“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,but the urge to serve others by whatever cost.”
This statement by Arthur Ashe, an American professional tennis player comes to mind when I think of the men and women who are at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 pandemic.
The doctors, nurses and everyone in the medical profession who are directly in contact with patients put their lives at risk being exposed to the virus.
They have to be at their respective posts no matter what their family situation is, out of love for the profession, the mission that they vowed to accomplish.
Passing Arnaldo Boulevard, just across Roxas Memorial General Hospital, I saw six men—one driving the truck, another on top of the manlift to cut the branches of the tree that may cause obstruction on the road, two men holding on to the branches, one traffic auxiliary ushering the tricycles and other vehicles so as not to disrupt the vehicular flow and another holding on to some tools that may be used as the branches were cut.
It was at 12:30p.m. The heat of the sun was unbearable but these men were working so that commuters like me could pass through the road easily. Then like a bulb lighting up, I blurted out under my breath—these men are heroes.
I continued my journey and had to drop by to buy some medicines from a drugstore. The door was opened by a courteous security guard and I was directed to the counter to purchase my medicines. The pharmacy attendants were very efficient in facilitating the purchases of all buyers there.
They were all standing and walking to and fro. I thanked the lady pharmacy assistant and asked her if they also get to sit down. She answered that they don’t have the time to do so for customers who need the medicines have to be attended. I told her, “You know what you are doing is very important. People like you are heroes of this times”. She smiled. Then I thought: security guards, pharmacist, pharmacy attendants, cashiers, promodisers—they are all heroes.
When i crossed the street, I saw the Capelco vehicle with linemen aboard. And it made me appreciate the work they do. Their work is “buwis-buhay”.
It was sometime in January when Jose Pablo Biaco a Capelco line man died when he was fixing an electric line. My admiration for the bravery of these men. These men put their lives on the line just so we can have electricity in our homes, businesses and offices. The same is true of the men and women who work in telecommunications companies.
I continued to walk passing the Roxas City Plaza, I saw the gardeners watering the plants, the street sweepers cleaning, and the garbage collectors hauling the trash bins to the trucks. I waved at them, gesturing the thumbs up and mouthing, “Salamat”—heroes are all around.
Going home, I received a text message from my neighbor informing me that there is no water. She requested me to ask the Metro Roxas Water District what time the service will resume. I was informed by MRWD that the plumbers, maintenance men are doing their best to repair the damage in Paslang and targets the resumption of service by 7p.m.
I said a little prayer for these maintenance men, plumbers that they may fix the damage and that there lives will not be in danger as they perform their tasks. We use the flowing water serviced by MRWD everyday. There are men and Women working behind the scenes to give this service to us. Heroes at work!
And before the day ended, I saw the post in Facebook of a working mother taking care of her kids, a father who tries his best to provide for the needs of the family, and grandparents who take care of the grand children when the parents are out working—all heroes in our families.
I was smiling from ear to ear, thanking God for the many heroes I met today—the men and women who sacrifice their time, risk their lives, and endure the physical discomforts so that others could live comfortable and productive lives.
To all the heroes in our midst, “saludo kami sa inyo kag madamo gid nga salamat!”