Remembering the Hero that is Ninoy

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today is August 21, the death anniversary of Benigno "Ninoy" Servillano Aquino, Jr., the greatest hero of my time. The man that challenged a regime and once again brought freedom to the Filipino people.

I was born at the shadow of his death, and I thank him for the privilege he has given me, the freedom from bondage, from fear, and from biased persecution. Although I grew up not knowing the importance of what he did, what he sacrificed so that I can live my life as it is now, Ninoy became a thing of history, locked inside a textbook in my eyes as a growing child in a post-Marcos era.

As a teenager, I learned of the Marcos regime, the mockery he made of the Filipino people, his selfish pursuit and his ascendancy to tyranny as the "architect of fear" from school, but of Ninoy I learned so little. Yes, I knew of his participation in the EDSA revolution and how he roused the "people power" that overthrew an autocrat, but then the question of "Who was Ninoy?" "How did he grow up to become a hero that he is now?" lingered in me.

I went through college still apathetic to the legacy of Ninoy as I focused on my studies and went through a normal college life. I became a columnist in the campus paper and wrote articles about my opinion of the Arroyo Administration. It was then that I realized my role as a citizen, my right to this country and my responsibility to act for change in this post-Marcos era and then I remembered Ninoy. I was wrong when I believed that Ninoy was only a thing of history, locked inside a textbook, because Ninoy is inside our hearts, there is a Ninoy in each and every Filipino I thought. What he did and what he sacrificed for all the Filipinos to live free as we live now is the greatest gift any mere mortal can give. It is the greatest love he has given us that is so profound that each Filipino must never forget.
In every century an evil rises, a hero comes to leave an imprint to rouse the hearts of the good that is innate in all of us to act and bring the evil its downfall. And now, what has become of Ninoy's aspirations for the Filipino? We have become astray and lost sense of direction. If only Ninoy lives he has done something to bring us back to the path of true independence because what we have now is a false sense of independence. We have become apathetic to what Ninoy has told us that once again brought a silent tyrant to power. Truly, It is not Hate that kills people but indifference. Do we need another Ninoy to sacrifice his life to once again rouse our hearts to act for the greater good? Is it true that each and every one of us has a Ninoy inside? Then we need to act now like Ninoy did when he was still alive but do we need another life to be sacrificed for us to act?
It is enough that we make ourselves informed and aware of what is going on in our country. It is enough to write about Heroes of the past in the hope that it will somehow rouse our spirits once again and bring epiphany that there is nothing greater than love of our country and realize that the Filipino is really worth dying for. Mabuhay ka Ninoy! Ikaw ay habangbuhay nasa puso naming lahat.


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