Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bayani noon at ngayon

When I was kid, I had dreams of becoming a "hero". I dreamt of having powers, incredible strength and defeating the bad people who do bad things to others. Of course I also liked the costumes, the boots and the bodacious hair that go with it, thanks to The Justice League and our local hero Darna.

Hero in tagalog is Bayani. And since grade school our notion of Bayani were the likes of Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Tandang Sora, Emilio Jacinto, I think you know what I mean.

We know they’re BAYANI because one way or the other, they died fighting for our country—our kasarinlan or Independence. But, have you ever wondered when an ordinary person can be called a "bayani"? Because I do. Did Rizal become a hero instantly when he was shot in Bagumbayan (now Luneta correct me if I am wrong) or was it even before that?

Now, the new heroes or the bagong bayanis are Doctors, teachers, laborers who work abroad and leave their family behind. But do we have to leave the country to be counted as bayani? Or should one have to be killed in the line of duty before their act of heroism gets acknowledged?

Why do I ask these questions? Maybe because, Ligot invoked his right to self-incrimination and the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee can’t do anything about it. Maybe, because OFWs are stuck in Libya and the DFA aren’t doing a good enough job to help them out. Maybe because there are many people who still remain poor and many politicians are still corrupt as ever. Maybe because we just don’t care enough.

I would love to see one day people try to become hero in their own little way. Help people out in the streets. Teach small children. Read to the elderly and the sick. Give something valuable to the less fortunate. Keep the environment clean. Volunteer for a cause.

It was Gandhi who said “be the change you want to be.” So I’ll commit to doing it. I’ll be the change I want to be.

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