There were quite a few reasons to celebrate in the Pacific Region lately... There’s a very important occasion for Mr. Beancounter’s family; their close friends had actually travelled for more than 12 hours just to join them in their celebration in Brisbane, Queensland. While Watson, our KaBlog in New Zealand is also looking forward to celebrate his birthday with his high school friends in Baguio City this year—which, he believes, marks the ‘beginning’ of his life.
October 17, 2010 was a very remarkable day in the Australian Catholic community. Around 8,000 Australian pilgrims gathered around St. Peter’s Square in Rome, and the whole continent froze for a while to witness the canonisation of Australia’s first saint—Sr. Mary Helen MacKillop, now known as St. Mary of the Cross. The Roman Catholic Church across the country has been celebrating since then for this milestone achievement.
Mary Helen’s selflessness and wholehearted commitment to educate the poor, especially those in the countryside, during the second half of 19th century was undoubtedly worthy of recognition from the Vatican. A century later, the church believed that through MacKillop’s intercession, a lady who’s apparently dying from leukaemia and another lady with inoperable lung and brain cancer were cured. Hence, another saint has been added to the long list of saints honoured during the Feast of All Saints every first day of November.
All Souls Day follows... and in the UK and the US, as well as in the 'Americanised' countries, Halloween celebration is the most awaited event this November. In Australia, various reactions have been observed lately as the elder Australian populace stood up against the Halloween-themed TV shows, trick-or-treat-related product endorsements, Halloween costumes and decorations in the shopping centres. Halloween had never found its way to the Australian calendar until recently when the younger Australians—influenced by the American TV shows, started celebrating the event.
Masks are very popular during Halloween... but every day, all throughout the year, a person is actually wearing a thousand 'masks'. And just before the Halloween celebration this year, our Palau-based KaBlog—CM of The Dungeon has found the courage to unmask a Global Filipino.
Because of their unparalleled commitment in delivering a better life to their family and at the same time sustaining the Philippine economy, Overseas Filipino Workers are avowed as heroes of the modern day... but there’s a story about an OFW who has obviously gone astray (you can read the article here). I believe that this is one of the few isolated cases though, and I wish it is fictitious. If it’s true, then the story is a good reminder for every OFW—a challenge to live up to the expectation of being hero.
Heroism, like sainthood, is not a child’s play. It is not strictly limited to just writing a patriotic novel, revolting against colonialism or martial rule; it speaks about one’s character to behave according to the current need of humanity. The battlefield of the modern day calls for virtuous men and women who have the courage to conquer economic instability and to make a valiant stand against the country’s chronic political dishonesty.
Heroes are neither born overnight nor created in a day; they don’t wear costumes nor possess superpowers. They are human beings who stand out from ordinary men simply because of their willingness to sacrifice, and to show physical, emotional and moral bravery amidst all adversities for the benefit of others. Unlike saints, heroes don't perform miracles but they produce notable achievements. Filipino heroes of today's generation don’t have their monuments in the park; they are still alive, and their deeds are forever fixed in our minds and engraved within our hearts.
► Read RJ's previous articles here.