The Philippines needs leaders, not heroes

Fittingly, a benighted nation is mired with an issue of heroism even as it continues to struggle to change...

But who is to say if one is indeed a hero when somebody else disputes it?

Ever since we seemed to be cursed with this dilemma. Lapu lapu is supposed to be a liberator but in the eyes of our spanish colonizers, he is nothing but a murderer of a great navigator.

Our national hero Dr Jose Rizal is a genius. However, if FB and instagram were in place in the 1800s, all we might be talking about is his womanizing and fetish even for relatives.

Today we celebrate the legacy of Andres Bonifacio, our great plebeian. Unfortunately, his standing in history is shockingly diminished no less courtesy of another supposedly hero, the first president of our republic Emilio Aguinaldo.

This Bonifacio-Aguinaldo tiff, I believe is the precursor of our horrible politics, wherein respect and magnanimity are all thrown out the window, and losing a mandate is simply a reason to build a new one, albeit forcibly and with willful ignorance of the real sentiment of the people.

Just like what Ferdinand Marcos did when he lost the nomination of the Liberal Party and bolted to the Nacionalistas to be its presidential candidate in the 1965  presidential race.

Just like what Fidel Valdez Ramos did when he lost the nomination of the Laban party to Ramon Mitra, and went on to win the 1992 presidential election under a new party coalition, Lakas UCD.

These and other turncoatism practices have become SOP in politics so much so that in Philippine elections, no one really loses but were merely cheated.

And if we continue to wonder why a trapo like Franklin Drilon continue to win every time, all we need to know is that Balimbing is not the official fruit of the country, it is the fruit of choice of epals like Mr Big Man himself.

Going back to heroism, let me proffer these perspectives:

Ferdinand Marcos is not a hero no matter how many times he is buried at LNMB. He will always be best remembered for his legacy of plunder and greed and the propagation of a culture of impunity.

Ninoy Aquino could have been a genuine hero when he offered his life just to make us realize how bad Marcos was. Unfortunately, what Ninoy left behind set us back another 30 years, including a most clueless wife and a most inept son who only became presidents out of sympathy and not capability.

Fidel Ramos, Juan Ponce Enrile and Cardinal Sin are not heroes but merely opportunistic, power hungry tyrants who did not effect genuine change, but only managed to effect regime change because they are becoming irrelevant and neutered.

As we celebrate Heroes Day, perhaps it is high time that we Filipinos reflect deeply on this concept, and no longer allow ourselves to be enslaved by the thought of any one man who can save us from perdition or ruin.

All significant upheavals, whether by mass movement along EDSA or by the ballot, is the result of the collective effort and action of the people.

Let's therefore stop looking for heroes, nor giving importance to those who feel they are. It is not heroism which will bring us out of the rut, and catapult our nation to greatness.

What we need is strong, dedicated and resolute leadership.

While the rest is up to all of us.

Mark Lopez as posted on Facebook.


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