A Country in Desperate Search for the Heroic

The Filipino word for hero: "bayani" comes from the word bayan (country). Bayani gives us the sense that in this country, heroism is not a thing only one person does. Heroism is the unified act of a community. The Katipunan is testament of that. While personalities like Bonifacio and Aguinaldo were there, the Katipunan is really the revolt of the "anak ng bayan" (the Children of the Motherland); and everyone who was part of it was rightly considered BAYANI: the fighting men who manned the trenches of General Trias, the women who brought medicine and food to the hidden camps, the children who secretly smuggled messages from one town to another. It is history--written with some Western slant that always focuses on the individual hero--that has not been too kind to the bayani and focused on personalities.