MANILA - Filipinos will be celebrating National Heroes' Day on Monday, August 28. But did you know that the Philippines do not have a single legislated national hero?
History Professor Xiao Chua on Sunday pointed out that there was a recommendation for the Department of Education (DepEd) in 1995 to recognize nine Filipinos as national heroes but it did not flourish.
These are Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. Pilar, Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang.
Despite this, Chua said the National Heroes Commission (NHC), now the National Historical Commission, wrote something about who can qualify as a national hero.
Citing the NHC, Chua said heroes are those who are "pemulated by a grateful people who, after his death, render him singular tributes, honor him with public worship and acknowledge his meritorious services to mankind by spontaneous national recognition."
The professor said he prefers to have it this way where the Filipinos are the ones who determine who they think are national heroes, instead of politicians.
"I guess it's better that we have it like this, that our national heroes are not mandated by any agency or law because you only have it by public acclamation," he said.
Chua also reminded Filipinos that National Heroes' Day is not just for all the recognized heroes but also for the lesser known ones.
He hopes this year's National Heroes' Day will also make people realize that even ordinary Filipinos can be national heroes too.
"All our national heroes are human beings as well like us ordinary people," he said.