MORE than the X-ray vision, superhuman strength and speed, it is Superman’s selflessness that makes him a hero for Mario Manatad.
The 6-year-old said he would like to grow up someday into a courageous person like the fictional character and set a good example for younger people.
But for now, the Grade 2 pupil will focus on keeping his younger sister Germelina safe until he grows up and finds his own Lois Lane.
“Parehas ni Superman ba, magprotect sa city, ako sad i-protect akong manghod sa mga palaaway (Just like how Superman keeps an eye on the city, I will also protect my sister from bullies),” he told SunStar Cebu.
Like Mario, Chelsea Marikit and Adrian Chris Cuyos, too, have their own heroes to look up to. But instead of capes and tight-fitting body suits, their heroes occasionally wear aprons and carry spatulas instead of tridents.
With both being the only children in their respective families, Chelsea, 8, and Adrian, 10, see their parents as not only their heroes, but their inspirations as well.
A Grade 3 pupil, Chelsea said it’s her mother Aissa’s compassion and support that encourage her to do well in school and to always be kind to others.
Growing up with so much affection, Chelsea said it’s her mom’s “power hugs” and “super kisses” that inspire her to become a teacher someday.
“Maybe there are kids who do not receive love at home like I do, that’s why when I become a teacher, I will treasure my students,” she said in Cebuano.
These words crept their way into Aissa’s heart, inspiring the most blinding smile a parent could give to her child.
“It warms me because when you talk about heroes, I don’t think many kids would choose their parents. It’s nice to know that you’re doing something right because your kid is looking up to you,” she said.
Grade 5 pupil Adrian, on the other hand, wants to become an engineer and build his parents a restaurant. He wants to share with more people the home-cooked meals his parents, Alexander and Glenda, sell in their small eatery in Barangay Busay, Cebu City.
“They take really good care of me and prepare the most delicious home-cooked meals I could ever ask for. It makes me really happy so I’m going to study hard and build that restaurant,” Adrian said.
Aside from being an engineer, Adrian also wants to become a policeman to help keep peace and order in the community.
The same calling for public service was shared by 10-year-old Carlo Sanchez, who looks up to firefighters.
The Grade 4 pupil said that his toy fire truck had always been his favorite among his collection since he was three, but it was after witnessing firefighters respond to an incident that Carlo’s interest grew.
It was the way the firefighters braved the inferno and how they handled well the whole scenario that made Carlo realize the value of putting others’ safety before oneself.
Grade 6 pupils Almairah Racman and Reina Paredes, on the other hand, look up to katipuneros Andres Bonifacio and Melchora Aquino, respectively.
Both said that their heroes’ values should not be forgotten by the younger generation, who are showing more interest in foreign culture rather than learning Philippine history.
“If we continue to pay more attention to what’s trending, the next generation may not have the chance to learn about the lives and works of our very own heroes. We could always idolize foreigners, but there are so many of our own that we could look up to, too,” Almairah said.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 27, 2017.
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