Wednesday, June 25, 2008

National Hero?

There’s a certain pride that you feel when other countries recognizes one of your own, and for this matter, our national hero. Singapore recently unveils a bronze marker of “the great Malayan” as part of its “Friends to our Shores” project. But that’s not what this post is actually about.

For as far as I can remember, with all those History subjects, Asian Civilization, Rizal, etc, we have been taught that we do have a national hero. I even remember some debates pinning Bonifacio against Rizal for the prestige. Last night, something from the National Commission For Culture and the Arts website struck me.
(i hope the formatting would work)

Selection and Proclamation of National Heroes
and Laws Honoring Filipino Historical Figures

Executive Summary

No law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero. However, because of their significant roles in the process of nation building and contributions to history, there were laws enacted and proclamations issued honoring these heroes.

Even Jose Rizal, considered as the greatest among the Filipino heroes, was not explicitly proclaimed as a national hero. The position he now holds in Philippine history is a tribute to the continued veneration or acclamation of the people in recognition of his contribution to the significant social transformations that took place in our country.

Aside from Rizal, the only other hero given an implied recognition as a national hero is Andres Bonifacio whose day of birth on November 30 has been made a national holiday.

Despite the lack of any official declaration explicitly proclaiming them as national heroes, they remain admired and revered for their roles in Philippine history. Heroes, according to historians, should not be legislated. Their appreciation should be better left to academics. Acclamation for heroes, they felt, would be recognition enough.

Even google says Rizal is our national hero :p. But confusing enough, even PIA (Philippine Information Agency) says so.