Today, we honor all of those who valiantly fought for our nation’s freedom until their final breath – Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Gabriela Silang, Melchora Aquino – just to name a few.
But what exactly made these individuals heroes? Was it their willingness to lay their lives on the line for the sake of their fellow Filipinos? Was it their strength of will and character which enabled them to fight more powerful adversaries? Or was it their pure love for country?

One common trait that made our national heroes extraordinary was their sense of purpose; their willingness to set aside their personal interests and dedicate their lives to free our country from the bondage of foreign invaders.

Our nation may no longer be facing an armada of conquerors from foreign lands but our people have, for the past two years, been confronting major challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected all aspects of our way of life.

What has been remarkable during this health crisis is the rise of a new breed of heroes who are demonstrating that selflessness, dedication and commitment will be the key in overcoming the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

These courageous men and women — doctors, nurses, soldiers, police officers, barangay health workers, fast food service crew, riders, factory workers, and local government officials – have been braving the frontlines to ensure the health, safety and security of their countrymen.

As we commemorate National Heroes Day, let us also pay tribute to these outstanding professionals who have, day in and day out, been risking their lives so that they can serve their fellow Filipinos.

Let us also not forget our peace builders, peace advocates and peace workers who are at the forefront of efforts to push forward and sustain the gains of the comprehensive Philippine peace process. They, too, are among our nation’s unsung heroes.

Under its banner of unity, the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stands behind all of you, as we work towards realizing our collective goal of achieving a just and lasting peace for all Filipinos.

A Happy National Heroes Day to all!