Filipino Role Models – Modern Heroes in the Philippines
Modern Filipino Heroes
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men.
They are heroes. And they are Filipinos!
On July 2, 1993, a pagoda carrying hundreds of Catholic devotees during the annual pagoda festival in Bocaue, Bulacan sank into the muddy Bocaue River. About 279 people, including children, drowned in the incident. One victim, Sajid Bulig, died a hero after saving four children out of the river.
Aris Canoy Espinosa
On January 30, 1994, Aris Canoy Espinosa, a 13-year-old boy from Lanao del Norte province, did something for his friends. A grenade on the ground was about to explode near the children. Aris quickly jumped and covered the grenade with his own body. The children were saved, thanks to the sacrifice of Aris!
On May 26, 1996, a fire broke out inside a house in Barangay Divina Colonia, Sagay town, Negros Occidental province. Rona Mahilum, a young girl, sustained third degree burns on her back. Despite the pain, she rescued her five brothers and sisters out of the house on fire. Then she tried to put out the fire with water from the nearby well. In 1997, Rona was cited for her bravery and heroism. Amazing!
On July 5, 1996, Chrisanta Seboc, a four-year girl from Barangay Sta. Teresa in Jordan town, Guimaras province saved the lives of her three-year-old sister and two-year-old brother from fire which engulfed their house at a time their parents were away for work. She was about to rescue another sister, an infant, when her neighbors stopped her from going into the house on fire. She cried because she could not help her.
In its September 2002 issue, the Reader's Digest cited the heroics of Enteng Tagle, who was ten years old when he saved the lives of his one-year-old brother and eight-year-old playmate at the Payatas tragedy on July 12, 2000. Nearly 500 garbage scavengers who were living literally at the Payatas dumpsite in Quezon City were buried alive under tons of garbage when a 50-foot garbage mountain collapsed on their makeshift houses at the height of torrential rains.
Agapito and Garcia
In the devastating earthquake that hit Luzon in June 1990, Florencio Agapito and Robin Garcia of Cabanatuan City died helping their schoolmates out of the Christian Colleges of the Philippines building that collapsed.
Cayabyab and Naga
In November 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has recognized 15-year-old Rico Cayabyab, 12-year-old Elorde Naga, and two adult fishermen of Paranaque City for saving three survivors, including an Australian tourist, from an airplane crash at the Manila Bay on November 11.
In 1985, Godofredo Latoga lost his life while rescuing his tour group members from a fire at the Pines Hotel.
Emilio Advincula, a taxi driver, has been cited for his sheer honesty. In 1996, his passenger, a Filipino expatriate, left jewelry amounting to P2 million and several thousands of US dollars inside the car. Advincula returned everything.
Ma. Fe Sotelo
Ma. Fe Sotelo, a security guard, achieved her dream of becoming a police officer when the national police waived its height and age requirements just for her. This was after she returned P500,000 to a Chinese businessman who left his bag at the comfort room of the Festival Mall in Alabang on January 7, 2003. The businessman tried to give her money as a reward but the honest guard politely declined the offer. She said she did not think twice about returning the money.