We commemorate heroes' day today because on this very day in 1896, hundreds of Katipuneros launched the 1896 revolution against Spain. That revolt began in Mandaluyong and spread throughout San Juan and other districts of Manila. It took two years before the initial cries of revolution permeated deep within Philippine society, and became the goal, the soul and spirit of the Filipino. It took the Filipinos fifty years before finally getting the freedom they so desired and aspired for many decades.
We were made to believe that we revolted only against colonialism, against Spain who exercised both political and economic hegemony over us. What we forgot though, was, that struggle was more of a struggle towards nation-hood. We want to carve our own nation out of the colony composed of several races, not just Austronesian, but Indian, Arab, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Spanish, American, Malay.
Then and now, this country was peopled by men and women from different races who fell deeply in love with these lands and eventually called these islands their home. What united these peoples together was their unified concept of equality before the law--that every single one has the right to live in this country regardless of creed, skin color or race.
The Philippines we see right now is a multi-racial country, nay, a nation of free men. There is no dominant race that flows deep within us, but of being a Filipino. The revolution was the emanation of the Spirit which sprang forth from the collective aspirations for nation-hood of these brave men and women who want nothing more than bear the mark of a Filipino.
We borne unto our shoulders the hard task of keeping this same aspiration alive, against the fast rising popularity of tyranny, against increasing inhumanity and against the cheapening of life.