In the Know: We have no ‘national hero’
According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Research, Publication and Heraldry Division, the Philippines does not have a single, official national hero because no law has been passed to recognize a national hero.
The title “national hero” came from the guidelines of the NHCP (formerly called National Historical Institute [NHI]) and was granted through public acclamation, the NHCP said.
The guidelines, contained in an NHI document dated November 1995 and obtained by the Inquirer, defined Filipino heroes as “those who have a concept of nation and thereafter aspire and struggle for the nation’s freedom” and those who “contribute to the quality of life and destiny of a nation,” among other characteristics.
The document also describes a hero as someone who “thinks of the future, especially the future generations.”
According to the NHCP, Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are called national heroes because they are recognized as heroes “on a national level.”
But while no laws have been passed proclaiming a national hero, several laws and proclamations have been issued honoring them, including those declaring Bonifacio’s birth anniversary, Nov. 30, a holiday and Rizal’s death anniversary, Dec. 30, a day of national mourning.—Compiled by Inquirer Research
Sources: NHCP, NCCA
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