Not a hero

As I write this, we are commemorating our national heroes, to whom we really owe much of what we are now as a nation.

How timely it is in the wake of the hot button issue on history and revisionism, but more importantly, our awakening.

As we celebrate and reflect on the life and times of true patriots like Dr. Jose Rizal and Gat Andres Bonifacio, we cannot help but also ponder on the question of whether the proclaimed modern-day hero Ninoy Aquino is genuinely one.

Is Ninoy really a hero?

If the metrics for such declaration would be the impact of his action on the welfare and progress of the nation, then said assertion leaves much to be desired.

Because after Ninoy, this country did not march toward progress nor development, and what followed was quite the contrary.

In fact, if we really would attribute the so-called restoration of democracy and emancipation from tyranny to Ninoy, then all the more it becomes questionable.

Why? Because the form of democracy that we have is not so much of genuine people empowerment, but rather one big noise pollution, which drowned discipline and order, and thereby succeeding in only making ours a “democratic” third world.

Am certain there will be those who will find this assertion of mine to be discomforting, horrific and revisionist. Surely they will judge this a travesty of the gains of our democracy, but then again just look around, and you will all understand what I mean.

Because after Ninoy, where did our country go? Nowhere.

Well not exactly nowhere, but to the dogs. No matter your political color, you will not be able to deny that we regressed as a nation, that even until now, we cannot get our act together, because of this version of democracy that fried our collective brains to espouse dissent over development.

After Ninoy, we became a nation full of rhetoric but none of the vision and direction. We all boasted about our democracy and freedom, but we also went on to become shameless lawbreakers and hypocritical citizens, thanks in large part to leaders who morphed from being public servants to being trapos and epals.

After Ninoy, we wanted to be great, but we never really tried, all because we scared ourselves into that dastardly belief that discipline is akin to suppression, dictatorship and tyranny.

Even the way our latest Constitution was drafted in 1987 post-Ninoy Aquino was reactionary at best, and so flawed at worst, with so many impediments in genuine economic growth and well-being.
And the icing on the cake?

After Ninoy, we embraced a dilawan culture where the oligarchy made sure we remain indebted and poor, and had no other choice but to patronize everything they chose to give us, in return for scandalous profit, and a chokehold on our daily living.

So, tell me again if Ninoy is indeed worthy to remain as a hero in our realm.

And I daresay not.

Because real heroes trigger our rise, and never our fall.

Because real heroes are willing to give up their own lives, so that ours will become better.

And not because they died not knowing that they were betrayed, not by their perceived enemy, but by their own kind, because of greed and lust for power.

Mark my word.

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