Qualities of a True Hero: Does FM Fit the Bill?

The 2016 Philippine Elections was an exhilarating one. Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte won the presidential seat by a landslide. The Filipinos loved him, wanted him, and voted him. Now, the elections are over, President DU30 is trying his best to realize his promises and plans during his campaign trail. DU30 had always been blunt and honest about his position on burying ex-president Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, something the Marcoses have long been wanting for their beloved patriarch.

DU30 has since considered FM a true soldier fit to be buried in the much-respected cemetery and even celebrated FM’s birthday by posting a commemoratory note at no less than the Malacanang’s Official Gazette. Do the 16 million Filipinos who voted for him last May 2016 think the same?

But what is a hero? What are the qualities that a person should possess, the feats he must attain, to become a true hero? We list down ten qualities of a hero, and this should help us see if FM fits the bill or not. As the SC decides the fate of FM’s corpse, here we create our own mock court of sorts.


  1. Charisma

Charisma is the innate force, a compelling charm, a magic of leadership that a person possesses and radiates, which makes them attractive and likeable. It makes people draw towards them, as if in a form of worship, devotion or passionate following. It arouses people to render loyalty and submission. A hero, though they start as nobodies, they become charismatic and inspiring the moment they achieve a feat or do something “heroic” and extraordinary for others.

Trivia: Adolf Hitler was one of the world’s most charismatic leaders, although him being a hero is still debatable.


  1. Wisdom

A hero is wise beyond their years (and peers). They think strategically, altruistically, illogically, radically and have knowledge so deep and vast, which helps them in enacting change to a needy world. They command armies, appoint minor leaders and delegate tasks if need be. They evoke and inspire consciousness, stirring up thoughts and actions founded on the welfare of not just one or a few persons or a small community, but of the entire nation.

Trivia: Nathan Leopold was so wise he had an IQ of 210 and said his first word at only 4 months old. However, he was convicted of murder and was imprisoned for 33 years.


  1. Ambition

Everyone has ambitions or goals in life. But heroes desire something “good” not just for themselves but also for others. Some however do not just have ambitions, but the motivation and drive to act upon their ambitions and make them come true. Their desire for success is so strong that they can motivate others to rally with them, share the same goals, and work together to achieve them.

Trivia: Ambitious people may hesitate to share their ambitions with everybody, but they do surround themselves with equally ambitious individuals for support. Thomas Edison, the man who owned the most number of patents, was able to invent thousands of things with the help of other people.


  1. Visionary

A visionary is one who can inspire the rest of the people to do something great, to achieve greatness, not cowering when it comes to taking risks or trying something new. They communicate their ambitions and ideas to their followers or team with clarity, conviction and charisma. They sow their visions in the hearts and minds of other people so they can all work together to achieve a unified set of goals.

Trivia: Steve Jobs is one of the few people recognized as visionary leaders.


  1. Loyalty

A hero is loyal to something or someone. Loyalty means absolute allegiance and fealty to a country, a king, or a cause. A hero does not think twice of sacrificing their lives for the sake of the object of their loyalty. They have set their goals, they hold strong and true to their ideas, and it’s almost impossible to dissuade them from what they have set their heart and minds into achieving. That is why, they can do extraordinary things, achieve heroic feats.

Trivia: Many dogs are regarded as heroes because of their loyalty to their owners and of the way they risk their lives saving others.


  1. Determination

A hero faces struggles of all sorts, but achieves greatness and hero status for defeating obstacles that no ordinary man with weaker determination could. The obstacles they face are plentiful and challenging, but they overcome trials by standing up after each fall or failure. They do not give in or give up so easily. Surrender is not in their vocabulary. They live to prevail or die trying.

Trivia: “Give me liberty or give me death!” were the fiery words of Republican champion, Patrick Henry, who led the movement to free Virginia during the American Revolution.


  1. Compassion

Compassion and benevolence are another trait that a true hero possesses. They are the knights in shining armor to a country or people in distress. They may be tough and gallant, but they have hearts bigger than most people. Although recognized as a leader, they live to serve others with unparalleled empathy and compassion. Social problems awaken the hero within to do something to end suffering and distress around them.

Trivia: Jose Rizal, our national was so full of compassion and empathy. He used his talents and skills to reach out to the people who needed him. He taught children, treated sick and inspired the Filipinos to fight for freedom through his writings.


  1. Courage

There’s courage and then there’s heroic courage. The difference between the two would be the level of desperation, sometimes with a hint of recklessness. Heroes live in a period of misery or put in a circumstance that drives them to step up from their normal, ordinary selves and go on hero mode. They don’t just become brave but desperately brave, not just become courageous, but desperately courageous. That is why ordinary people can become heroes – out of desperation, when no one could help them but themselves, they desire and achieve greatness.

Trivia: Andres Bonifacio is one of the most courageous Filipino heroes.


  1. Integrity

Integrity is the quality of being deeply rooted in morality and decency, and having strong ethical principles. From it springs honesty, truthfulness and trustworthiness. When a person has integrity, they let internal principles shine through by way of their lifestyle or external actions with or without people watching them. Their unwavering commitment to uprightness helps them to stand firm and consistent on their beliefs.

Trivia: Heroes are people who transform compassion (a personal virtue) into heroic action (a civic virtue), [taking action] in defense of integrity or a moral cause.


  1. Selflessness

All these heroism, these impossible feats, a hero has achieved or tries to achieve not for themselves, but in service of others. They think of what a group of people, a country can do together. They think of the welfare and comfort of others, even future generations, first than their own. They earn respect and loyalty this way. The noble act of self-sacrifice sits a hero apart from the rest of the folks. Selflessness is the most important heroic trait. There is no such thing as a self-serving hero.

DU30’s insistence to allow FM’s burial at LNMB is just a speck of the controversies in his life and leadership. For our President Duterte and Marcos supporters, FM is a hero. For anti-Marcoses and victims of Martial Law, he absolutely is no hero. You, our dear reader, what’s your position in this? If a Pinoy had voted for Duterte, does it automatically mean that he or she is also in favor of FM’s burial at LNMB? Speak your mind freely via our discussion box below.

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