Our best kept secret
IF having a hero means inspiring and unifying a nation regardless of geographical location, social status, gender, educational attainment, religion and ideological leaning, then who we need are Heroes.
We need everyday people whose seemingly nondescript acts extraordinarily impacted our lives, and without all the fanfare of a Hero’s Welcome and high profile media coverage continue to be a beacon of hope in the continuing transformation of the world around us.
Who is a Hero? A Hero is a “being for others” ... A true hero selflessly offers oneself for the sake of another especially those in need. He/She is like Fr. Paschal Ma. R. Gorgoña of San Roque de Pasay who, despite his limited parish collection and meager donations, would never miss a chance to gather and to feed street children of poor communities surrounding his parish through his periodic Jollibee Party for Less Fortunate Kids. And when given the chance, Fr. Paschal plans to give quality education (similar to privileged children in private schools) to these street children. His motto: A child’s innocence does not last a lifetime. Make his or her childhood a memorable one!
Who is a Hero? A Hero is a “defender of the voiceless”... A true hero fights for those who are neglected by society and are considered insignificant to the wellbeing of a community as a whole. He/She is like Dr. Eden Orosa-Kelemen who started a post-high school transition program for Students with Special Needs. In a society where a college experience is viewed only for those without any intellectual disabilities, Dr. Kelemen and her faculty of SPED teachers advocated inclusive education where these special children can at least share a college campus experience with regular students, and be trained to develop self-confidence and high self-esteem so as to be productive members of society.
Who is a Hero? A Hero is a “Person of Vision”... A true hero is one who liberates society from blind adherence to the status quo. A hero helps us break free from the narrow confines of certain social structures that threaten viable avenues for growth and development by presenting the vast potentials lying before us. He/She is like Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual (the current Executive Director of Caritas Manila) who sought to explore the use of the Blue Ocean Strategy in developing self-sustaining programs and undertaking that goes beyond traditional approaches in raising funds for Catholic Charity. To date, Caritas Margins and Segunda Mana are in the forefront of social entrepreneurship that helps fund programs for the poor.
Who is a Hero? A Hero is a “Man of Sacrifice” ... A true hero is someone who is willing to experience personal discomfort just to be of service to others. A hero is someone who works without anything in return, and performs charitable deeds as a genuine act of giving. He/She is like Ryan B. Angeles who in 2015 left a very lucrative career in Saudi Arabia just to volunteer as a Graphic Design Artist for Radio Veritas in its Social Evangelization Campaign. Trusting only in Divine Providence, Ryan used only what he saved from his previous job to help support his family and to be of service to the Catholic faithful in the Philippines through his Digital Arts based religious instruction initiative and apostolate.
Who is a Hero? A Hero is “Someone who works over and above the call of duty” ... A true hero goes out of his way to lend a helping hand, even if it means going beyond his job description or work purview. A hero is someone who doesn’t mind the inconveniences of going outside the comfort zone of one’s work or social environment if it means pursuing a noble cause. He/She is like Ms. Maria Victoria Dulcero, a Comelec employee who despite the tremendous workload of her job in the Planning Department, still manages to extend assistance to other civil society groups in its voters’ education apostolate. Vicky likewise manages to share her precious time to be with various communities and groups in promoting good governance through responsible voting and citizenship.
Who is a Hero? A Hero is a “Person of Courage” ... A true hero is someone who is brave enough to fight for the conviction of his beliefs. Even to the point of being unpopular or socially outcast a hero is willing to stand against all odds in the attainment of a dream. This bravery which characterizes the heart of a hero then inspires others to face the challenges of life. He/She is like the audacious men and women of the Radio Veritas who on a day-to-day basis would even risk their own lives just to protect the sanctity of truthful media practice; and with the words: “RADYO TOTOO” embedded in their hearts, they will continue to be the voice of truth and evangelization in an industry challenged with commercialism and sensationalism.
We need HEROES ... and all the names I just mentioned mean that a hero is not far behind ... he may be a friend, classmate, co-worker, family member, loved one ... or within us. All we need is to find the desire to be an instrument of change in the lives we desire to touch and transform, and with the conviction to pursue this vision moves heaven and earth to bring all things to reality.
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