Heroism knows no bounds or limits in terms of age and place PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 13:21

By LEILANI S. JUNIO

An act of heroism knows no bounds. There is no age requirement and limit in life status to do it.
Old and young, rich and poor, men and women can be heroes in their own capacities and in circumstances surrounding them.
Consider “Tandang Sora” (Melchora Aquino), the Grand Old Lady of the Katipunan who had shown her heroism through her generosity in helping the wounded “Katipuneros” during the 1896 Philippine Revolution despite her ripe age of 84 years.
While many of the Filipino heroes were “young blooded” like Dr. Jose Rizal, Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, and others who displayed their patriotism and love of country in their own ways, Tandang Sora’s age (she was born in 1812) did not hinder her from doing what she thought was good for the welfare of her countrymen.
“She did not mind even if that could mean giving some of her wealth. She gave some carabaos and sacks of rice just to feed the Katipuneros (members of the Katipunan who fought the Spanish soldiers), aside from healing their wounds, as her contribution to the Philippine Revolution against Spain,” Efren Figueroa, a fourth generation descendant of Tandang Sora, said in an interview.
Figueroa noted that what the heroic Grand Old Lady of the Katipunan exemplified “was being beautiful inside and outside that still came out even in her old age” even if she knew that what she did could mean leaving nothing for herself.
In fact, she was arrested by the Spaniards in Novaliches, imprisoned and even exiled to Guam, thereby losing her wealth as a consequence.
In the recent past, Rona Mahilom, an eight-year-old girl in Sagay, Negros Occidental, did a heroic deed by saving her five brothers and sisters during a fire on May 26, 1996.
Rona sustained third degree burns on her back, but despite the pain, she rescued her brothers and sisters out of the house on fire. Then she tried to put out the fire with water from a nearby well.
The girl was given recognition for her heroism and bravery — she did not mind risking her life and suffering third degree burns at her back in her desire to save her siblings.
Indeed, good acts or deeds, big or small, that produce positive consequences or lead to betterment or welfare of the majority, although maybe unnoticeable to some, are indications of heroism too.
These small acts can be seen even among the street sweepers who clean our surroundings, especially during holidays when thousands of people gather together in public areas to celebrate, thus leaving lots of garbage. Long after the celebrators have left, these street sweepers can still be seen cleaning the surroundings.
These very same people are those who are seen clearing the streets of scattered leaves and tree twigs after a bad weather.
Other small heroes in their own ways include teachers who untiringly teach their students; health workers who attend to their patients as a call of duty; those who are serving in disaster management and rescue operations; social workers who are serving distressed families in times of calamities, as well as volunteers who help in the repacking of goods for distribution to disaster victims.
Even mothers who make daily sacrifices in taking care of their children can be called heroes too — for opting to prioritize the interest of their children instead of themselves, like waking up in the middle of the night just to nurse or give milk to their crying babies.
Heroism can be done anytime, anywhere and there is no limitation to do it as long as it can benefit a greater number of people and will not cause harm to others.
Reporting an abuse committed to children or any other vulnerable sector of the society, doing something good for others, including strangers, or public officials serving the people with dignity and uprightly are also heroic deeds that must continue to be kept alive.