It’s so easy to
be a hero today
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The Philippines observes today the “Araw ng Kagitingan,” or Day of Valor. It used to be called Bataan Day, the infamous moment in our history when our country’s last bastion of freedom fell to the invading Japanese troops, who then made our soldiers undergo the torture of walking hundreds of kilometers under rain, sun and wind, beaten and humiliated, and also unfed, so that many fell and died along the way.
Those soldiers are now considered among the many heroes the Second World War brought out. They andtheir other counterparts exhibited the same heroic resolve that their ancestors had also done during the time when our country was under the yoke of Spain. Struggling for freedom, like their descendants have also been doing, our people then also exhibited the heroism that puzzled and evoked the grudging admiration of their would-be conquerors.
Today we are no longer fighting a war with any foreign invader, but we still have a lot of opportunities to display the same heroism that our forefathers and the generation after them had shown throughout our history. Nowadays we still have several opportunities to become heroes and heroines, not by fighting those who would infringe on our independence and self-respect, but to ensure that we perform some sacrifices to save our own world, particularly our environment.
The past few years have illustrated, often tragically, how Nature is punishing us for the abuses that we have been inflicting on her. We have seen this displeasure in the typhoons, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, even tsunamis, that had somehow decimated the populations of several countries. But this time we do not have to gird ourselves for battle. We only have to take better care of our environment and do our best to replace, and seriously, what we have destroyed so recklessly all these past years.
The heroes of today need not take up arms and kill. They can be ourselves, and our heroism could entail only the simple task of re-greening our surroundings, protecting our forests, lakes and rivers, our oceans, and make sure our environment and its atmosphere remain clean and clear.
It is that simple to become heroes and heroines. Let us start working towards it.*