Bantayog ng mga Bayani Tour Reflection
“The struggle for freedom is the next best thing to actually being free.” – Lean Alejandro
History plays a big part in our lives. At first, some of us didn’t know what “bantayog” means and why we need to go there. We have no idea. When someone asks me what the meaning of bantayog is, I said “I think it is statue”. But our tour guide Mr. Rojo said that Bantayog ng mga Bayani means Monument to the Heroes. I felt excited when I saw the 35ft. monument that can be seen in the street. It is called Monument of Inang Bayan which made of bronze. Mr. Rojo explained to us the meaning of this monument. He said that this lady with hands held high represents the Philippines with hope and the man kneeling down represents the heroes who died for the country. I was amazed with the dedication of the person who made it. We saw the names of Filipinos who sacrificed their lives and died for the country in the wall made of graphite. They have different place in the society. We read their profiles and some of them are businessman, workers, farmers, teachers, professionals, artists and most of them are students. It means that anyone else can be a hero, men, women and even youth or children.
I felt inspired and have more hope that the situation of my country now have chance to improve. There are things that seem very impossible to happen but with the unity of millions of people with courage to fight for it even it cost them their lives, there’s success on it. We have democratic freedom because of these people. I am still reflecting, “Can I do this also? Giving up everything and even my life for the sake of many people and for the next generation?”. This place should be promoted to the youth for them to know even part of the history. History should be known and reflected so that we can stop its repetition. Like having corrupt officials in the government, we should take a step to stop it. One of these is we will choose and really pray for a President and government officials whom we can trust and have fear in God. We will use our freedom to vote properly and to engage what are happening to the country and pray for it too. We will struggle with our country because we are still here in this world though the kingdom of God is here.
I realized now the need in integrating also in my teaching on how the students live with concern to the country not just always spiritual. I will also read or watch news not just always Bible and spiritual stuff. I will ask students on social issues or concerns and it will be the start of our conversation so that they will aware also of what happening in the country and what is happened in the past. We can’t stop war but we can hope for good governance in the future. Many died for it with a hope in their hearts that it is possible. So let us not waste it, the freedom that we had. We will always remember what our heroes did. As Dr. Jose Rizal said in his book My Last Farewell, “I die just when I see the dawn break through the gloom of night, to herald the day and if color is lacking my blood thou shall take. Pour’d out the need for thy dear sake to dye with its crimson the waking ray.” Let’s have passion like this in sharing the Good News to other people that seems no hope as they see what is happening to our country and to the world now. As Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Sr. said, “The Filipinos are worth dying for.” Though he is not sure if he dies, there will be change in our situation but still he did it. And this was a way that gives courage to millions of people to fight and die for the country. If it requires us our lives in serving Him, we will also say that Jesus is worth dying for. All of our sufferings and sacrifices have surely an end. We are thankful for this freedom that we had now because we are free in sharing the Gospel here not like in other countries. We will maximize it and not be ashamed for it because it is also for their own good and for the country. Everything happens for a reason!