From the very beginning, we have been introduced to all of our country’s heroes. Rizal, Bonifacio, Mabini and other honorable names had all been pinned down in our heads as people we should look up to. But is heroism only associated with bloodshed and death? Did it really end along with the last pages of our history books? Well, I think not. The way I see it, we are still not yet finished making history as majority of our today’s heroes are still on their way to get there.
Heroism comes in different forms and ways nowadays. It is not only limited to those who go to war or those who yearn to save the whole country from colonizers. Instead, just like any other thing, it starts small. Whenever the question “Sino ang mga bayani ngayon?” is raised to any Filipino, the immediate and usual answer would be the OFWs or the Overseas Filipino Workers. Aside from the fact that they have been unofficially tagged as our modern day heroes, the sacrifices they make and the hardwork they put into it cannot simply be questioned. Leaving their comfort zone and facing an entirely different place are the risks they are taking and that exemplifies their courage and determination, further making them a close counterpart to our stereotypical definition of a hero. With that a given, another form of heroism seen today takes place in those people who stand by their principles especially in the face of temptation. No matter what your position in this country may be, as long as you stand by what is right and put it into practice, you can also be a hero. Well, at least our President sees it as so since the names he mentioned in his latest SONA are prime examples of this form of heroism and even the people who are brave enough to join rallies just to fight for a cause. Those people proved that being a hero is to save others from imminent danger by showing them what is right while leading the way. Deviating from the norm and proving that the majority is wrong are fearless acts that require courage and strength, characteristics practiced by those belonging in this category. Moving on, heroes in our time can also be of the form of those normal employees helping us out in our day to day activities. Our parents who took care of us from the moment we were born, the street sweeper we saw on our way to school, the jeepney driver who brought us from building to building, professors who teach us everyday and even the janitor who passed by in Palma Hall can be considered as our unsung heroes. They each do their jobs in the best way they can without knowing that they actually contribute to the development of the society they belong with. This is in the way of filling in their roles in society extraordinarily well thus making each day easier to deal with for the other persons they interact with, like the students in this case. By helping others out without asking them to repay you with the same act of kindness is heroism in itself since you chose to be of service to others. There are a lot of other sides to heroism but listing them all down will definitely be a challenge because heroism can take infinitely many forms.
As you can see, heroism can be approached in a lot of different ways and these ways are not only confined to huge acts that can make you newspaper or history book worthy. Being a hero is by being of service to others without asking anything in return. It is inspiring them to become better persons and encouraging them to find the hero in themselves. This is definitely not an easy task especially now in this materialistic world. But I would like to believe that heroism is innate in each one of us, we are just waiting for the right occasion to let it out so we can take our place in this society. So while we are still on our way, my ending task for each one of us is to might as well start to appreciate the efforts done by those already there. Who knows, that might be the only push we were waiting for to finally get involved.
— Genevieve Kristine B. Mañalac