Libingan ng mga Bayani

You know you're right! Gracias!

I usually visit old cemeteries before it gets packed with people for “undas”. Last year it was Paco park, which was once a beautiful cemetery. This year its the “Libingan ng mga Bayani”.

I enjoyed the peaceful and lush surrounding of the final resting place of our heroes. The silence is occasionally broken by small and big passing airplanes. The airport runway is just a few clicks away. Whenever a plane would land or take off you can hear its ear shattering sound below, so close that I hear ringing in my ears after – I wonder if the dead complains about this.

I entered the Libingan ng mga Bayani through the C5 area. Its a dangerous crossing but people do cross regularly. Since its not the proper entrance, some army guys  asked me where I’m headed. “May bibisitahin lang na kaibigan”. They probably thought I’m 100 years old to have friends there but I know they won’t probe. I was grateful that they allowed me because the main gate is about a kilometer far.

A German quote say that the “only real equality is in the cemetery”, I’m not sure if that can be said in the Libingan. There are VIP’s even in places like these. The extravagant tombs belongs to the generals and government officials. I’m sure the dead never ask for it. The rest of the resting only have simple white stone crosses. They died together now they’re all here. The countless burial crosses  scene from a distance is one of the most serene sight I’ve ever witness.

Every Filipino ought to visit this place and contemplate on the sacrifices of these Filipinos. They gave their all – will we do the same? Sacrifice according to a European thinker is the “passion of great souls”. So far our generation’s passion is the good life. What would be our contribution when Filipinos read about us 100 years from now? Oh yeah, its time to reexamine our generations role in rebuilding this great nation.

On my way out, I dropped by the National artist and scientist section. Unlike the overly adorned graves, theirs were very simple yet dignified. A popular blogger complains that it was “too simple”, I think it was fine. I’m sure our National Artist and Scientist, who lived modest lives, wouldn’t have it any other way.

I finally fulfilled my dream of meeting Nick Joaquin. Well, he’s six feet under but it was still a special time for fan like me. He’s was one of those people who greatly influence the way I look at Filipino history and life in general. His words redefined my concept of Filipino goodness and beauty. I’m sure he’s drinking his San Mig in heaven – plus ultra Sr. Nick!


7 responses to “Libingan ng mga Bayani

  • Pateros, Mas na Mas | With one's past...

    […] Taguig’s only historical heritage is a graveyard called heritage (well, there’s the Libingan and the American cemetery). Mention Pateros and people would speak of its balut, kakanin (like […]

  • De AnDA

    @ Bryan : I remember what that brutal American Gen Curtis LeMay told McNamara after burning Tokyo, “if we lost, we would all be prosecuted as war criminals!”, in short who ever comes out as the victors are the “heroes”! kaya dapat talagang aralin ang historia lalo na ng mga nage-escuela at politico🙂

    @ Pepe: He’s the genuine Filipino historian.

  • the showroom manager

    i love nick joaquin’s work particularly on history and the way he pursues his point. i only learned to appreciate his works two years ago. it particularly started with his Culture & History and Manila, My Manila.

    i am looking for his profiles on Nora Aunor and other reportage he did. he is a great writer!

    on vibora- his actions ask an uncomfortable question: who is the REAL hero? the ones who took the oath or the ones who fought the lonely battle?

  • Pepe

    The moment I heard of Nick’s death way back in 2004, I left my work station, went to some secluded corner overlooking the sky, and cried…

    I almost met him quite a number of times. But it was always postponed.

  • De AnDA

    You’re right tt was pretty dangerous, the vehicles are moving at highway speeds. So I wouldn’t recommend going by that route.

    Yes, El Vibora is there. His tomb was very simple, white marble with a bronze and black marker. I remember reading that he -wanted to have a memorial marker in Japan as well, I’m sure the Japs honored his last wishes.

  • josé miguel

    I am sorry. Item 2) should have been stated:…the only one who belongs to the resistance movement against the Americans who has a tomb there. I guess you know that Gen Ricarte is the filipino General who resisted the Americans, the longest, up to his last breath.

  • josé miguel

    Arnaldo,

    1) Be careful when you cross C5 at the vicinity Centenial Housing Compound/Ft Bonifacio Army Gate/Libingan Ng Mga Bayani/C5-SLEX junction. Many pedestrians have barely escaped being hit by vehicles moving at highway speed. At least one died of having been hit by a vehicle. That zone is really a blind zone.

    2) Have you seen the tomb of Gen Artemio Ricarte there? I think he is the only one who belongs to the resistance movement Americans the longest until his last breath.

    3)”Sacrifice is passion of great souls”. Struggle, resistance, extreme efforts increase: muscle strength; immune system strength against diseases; brain capacity; and sociological capacity of a people to recover their inherited excellence as a nation which has been injured.

    josé miguel

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