A day to remember our heroes

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IT is another long weekend, and this time, Monday is a non-working holiday because the country is celebrating National Heroes Day, a remembrance not only of prominent national heroes, but also of unknown Filipino heroes from the past and those currently living. This day has been celebrated since October 1931, pursuant to Republic Act 3827.

I would like to encourage everyone to remember those people who have done so much for our country, including ordinary Filipinos who now offer their time, skills, efforts and lives for freedom, justice and independence. The law that started today’s celebration does not specify any hero to be remembered. It is, therefore, a beautiful opportunity for us Filipinos to celebrate the bravery of all Philippine heroes who have fought (and are fighting) for our country and our freedoms.

For example, in 1943 President Jose P. Laurel chose to pay tribute to the Filipino and American forces who were defeated in Bataan and also those in Corregidor. In 1945 President Sergio Osmeña remembered the town of Capas, Tarlac, not only as a prison camp but also as a “symbol of spiritual resistance, a symbol of faith”.

We might even take it a little further and use this day to reflect upon our own lives and recognize our personal heroes. It may be our parents, teachers, relatives or any other influential figure in our lives. It wouldn’t hurt to offer prayers for our heroes who have passed on or to send those who are living a personal message of appreciation.

Interestingly, the Malacañan Palace web site (www.malacanang.gov.ph) have made available printable “trading cards” featuring the commanders of the Philippine Revolution. These cards are supposed to be used as educational guides, as they contain pertinent information about the featured commanders. What’s nice about them is that one can have some knowledge about these heroes in one quick glance. Everybody knows that many Filipino heroes arose from the ranks of these revolutionaries.

The site features the following commanders: Gen. Antonio Luna, Gen. Macario Sakay, Gen. Artemio Ricarte, Maj. Manuel Quezon, Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo, Gen. Manuel Tinio, Gen. Edilberto Evangelista, Gen. Mariano Trias, Gen. Emiliano Riego de Dios, Gen. Miguel Malvar, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Gen. Pantaleon Garcia, Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, Gen. Pio del Pilar, Gen. Jose Ignacio Paua, Gen. Santiago Alvarez, Gen. Isidro Torres, Gen. Tomas Mascardo, Gen. Juan Cailles, Gen. Venancio Concepcion, Gen. Licerio Geronimo and Gen. Vito Belarmino.

I hope that, reflecting upon this day, we all realize that the Filipino race is a courageous one. The Filipino, as it were, is hero-material; ever ready to take up arms (in whatever form it may be) and fight for country and freedom. While there are no featured women fighters in the online space I mentioned, we all know that there are countless Filipino women who have shown, and are showing, utmost bravery in the face of challenges and adversity. All this is certainly worth celebrating.

Mabuhay ang matatapang na bayani ng bayan!

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ON August 20 the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) National Grand Derby was held at the Philippine Racing Club Inc. in Naic, Cavite. This particular race was exclusive to PCSO Maiden Race Runners who have been participating for the last three to four years. I would like to extend warm congratulations to the winners: First place—Son Also Rises (Val R. Dilema); Second place—Pinagtipunan (J.B. Hernandez); Third place —Salt and Pepper (M.M. Gonzales); and Fourth place—Great Wall (A.P. Asuncion).



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