A hero is technically someone who has given up a huge chunk of their joys for others’ sake. One great example would be the sacrifice of Jose Rizal wherein he has offered his life for the Philippines. However, in today’s time, this would be quite impossible, although some activists would quite assert that there are still some people who would be classified as heroes as they did what Rizal did, dying for our country, although with them, it might be that they might have died due to their fighting for certain political issues. With me, yes, this is fine, call it a hero if it’s a hero, but, for me, a greater hero would be those people who are giving up so much without us noticing. What do I mean by that?
Well, we could see a lot of these heroes I am talking about in our daily lives in the university. Like, this gardener of the School of Economics I see almost every day, maintaining the grass near the walkway students mindlessly step to whenever they want to take a shortcut going to their cars. I sometimes have a chat with this nice fellow whenever I park my bike at the end of the parking lot, and in these talks with him I find how much he endures for the sake of his family, like biking from Marikina to UP Diliman so that the fare he might be paying in jeepneys will just for his children’s fare. Imagine that long tiring bicycle ride, and then upon reaching UP, his work is still physically exhausting as it is a menial job. This may be one story out of a hundred of those working as employees to the university, but with this one vivid example we can see how we never get to realize what a hero lies in the embodiment of someone whom we just pass along and never notice. Imagine how our world will be like if we do not have these kind of people. They can just simply be criminals who may be earning as big as your parents do in such a simple illegal act, like selling drugs. And yet they choose the backbreaking menial work to support their families, and to serve the iskolar ng bayan.
This is, for me, a true hero. A hero who never gets credit for the sacrifices they’ve done, and yet they continue bearing it. I hope that everyone will set an eye to these heroes we may pass along, and even bother to greet them a “good morning” or just with a simple “hi.” These little things will not cost us anything, so why not give it a try to uplift the spirit of these simple heroes?
-Nadine D. Racelis (2012-28848)