‘Bayani’

by Conrado de Quiros, Philippine Daily Inquirer

“Hero” is abstract, “bayani” is not. “Bayani” comes from bayan, which can mean anything from village to country, from barangay to nation. What it means is a sense of community. Jess had that, as most Nagueños do, Naga being the only city I know that has no traffic lights, that directs traffic only according to the rules of neighborliness, according to an  oido  for getting along. But Jess had that more plentifully than others. In a world where people like to do things only for themselves, he did things for his   bayan. In a world where people like to stand out by looking down on others, he stood with others, trying to bring out the best in them. Which made him stand out in the end.

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