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President Aquino exhorts Filipinos to emulate sacrifices of national heroes

MANILA, Aug. 29 — President Benigno S. Aquino III called on all Filipinos on Sunday to emulate the example set forth by the country's national heroes "whose supreme sacrifice for the nation will guide us in our quest to rise above our present situation and lift the Philippines to greatness."

In his speech keynoting the commemoration of National Heroes' Day held at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, the Chief Executive said the "patriotism and bravery of our national heroes to combat any and all forms of oppression" is inherent in all Filipinos.

“Wala na nga po talagang mas hihigit pang antas ng kagitingan sa pagbubuwis ng buhay para sa bayan (Giving up one’s life for one’s country is the pinnacle of heroism),” he said.

According to the President, Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora (GomBurZa) who fought the Spanish oppression, are examples of this courage and patriotism.

“My father Ninoy, despite the threat to his life, came back after being exiled in the United States to fight a dictator,” President Aquino said.

“Sila ang hindi na-kontento sa kalagayan ng kanilang bansa kaya’t iniwan nila ng buong tapang ang ginhawa at tahimik na buhay. Nakibaka sila, sumanib sa mga kilusan at hindi muna inisip ang sarili upang ipaglaban ang karapatan ng bawat Pilipino (They were not contented with the country’s condition so they left their quiet lives and selflessly joined the opposition to fight for the rights of all Filipinos),” he added.

“Sila ang ating ehemplo ng kabayanihan at kasabay po ng buong taimtim nating pagtanaw sa kanilang sakripisyo ay ang pagsasabuhay sana natin sa kanilang ipinaglabang adhikain (They are the epitome of patriotism and I hope that together with our commemoration of their sacrifices, we will try to emulate and inculcate in our lives their exemplary virtues),” President Aquino said.

The President said that "while our forefathers died for our country, all we have to do to follow their example is to join hands and help each other without expecting anything in return.”

“Sa katunayan, sapat nang kabayanihan ang magawa natin ang tungkulin nating maging isang mabuti at responsableng Filipino (In fact, being a good and responsible Filipino is enough),” the President said.

He, however, lamented that some (people) have disregarded this simple fact and have chosen another path.

“Pinipili po nilang makulong sa rehas ng kadamutan at pagkakanya-kanya. Naka-kadena pa rin sila sa kultura ng pagwawalang-bahala at pagbabatuhan ng sisi (They have chosen to remain in a jail of selfishness. They are chained to the culture of indifference and blame-throwing),” he said, adding that these are the roots of corruption and stealing — putting one’s self-interest first instead of the welfare of others.

The President stressed that this “is the biggest obstacle in our quest to take the straight path to change.”

“Kaya naman po para sa kinabukasan ng ating mga anak at salin-lahi, gusto kong himukin ang lahat na magkusang tumulong sa pagpapalaganap ng tunay na kahulugan ng kabayanihan: ang pagbibigay ng panahon at lakas upang magmasid at magbantay sa ating pamahalaan, ang paglalaan ng oras para maging gabay ng mga naghihirap na kababayan, ang pagpapatibay sa mayamang gunita at kultura ng pagiging Pilipino (So for the future of our children and race, I encourage all Filipinos to help spread the true meaning of heroism: the giving of time and energy to watch our government, giving time to help our impoverished brothers and sisters, and the strengthening of our rich Filipino culture),” the President concluded. (PNA)

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