Igniting Heroism for a Progressive Philippines
On the occasion of National Heroes Day, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. rallied the Filipino people to embrace their inherent heroism and channel it toward building a more progressive nation. In a heartfelt message on the day of the National Heroes Day celebration, President Marcos not only acknowledged the well-known heroes who shaped the nation’s history but also celebrated the unsung individuals who played pivotal roles in its development.
Embracing the Hero Within
President Marcos emphasized that heroism resides within each individual, asserting that every Filipino possesses the capacity to be a hero for the nation. He urged all citizens, regardless of their location, to unite in celebrating National Heroes Day with renewed pride, acknowledging the innate resilience that characterizes the Filipino spirit.
Uncelebrated Legacies and Empowerment
In a poignant reflection, President Marcos invited everyone to honor the legacies of those whose contributions may have gone unnoticed but laid the foundation for society. He encouraged Filipinos to recognize their potential to be heroes within their families and communities. He envisioned this awareness as a driving force, propelling the nation toward a prosperous, resilient, and secure future.
Beyond Legendary Feats
President Marcos underscored that heroism transcends monumental acts, extending to the sincere, compassionate actions that individuals perform daily. He commended the lesser-known Filipinos who exemplified heroism through their commitment to honesty, compassion, and dedication to a better society.
Tracing the Origins of National Heroes Day
The observance of National Heroes Day dates back to the American Colonial Period, marked by the enactment of Act No. 3827 on Oct. 28, 1931. This legislation designated the last Sunday of August as an annual national holiday, devoted to commemorating the nation’s heroes.
Shifting Narratives in Times of Conflict
The commemoration of National Heroes Day persisted until the tumultuous period of the Second World War in the Pacific, culminating in the last commemoration on Nov. 30, 1941. Following the war, Executive Order No. 20, signed by former President Jose P. Laurel on March 20, 1942, moved the date to Nov. 30. However, former President Elpidio Quirino later restored the original August schedule after the conflict’s resolution.
Reshaping Traditions for Economic Progress
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reshaped the commemoration by enacting Republic Act No. 9492. This revision moved the National Heroes Day observance to the last Monday of August as part of the “Holiday Economics” program. The new strategy aimed to reduce work disruptions by aligning holidays with nearby Mondays or Fridays.
Vice President Duterte’s Call for Reflection and Inspiration
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte used the occasion of National Heroes Day to call upon the public to reflect on the sacrifices made by past heroes. She emphasized the need to keep their legacy alive and channel their fearless and selfless spirit into the current generation.
Laying the Groundwork for Liberation
Vice President Duterte acknowledged the pivotal role of Datu Lapu-Lapu, who laid the groundwork for future acts of heroism. She connected Lapu-Lapu’s efforts in the pre-colonial Philippines to the events of 1896, when Filipinos, led by Andres Bonifacio, initiated the Cry of Balintawak, heralding their fight for independence against Spanish rule.
A Call for Unity in Adversity
Duterte highlighted Lapu-Lapu’s triumph as a testament to the Filipino people’s unity, selflessness, and fearlessness in the face of adversity. She regarded Lapu-Lapu’s legacy as an embodiment of the strength that binds the nation together.
Echoes of Heroic Pioneers
Duterte paid tribute to iconic figures like Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and others who paved the way for freedom. She urged Filipinos to draw inspiration from their courage and sacrifices, urging the nation to remember not only their bravery but also the countless unnamed heroes who contributed to the cause.
Mayor Chan’s Call to Uphold Freedom
Mayor Junard Chan echoed the sentiments of Vice President Duterte, encouraging citizens to protect and preserve the hard-earned freedom bestowed upon them. He reminded everyone that the freedom enjoyed today is a result of the sweat, blood, and tears shed by early Filipino heroes.
Solidarity in the Face of Calamity
Mayor Chan expressed gratitude to Vice President Duterte and the Duterte family for their support, particularly towards the victims of Typhoon Odette. He acknowledged the unity and assistance provided by the government during times of crisis.
As the Philippines marked National Heroes Day, a resounding call to heroism echoed through the words of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte. Their messages, intertwined with the rich history of heroism, serve as a reminder of the innate potential within every Filipino to contribute to the nation’s progress and prosperity.