The topic of yesterday’s sermon during our weekly Sunday service really caught my interest – “WANTED: Heroes“.
    I was moved.
    I didn’t know if it was because of all the talks I’ve had with Ako Ay Pilipino members about the slogan “Ako Ay Pilipino: Ako Ay Bayani”. Perhaps it was the things that have been happening in our country – whether wonderful, controversial or tragic. Perhaps it was that stirring in my heart caused by the awareness that indeed… our country is in dire need of heroes.


    As I was writing articles for the Ako Ay Pilipino: Noon at Ngayon coffee table book, I would often wonder where among us lies the same passion that our national heroes had for our country. One article in particular remains close to my heart… the article “24” features Gregorio del Pilar – the boy general himself.
    Upon sending my draft of the article to the AAP editorial team, I included a little rant at the end of the article:
    Gregorio del Pilar died in battle helping Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo escape from American troops. Perhaps youth wouldn’t be wasted on the young if wisdom isn’t wasted on the old (i.e. Aguinaldo). Some decry that Gregorio’s tragic death is a result of blind submission to authority. In my opinion, that doesn’t make del Pilar’s death less honorable… just tragic.
    Gregorio del Pilar died in battle at the young age of 24 years old. Eye-witnesses of his fall in Tirad Pass – even his foes, the Americans – speak of how bravely he fought, with much admiration for the courage, the passion, the leadership that he displayed.
    He died for what? To save Aguinaldo’s neck? If I had my say on things, I would gladly trade Aguinaldo’s life for del Pilar’s.
    Now, I admit I am little biased since I am not a major fan of Emilio Aguinaldo. However, this is the point that I want to drive:
    Whether we realize it or not, something has changed in the Philippines. After the deaths of beloved Filipino icons like Francis Magalona or more notably, Mrs. Corazon Aquino, we have witnessed an upsurge of patriotism among us. We hear it in the music that our artists are beginning to come up with. We see it in print, in clothes, in slogans, in billboards…
    A love for country and a pride in being Pinoy is being displayed in a manner I haven’t quite seen in my not-so-long lifetime of 22 years.
    I read in an article once that the Filipino youth of today aren’t entirely apathetic. They love the Philippines and they are proud to be Pinoy. It’s not a matter of not wanting to be catalysts for change. It’s a matter of not knowing who to follow. They are asking, “Who will lead us? Who is worth following?”
    We belong to a nation of youth-waiting-to-be-heroes. We are aware that there is a cause to fight for. We just don’t want to fight in vain.
    Gregorio del Pilar fought because he loved the country. His mistake was that he thought that Aguinaldo had the same love for country.


    Take a good look at this coming election’s presidentiables. How many Emilio Aguinaldo’s do you see?
    Let’s not waste the passion and love for country that today’s Gregorio del Pilar’s have by voting for an Emilio Aguinaldo.

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    Joanna Alonzo

    Author/Founder at Almond Tree Publications
    Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.
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6 Comments on "WANTED: Heroes"

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I am not a very big fan of Emilio Aguinaldo myself. I find one of my shirts really ironic since it has a picture of Aguinaldo and beside him is Bonifacio — the man Aguinaldo betrayed.

It is good that nationalism is taking hold of the youth. But I hope that the nation would also be inclusive of every Filipino there is. We tend to forget some of our brothers/sisters — the Aetas, the Ivatans, the Maguindanaons, the Maranaos, the Igorots, the Lumads, the Kalingas, the Bugkalots, the Mandayas, the Kalanguyas, etc, etc.

Let's push for a nationalism that embraces everyone! 🙂


Ugh I suddenly remembered Sir Penis (Pinas) who lives everyday as if it's 1900's or something.

This post will either kill him or give him an orgasm. LOL.


@geek: yei! a fellow anti-Aguinaldo! I'm seriously still trying to convince one of my cousins that Aguinaldo isn't a national hero. He's in the Heroes' Cemetery because he was the first (recognized) president of the Philippines.

Interesting input. I guess that would be my segue to mentioning that one of our country's weakest points is that we are so disunited. We are powerful as a whole, but we've always been broken into tribes, regions, clans, whatever… It's been that way even before colonization.

You're right actually. If we could push for the kind of nationalism that does not exclude any of our country's minority groups, it would make a huge difference.

As the cliche goes, “United we stand, divided we fall”.


@glentot: First of all, I will never get used to calling you glentot.

Second… Awwww… Sir Pinas?! Don't you just miss the dude?! Even his surname is nationalistic…

No matter how much drama we had in his class, I ain't complaining… I got a midterm grade of 98% in his class. 😀 It was so easy to bluff his essay quizzes… but maybe that's just because I actually like Philippine history… *shrugs*

Third, nyahaha… *trying hard not to paint a mental picture of either scenarios*.


I don't remember what my grade was, but it wasn't pretty.

Probably because I hated how he presented Philippine History with saliva showers.


wahaha… he's our teacher freshman year and yet he's so memorable…

come to think of it, a lot of our teachers freshman year were memorable…

even the Filipino teacher…
“Binibining Ruth, ano ang… ? Hindi mo alam? Bobo!” – and she says it so endearingly, no one gets offended.

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