Yesterday was the 151st birth anniversary of one of our greatest heroes, Andres Bonifacio. Named after St. Andrew whose feast day falls on Nov. 30, Bonifacio, along with Ladislao Diwa and Teodoro Plata, formed the triumvirate of anti-Spanish activists who founded the secret society known as the Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK), or Katipunan for short. Membership in the society was signed in with blood drawn from the left arm of the applicant.
Many ilustrados of the day believed that reforms from Spain could come about peacefully. Representation in the Spanish parliament was one of their main goals. Bonifacio and his followers wanted complete independence and were prepared to fight and shed blood in order to attain this objective.
Bonifacio would initiate Emilio Aguinaldo of Cavite into the Katipunan. But in the end, the rivalry between the two leaders of the revolution would lead to the execution of Bonifacio by followers of Aguinaldo.
In 1963, on the occasion of his birth centennial, Bonifacio was officially proclaimed the “Hero of Manila.” Filipinos will always remember him as the “Great Plebeian.”
* * *
Someone said there are two kinds of heroes. One kind work under the most difficult of situations and in the face of grave danger. Another kind live among us, work their way without much ceremony, often without anyone taking note of what they do or have done. But they make a difference in the lives of others and everyone tends to take these acts for granted.
So, what is it that drives people to act like heroes? Is it a sense of duty? Social responsibility? Charity? All these motivations play an important part. But perhaps the most vital element is love of humanity.
Yesterday, the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (Cose), marked its silver anniversary by honoring 10 heroes of the community. Originally organized in November 1989 as the Coalition of Services for the Elderly (see what a difference one word makes?), the organization chose the 10 for their work in assisting the elderly toward the goal of realizing their potential in life.
You won’t find their names or their pictures in society pages of today’s mass media. But their contributions have made a difference in the lives of their fellowmen. The “Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda” of 2014 are:
- Mercedita Bayoneta, 78—from Caloocan City, a simple woman, nominated by Bagong Sikat Elderly Association because of her dedication to work with different sectors, especially with old people and in the opening of Botika Binhi, a community drugstore.
- Amelia Vizcarra, 78—from San Juan, a very active president of Barangay Balong Bato, who is always remembered for her active role in times of emergencies.
- Teresita Dayag, 64—from Manila, nominated by Tanglaw Buhay because of her active service as community gerontologist and community organizer-volunteer.
- Santos Boluso, 69—from Davao City, an untiring local community organizer and a member of the Disaster Preparedness Committee, has emphasized the rights of elderly people.
- Sancho Faigao, 70—from Romblon, a municipal federation president who donated land for the building of houses through Gawad Kalinga for the benefit of senior citizens affected by typhoons, and established a drug care center on his own lot.
- Rosario Llaneta, 64—from Camarines Norte, a home carer, nominated by her parish priest because of her healthy attitude toward the service of the poor and needy, especially the elderly and children.
- Rogelio Puig, 74—from Compostela Valley, a federation president and provincial president of the Senior Citizens’ Associations, is known for making the federation center as the model center for senior citizens in Region 11.
- Rosa Eufemia, 70—from La Union, is passionate about helping the poor especially women who have no income; she herself rose from poverty, and for her, helping those in need is more important than retiring.
- Rodolfo Bernardo, 66—from General Santos City, a generous man who visits elderly people who are bedridden; he also promotes healthcare and the rights of the elderly.
- Catalina Mirasol, 63—from Parañaque City, a president of Kapit Bahayan, who has coordinated with Gawad Kalinga for the construction of decent housing and has been instrumental in the sharing of the bayanihan spirit among new homeowners.
As executive director Fransiskus Kupang put it, “Cose is now in its 25th year of existence. . . many have come and made Cose not just an organization, but one having an identity of its own, which is that older people may feel at home and have hope that life is more than just aging.
“Contrary to ageism as being promoted negatively, in the media, (lotions, pills, surgery, injections to look young again!), older people have confirmed the teachings of all major religions. Life is in stages. Each stage is important. Each one builds upon the former stage.”
* * *
“Defense and Security TV.” A new and unique program dedicated to the topic of defense and security will soon be on your television screens. With the homonymous title “Defense and Security TV,” it will tackle a wide range of topics related to the industry. These topics cover contemporary concerns including global and domestic terrorism, disaster management and preparedness, as well as the AFP Modernization Program. Other topics range from product reviews of handguns, accessories, and how to effectively use them in practical shooting and defensive situations, to other gadgets that can improve personal security around the home and in other situations.
At the helm of the whole operation are former chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines: Gen. Alexander B. Yano, Gen. Victor S. Ibrado, and Police Director Abner D. Cabalquinto, all members of PMA Class 1976. Their background and combined experiences are expected to energize the new television program. Backed by people with years of experience in television broadcasting and film production, “Defense and Security TV” is definitely a program to catch.
“Defense and Security TV” will be formally launched on Dec. 4, 2014, at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club House in Camp Aguinaldo at 10:30 a.m. To mark the occasion, a container van of Meals-Ready-To-Eat (MREs) will be turned over to the Office of Civil Defense under Defense Undersecretary Alexander Pama for distribution to disaster-stricken areas. “Defense and Security TV” airs every Wednesday at 10:30 p.m., with replays every Sunday at 11 a.m., on ABS-CBN Sports Plus Action (Channel 23) on free-to-air TV.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.