Manila Bulletin



Everyday heroes, we call them. We meet them in many places – the mall, office, church, school, hospital, even in a concert.

One of them is a woman who founded an enterprise that links food producers with consumers. Today, her organizati­on has started a “subscripti­on” system where consumers pick up a ‘bayong’ filled with what the farmers produced that week. We have that hero’s story here –“Changing the world one ‘bayong’ at a time written by Yvette Tan.

Sometimes, if luck allows it, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a stranger who turns into a hero before our eyes when she saves a life. A few months ago, a female doctor from Cotabato alighted from the MRT at the same station where a female

passenger’s right arm was severed in a freak accident. Dr. Charlie Jandic immediatel­y applied a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding, and kept the female passenger calm. The woman was rushed to the hospital where doctors successful­ly reattached her arm.

Once in a while, we read about heroes whose deed is simple honesty. The most recent was Gilbert Punzalan, a taxi driver at NAIA Terminal 1, who returned $3,000 to a passenger – a returning OFW – who had left 30 pieces of $100 bills in a white envelope. Another was Emmanuel Romano, from the sanitation unit of a Bulacan town, who returned a paper bag with 1427,000 to a doctor who had placed it under her bed and her husband had thrown it as trash.

Teachers are always in the ranks of everyday heroes. We have the story of Levi Jun Miscala, 23, who teaches in one of the most populated public schools in Biñan City, Laguna. He has worked to achieve simple goals – from getting parents involved in their children’s studies, to teaching a class of 40 students how to use a computer with only four working computers – with keyboards made of illustrati­on board and an imaginativ­e mouse. MB’s Stef Juan will tell his story in “Teaching, inspiring, helping students.”

A social and environmen­tal entreprene­ur is another inspiratio­n. Raf Dionisio, 31, literally trekked to become an everyday hero in Zambales. His aim was only to organize trekking tours but he has become so involved in the community that he started a reforestat­ion program and connected tourism with agricultur­e and forestry. MB’s Stef Juan will tell his story in “Growing trees and communitie­s.”

We pay tribute to a few of the everyday heroes in this issue as the country prepares to celebrate Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) tomorrow, April 9, to mark the bravery of Filipino soldiers during World War II.

There are more inspiring stories of everyday heroes who our reporters had the honor to meet:

A doctor who devotes time to treat indigent patients (This superhero wears a white coat, by George Nava True II);

A foster parent of stray cats who is now an animal welfare advocate (Kitten foster parent, by Yvette Tan);

A mental health advocate who opened a conversati­on line for those suffering from depression (Healing by helping, by Stef Juan);

And a World War II veteran who recently passed away, leaving his stories on bravery behind for the next generation to learn from. (A hero for the ages, by Raymund Magno Garlitos).

We hope their stories will inspire more everyday heroes – men and women who will spread kindness, honesty, and real concern for the community.

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