Who is or are hero/es? Ask anyone in the street and most responses you would get are commercialized answers such as Batman, Superman and more of the Marvel and DC Superheroes out there. Ask: “What makes one?” and in connection to the previous answer, they would say, superpowers and the superhero traits of bravery and righteousness.
Thankfully, in such answers, it is still possible for most of them to see heroes in their daily lives. Which part? The commonality in the how they believe in themselves to make a change or changes in the respective worlds they live in. They would all willingly sacrifice their own selves for the sake of others without expecting anything in return. Just in this alone, one can look up a lot of Filipinos who too sacrificed many things for the sake of the motherland, the Philippines. There are more similarities between these “commercial heroes” and these real-life Filipino heroes. Observing most superhero movies, a great likeness between them would be how they would all wear MASKS. They were UNKNOWN. People don’t know who they were and have not really realized what they have done for their worlds. It’s a little sad, right?
In the real world, particularly in the Philippines, it’s a good thing that somehow this sad situation is remedied. This is done through the efforts of the NGO, The Nameless. I was glad to be part of an activity wherein I was also able antidote such a setting. Though it was merely building an exhibit, it is nice knowing that I was able to make a place where they could be heard. That somehow or for a moment in the present, they were unmasked to reveal the heroes beneath. The heroes who were in their simple ways were able to touch others and make a difference. Their valiant ways which led others to be inspired to be of service and to uphold human rights and dignity.
Parts of these human rights were the right to life, the right to education, the freedom of speech and many more. Many of these (human rights) were violated during trying times, namely, the Martial Law. Many things transpired during those times that were so horrendous and terrifying, yet a lot of people don’t know about these things. That’s why; it was such an opportunity to be present in a forum wherein there are people present who know firsthand what had happened. It must’ve been painful to impart some things. It was admirable for them to give part of their busy lives to have others be open and aware of what has and is happening.
Congressman Ibarra III. Ms. Rose Trajano. Mr. Rodolfo Salas. A brave woman. Parts of them were shared that day. Stories where many could’ve learned. I have come to realize that I actually may have met heroes on the 9th of December.