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THE President called on Filipinos to emulate the country’s national heroes who fought their way and spilt their own blood in order for the country to attain independence, much like what the Philippines is doing now to free itself from the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the message of President Rodrigo Duterte, who also exhorted Filipinos to be heroes in their own little ways, as the country celebrates its 123rd Independence Day amid the pandemic for the second year in a row.

The challenges of the past year have tested our character as a nation,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded video message.

Each of us have been called upon to be heroes in our own right in fighting for our survival and devoting ourselves to the common good just as our heroes did more than a century ago,” he said.

The chief executive further said that by being heroes in our own little ways, the country is bound for a brighter horizon.

With their noble example inspiring us we look forward to a brighter future filled with hope that we will overcome the challenges brought by this pandemic. May the patriotic fireball continue to burn in our hearts.”

The message came at a time when the country continues to struggle with the problems in view of the pandemic which has wreaked adverse impacts on the economy, the healthcare system, employment and livelihood, to name a few.

It was also during the last 15 months that healthcare workers were finally recognized and considered heroes by looking after the welfare of those who have been infected by the deadly virus from Wuhan, China.

It was also at this time that the genuine “bayanihan” spirit was resurrected with the emergence of community pantries offering and providing free food for the poor.

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