MANILA- "Pilipino ang bayani ng kapwa Pilipino."
This was the message of Vice President Leni Robredo on National Heroes' Day, as she urged her fellow countrymen to be more patriotic.
"Pilipino ang bayani ng kapwa Pilipino. Ikaw ang bayani ng iyong kapwa, at may kakayahan kang makagawa ng makabuluhang pagbabago sa iyong bayan at sa buhay ng iyong kapwa tao," she said in a statement.
(The Filipino is the hero of a fellow Filipino. You are the hero of your neighbor and you have the power to make meaningful change in your nation and in the life of your countrymen.)
Robredo noted that Philippine heroes are just like any other Filipino who chose to make a stand for the country and democracy.
"Gaya ng paulit-ulit nang itinuro ng ating kasaysayan, magiging totoo at makabuluhan lang ang ating pag-unlad at kalayaan kung magpapaka-bayani ang bawat isa at sa ating pagbabayanihan," she said.
(Like what our history repeatedly tells us, our progress and freedom will only have meaning if each of us works to become a hero and help each other.)
She urged present-day Filipinos to fight for the country's sovereignty and democracy amid threats.
She did not mention the specific threats to democracy and sovereignty in her statement but she has been asserting sovereignty issues concerning Manila's relationship with Beijing.
“Sa panahon kung kailan maraming banta sa ating demokrasya at soberenya, patuloy sana tayong manindigan para sa mga kalayaan at mga karapatang ipinaglaban ng mga nauna na sa atin. Panahon na upang tayo naman ang magpatuloy nito,” Robredo said.
(In times when there are threats to our democracy and sovereignty, let us continue to stand for the freedom and rights fought for by our ancestors. It's time for us to continue their fight.)
Robredo recognized the efforts of all heroes, famous or not, who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms which present-day Filipinos enjoy and urged Filipinos to view National Heroes' Day as a reminder that the nation's ills can only be solved through the collective effort of the public.
"Magsilbing paalala sana ang araw na ito na walang iisang bayani ang makapagsasalba sa atin mula sa ating kinalalagyan. Wala sa kamay ng iisang tao ang solusyon sa lahat ng ating mga suliranin, at walang iisang pinuno ang makapagbibigay sa atin ng mas magandang bukas," she said.
(May this day serve as a reminder that not one hero can save us from our situation. The solution to our problems does not depend on one person alone, and no single leader can hand us a better future.)
-with a report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News