Celebs name their modern-day heroes

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Yesterday, the country celebrated Bonifacio Day. While many people saw this as an opportunity for a quick getaway, the celebrities Inquirer interviewed for this forum stressed that we shouldn’t forget to reflect on why we are observing the said holiday and all other holidays dedicated to our national heroes.

National heroes will remain relevant, they pointed out, because to this day, Filipinos continue to reap the fruits of their hard work and sacrifices; because the legacy and values they espoused continue to manifest in the people they look up to or idolize today
—may it be fellow artists, family or ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things.

Ken Chan

Ken Chan
They’re still relevant, no doubt. We wouldn’t have the life we have now if it weren’t for them. They fought for us; they died for us. Thus, we need to celebrate holidays dedicated to them.

Aside from my family, I look up to German “Kuya Germs” Moreno. He was humble despite his stature. He was the one who opened the doors of show biz for me. He taught me how to save my earnings and love my job.

Michael V
Commemorating our national heroes is already ingrained in our culture.

In terms of my craft, I consider Dolphy, Joey de Leon, Vic Sotto and The Bad Bananas (Christopher de Leon, Edgar Mortiz, Johnny Delgado, Jay Ilagan) as heroes.

They’re pillars who changed and revolutionized the art of comedy in the country. But Joey in particular is my idol in all aspects—career, personal life. If you find similarities in our career paths, that’s because I’m purposefully emulating him.

Jake Zyrus
I’m inspired and humbled by ordinary people doing heroic acts through simple but extraordinary ways. Some of them are teachers, commuters, enforcers—there are heroes from all walks of life. They do what they do, not to be popular, but because they have genuine intent to help others.

It’s still important to celebrate holidays commemorating national heroes. It’s a time for us to be reminded that all of us can be heroes, too, in our own small way … We don’t need to wait for opportunities to do something heroic; we should create them and make ourselves an inspiration to others.

Anne Curtis

Anne Curtis
In show biz or the arts, I look up to Audrey Hepburn, a doe-eyed brunette who made classic movies at a time when many stars were blonde. And like me, she was an advocate for Unicef.
But, I don’t want to look too far—both my parents are heroes because they’ve been such great examples to me. They taught me how to get through life. They taught me how to stand up for myself.

Noel Cabangon
National heroes will always be relevant. They are our lifetime reminders who keep us grounded and aware of who we are, and what we should be as Filipinos. Despite the changing norms, the values and principles they left us will remain beacons that will guide us, especially on paths of darkness.

I don’t have a particular person I consider my hero, but I look up to those who do simple heroic acts, especially ordinary people. They have immediate impact that makes you reflect.

Yasmien Kurdi

Yasmien Kurdi
We owe our independence and our identity as Filipinos to our national heroes. We have to make sure to celebrate and honor them. If there are people I would consider modern heroes, it would be our soldiers who continue to fight for our safety.

Aiza Seguerra
Yes, celebrating holidays dedicated to our national heroes is more relevant today, because it’s important for the people, especially the youth, to be reminded that despite all the world’s evils, there are still people who possess genuine concern for their fellowmen.

I look up to the people who, despite their hardships, remain true and uphold their oath to serve the people truthfully and sincerely, without personal motives.

Janine Gutierrez

Janine Gutierrez
Our national heroes are relevant now more than ever. It’s important to remember their sacrifices back in the day, so that the ills they fought against don’t happen again.

I consider my yaya my personal hero, because she has sacrificed so much for our and her families. She didn’t have a lot growing up. But because of her perseverance and hard work—
as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Singapore and the Middle East—her children and grandchildren are now living abroad. I believe that OFWs or domestic helpers like her should be honored.

Betong Sumaya
Unfortunately, many of us have already forgotten about our national heroes, so we need to look back at the things they did for us.

I see our soldiers as heroes. They fought in Marawi for a long time, and ultimately triumphed. Now, they continue to work at keeping all of us safe.

Aicelle Santos
Our soldiers in Marawi are heroes. They fought in Marawi and risked their lives, without knowing if they would even be able to make it back home. They’re selfless.

As an artist, my heroes are the Filipino musicians and actors who continue to champion original work and prove our talent and worth. Our national heroes shouldn’t be forgotten.

Jose Manalo
I look up to Tito, Vic and Joey, especially for us in “Eat Bulaga!” They’ve been in show biz for so long. They’re like second parents to us. We have learned a lot from them.

It’s important as Filipinos to pay tribute to our national heroes. But these days, I have noticed that they’re remembered—even on their own holidays—only in passing. So I hope we can reignite our sense of nationalism. We need to look back at their good deeds.

Dennis Trillo

Dennis Trillo

Aside from my father, I really admire Bob Marley. He spread good, positive vibes. He didn’t care about money; he was simply focused on being a tool to unite people through his music.

Sanya Lopez

Sanya Lopez

I look up to our teachers to whom we owe our education. They’re a big part of who we are right now.

Julie Anne San Jose

Julie Anne San Jose

My No. 1 hero is God. When we have problems or need something, we turn to Him, right? I’m also thankful for all the opportunities He has given me, my family and friends.

But I believe anyone can be a hero in his own little way. When you help another person, you can say, at the end of the day, that you’ve done something good. And that’s fulfilling.

Max Collins

Max Collins

I admire Martin Luther King Jr. because even though everything was against him, he stuck to his guns and fought for his beliefs and for the rights of people of color in the United States.

What he did resonated throughout the world and made a huge impact.

Of course, we should also honor our national heroes, who helped create the kind of life we’re living today.

Ruru Madrid

For me, it’s important that we pay tribute to our national heroes, to show how much they mean to us.

It doesn’t apply only to national heroes like Andres Bonifacio or Jose Rizal. We must also appreciate our own heroes, like our family, friends and God.

God is a hero to me. He guides me every day. When I feel sad, He lifts me up.

Of course, there are also the fans who give me inspiration every day. I believe the reason I get projects and awards is because they’re always there to support me.

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