. Bonifacio never went to battle by himself (as far as my history knowledge is concerned), he has Katipuneros. And we ourselves had declared that Ninoy wasn't alone when he said "Hindi Ka Nag-iisa".

Today, one of the most obvious ways to be our own heroes is to register and vote for the 2010 Elections and stand by it. The responsibility doesn't end when you cast your vote on election day but continues even after it, when new leaders take their posts and ask for the people's support and cooperation.

I encourage others to talk to our leaders (with the new technology, how hard can it be) and let them know what we think. Amidst the corruption and scandals and immorality in the government, there are those who are there because they simply want to serve the people.

I am deeply honored whenever I am in the presence of a descendant of a national hero, and I can never imagine how proud they are of their ancestors. I believe that much as they can, live not to tarnish their honorable name that will go down in history as a heroic family.

What happens then to corrupt leaders?

I pity their poor children and children of their grandchildrens, for their name shall always be synonymous to tyranny and corruption.

So change and be your own hero, while you can. :-)

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