TODAY, we remember the Filipino heroes that shaped our nation. We remember them, as what historians tell us, of their bravery that birthed our nation from the oppressive rule of our then colonial foes in the past. As time passes, we now include the “ordinary” heroes that we often see, and perhaps interacted, subjective to the interpretation from each of us.
It is good that every year we commemorate Heroes Day. As there remain a big number of undocumented, “unsung” heroes in the past that contributed to the liberation of our country as much as those we already knew in the school textbooks. These heroes obviously did not come from Luzon, but in their regional homelands.
We could have more heroes in Visayas and Mindanao that have done many great things, only that there was not much effort in retelling their stories to the modern generations. I believe, there are more undocumented brave men and women who fought as equally as those we have come to know for our country’s independence. And today, we remember them.
It is important that we remember heroism from time to time. Although the terms and essence are associated with fighting for a country’s liberty and engaging in battles, it also encompasses the selfless aspect of our humanity, something that people nowadays have blurred the lines of true service to the people and personal political agenda.
For the reality we have now, it is hard to distinguish whether an act is genuinely done without something in return, or only a stunt for the public to know - giving an impression and a “brand” for political, or even commercial purposes.
Now, there are those we thought that some names never deserve to be heroes, given the atrocities it committed to the nation and its people. And yet, out of surprise and disbelief, still a number of people see them as heroes in their own right. A complication that might trigger a wide divide for the whole country. Such is the case of former President Ferdinand Marcos who was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Again, we remember the undocumented and unsung true heroes of the past and in this modern time, who may not have born with privilege and power, and wealth, and who may never rest in a graveyard supposedly dedicated for heroes.
In this time filled with political correctness, varying voices that want to be heard, and world views anchored in different philosophical schools of thought, it is becoming hard to find a modern hero. And what’s in it becoming a hero when we are driven with a society fueled with economic interests and capitalist agenda; what’s in it if we cannot pay the bills and consumed with debts, and moving on with our lives knowing that we still have to find permanent shelters and give education to our children.
“We can be heroes, forever and ever, we can be heroes just for one day,” said David Bowie, and then we can later settle the bills to pay.