Anybody can become a hero

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By Benjie R. Pangan

At Close Range

Thursday, August 28, 2014


HERO OR HEEL. It is up to us to carve our destiny, our fate our future.

In whatever station life we like to be, it is our lookout, our concern; we either excel or become downtrodden and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

A Philippine Daily Inquirer defines hero as "a person who can make a positive difference in the lives of his or her loved ones, co-workers, customers and the community at large".

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The definition in the article of a hero is wide and encompassing in that it does not need sacrifice of lives to be one. The overseas Filipino workers are cited as modern-day heroes as they toil in other countries, send remittances home and help keep the country's economy afloat.

One need not be sikat to become a hero. The million or so Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) workers are stuck inside cubicles for long hours and yet they help spur the economy and strengthen linkages with 'listening' countries. The income they earn is substantial and feeds a lot of families and dependents.

This piece is a tribute to the traditional and historical heroes, as we perceived them to be, and their names are forever written in our history books and etched in our collective memory.

One such figure is the late martyred Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., whose self-abnegation is remarkable and legendary and, until his dying moments, declared that the Filipino is worth dying for. And so, die he did and his death is not worthless.

We have a surfeit of heroes, living and dead, persons we look up to for inspiration and encouragement. Our teachers are one, next to our parents. The soldiers and peacekeeping forces are another for they keep the world balance firm and steady.

We salute also our city leaders, they who keep the operations of our government going. We likewise laud the lowliest of employees, the street sweepers, who toil hard to make our surroundings clean.

* * *

It's still too early for the 2016 presidential elections but the systematic demolition job is focused on the leading contender, VP Jejomar Binay. All sorts of anomalies and dark secrets are thrown his way, the most serious and damaging is his involvement in the alleged overpricing of the Makati parking building. More irregularities dating back to his tenure as Makati mayor have been unearthed and are being scrutinized in the hope of pinning him down and discrediting the presidential bet, one considered unbeatable. Whom would the electorate choose in view of the various charges hurled at the frontrunner and favorite bet?

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 29, 2014.

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