Why Can’t We Be Our Own Heroes?

Tying in with my latest article, I have come to question just how typical Pinoys have come to view their own heroes. Our history books teach us that Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are the heroes of our nation because they fought for the freedom of the Filipino people during times of oppression. The same history books also tell us that Ninoy Aquino was also a hero because he died fighting the Marcos regime which was allegedly oppressing the Filipino people back in the 70’s and 90’s. Granted, I’ve written quite a few articles about heroism already, but this time, I just need to ask:

Why can’t we be our own heroes?


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From the typical teleserye to the blockbuster movie, we almost always end up with one hero who does everything to solve the issues of the show or film. Often times, said hero will be portrayed by either an action star like Ramon Revilla Jr., Lito Lapid or (when he was still around) Fernando Poe Jr. or, alternatively, a young heartthrob like Gerald Anderson, John Lloyd Cruz or Coco Martin. These protagonists are all too often the modernization of the “Prince Charming” archetype of old fairy tales or folk tales who come around to save the day and solve all the problems of all the other characters.

What I find curious is that, in just about all of these media, it’s very rare to find the heroes working with all the other characters, both supporting, minor or even just the cannon fodder for the greater good. Often, it is shown that cops almost always arrive on the scene late and medical personnel not working to correct their mistakes such as when they switch babies during childbirth. More often than not, it’s almost always up to the hero to correct the wrongs of society with zero participation from all the other characters.

Now, considering that this is the kind of programming that filters into the various TV sets and movie screens of our countrymen, is it really any surprise that a lot of our people are not proactive in their respective communities? Indeed, it’s safe to say that majority of our people are still “holding out for a hero” and believe in the idea that a hero will come and save them. This is why time and time again, it becomes fairly easy for corrupt presidential candidates to win an election as long as he/she promises their voters that they will solve all the people’s problems and all the latter has to do is to sit back and enjoy watching their favorite escapist program.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it is high time that we put aside our bystander mindsets and work towards the salvation of not just ourselves and those close to us, but the rest of our community as well. Waiting for an alleged “hero” to come and save us is just a waste of time as he or she might not even exist. Let us instead be our own heroes and be active in saving the country by not littering (and thus preventing floods) and not accepting bribes from political candidates (ensuring competent and deserving leaders).

The time has come for the real heroes to step forward and make a difference in our beloved land…

11 Replies to “Why Can’t We Be Our Own Heroes?”

  1. whilst still asking for Divine Providence to guide us, we can still be authors of our own narrative, or we can wind up being guided along to someone else’s view of our slot in life and just go along, or we can end up being victimized in life’s journey to the extent that we seem to be always at the mercy of other people’s whims or dictates.
    it roughly corresponds to how societies work out:
    authoritarian (or authoritative), democratic, or anarchic.The first appeals because of its stability, the third appalls because of its chaotic violence and lack of direction, while it’s only the democratic middle way, with its emphasis on individual responsibility and appeals to egalitarianism that is the key to success.
    True heroism does not consist of murmuring slaves or hapless victims but doing the right thing at the right time to the right people, starting with ourselves.
    Duty must always come before pleasure.

  2. We can be Heroe’s, just for one day. Oh yes, we can be Heroe’s forever and ever ! We can be Heroe’s, just for one day…..

    RIP Mr. Bowie

  3. Mr. Grimwald…the “hero” is in you. Not, on Rizal, Bonifacio, or Aquino.

    Surviving life itself in the Philippines is heroic. Working to become what you want to be in life, is heroic. Providing for your family, with Aquino’s lousy economic programs is heroic.

    Restraining yourself, not to become a “suicide bomber”, to blow up these corrupt public
    official is heroic.

    Restraining yourself, not to become a “Juramentado” on these idiot public officials, who are making our life miserable in also heroic.

    Look upon yourself… the “Hero” is in you!!!

  4. We Failipinos cannot be our own heroes since we are too busy playing ‘the victims’ to the rest of the world, while we victimize our own country and one another: 1) destroying our agricultural land by turning them into concrete jungles of condominiums and shopping malls. 2) outshining one another in aristocracy and self-servingness in the Failippines and abroad.

  5. Even in the villain’s eyes, he is the hero. But in the Philippines, some want to be object for pittyness. I used to be like that person, but now my mind has the new perspective, it doesn’t came from school, from the media, but through cyberspace in communicating the people from advanced and equalitarian countries. We can’t rely the institution here, sadly.

    1. @Mystique Girl:

      Thanks for your comments…we OFW Filipinos, who came out from the “cave”; saw that there are great things outside the “cave”.

      Please spread the news by twitter and by word of mouth…what we are discussing here at GRP. If there are some concerned souls, who could translate our English to Pilipino. It would be better. Or better to learn English.

  6. Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done—that’s courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward.

  7. The practice of naming people “heroes” does far more harm than good. In the Philippines, it has been used as a tool for propaganda and brainwashing.

    For instance, the idea of Ninoy Aquino as a “hero” who sacrificed his life for the Philippines is nothing more than a fairytale. Ninoy Aquino was a traditional politician no different from the ones we see today. His primary motive for criticizing Marcos since he was a young senator was to build up his political career through constant media coverage. When he came back from exile in 1983, it was not because he wanted to shed his blood for the Filipinos, but because he knew there was a power struggle between Imelda Marcos, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Danding Cojuangco as to who would succeed Marcos, and he did not want to be left out of the running.

    After Aquino was shot at the airport, the oligarchs and their foreign backers saw an opportunity to package Ninoy into a martyr so they could fire up the emotions of the people against Marcos, and turn those emotions into political support for his widow Cory whom they were grooming to replace Marcos. That is how Ninoy Aquino became an instant “hero”. (The same formula is being used now with Jesse Robredo to benefit Leni Robredo, but it’s not working.)

    There are no heroes in the story of Marcos and Aquino. Both of them acted in their own interest.

    It is high time we Filipinos made a conscious decision not to let the Marcos-Aquino drama define the fate of our country anymore. Between these two, it is the yellow Aquino camp that poses a greater danger to our country today because of the damage caused by the monumental incompetence of the two Aquino presidencies in the last 30 years and because the yellows are now doing everything they can to unseat the one person who can rectify our situation, President Duterte.

    I support burying Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani not because I think Marcos is a hero, but because I believe burying him there will weaken the yellow camp’s ability to keep milking the Marcos saga for political gain. The Philippine government has already created enough avenues for Martial Law victims to obtain reparations. That is what the activists should be focusing on. Burying Marcos in LNMB serves a different, more practical purpose—to protect President Duterte by neutralizing the yellows.

    How long are we Filipinos going to let these noisy, unproductive parasites keep blocking real progress in our country? These yellows want the Marcos-Aquino soap opera to stay alive for a hundred more years so they can keep making political hay out of it. But that is not what we want. What we want is no more traffic, no more flooding, cheaper electricity, higher incomes, efficient government, peace and order, and most of all, no more pointless yellow drama that sucks away so much of our government officials’ time when there are many real problems waiting to be solved.

    Burying Marcos at LNMB will help bury the yellows’ capacity to destabilize this country, and that is good enough. Those who are against it on account of Martial Law atrocities should look beyond symbolism and sentimentality and focus instead on the tangible benefits that can come out of proceeding with the burial. The yellows used the corpse of Ninoy Aquino to build their political capital. Now the corpse of Ferdinand Marcos can be used to devalue that capital.

    The likes of Risa Hontiveros and Bam Aquino might say that “misguided” people like me come to this conclusion due to lack of adequate schooling on the horrors of Martial Law. But I had anti-Marcos propaganda coming out of my ears when I was growing up. It was always in the news. Just like all the campaigns to promote the Aquinos were everywhere. How come it didn’t work?

    Because you yellows always underestimate the intelligence of the Filipino. You always presume to know better. You don’t. Given access to the right information, Filipinos can correctly make up their own minds. That is why in the internet age, it is getting harder and harder for you to keep us fooled.

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