04 August 2011

Janella: A 12-Year old Flag Saver

Janella Lelis
How many 12-year-olds do you know who will be willing to risk life and limb to save the country’s flag? You can’t think of one? In Malinao, Albay they don't have any problems identifying somebody and that person is Janella Lelis who bravely saves a Philippine Flag from flood waters at the height of storm Juaning last July 2011.

The 12-year old orphan already lost her family's house and most of their belongings due to the heavy rains and flood waters when she was asked by her older brother if she would be willing to fetch the flag that they borrowed from school. If she does not have any sense of patriotism and nationalism, it is doubtful that she would wade through the flood waters and heavy rains. If she is not aware about the significance of the symbol, I don't think she would go through all this process.

A photo of Janella was taken by Francisco Pena Lozano and is now attracting admirers and well-wishers after it was posted in a social network site, Facebook. Most of those who posted their comments acknowledged the bravery she displayed and the sense of nationalism she possessed in saving the country’s flying symbol.

Janelle showed every Filipino that you don’t have to be a soldiers or a professional government worker to show your love for your country. Everyone can be a hero in their own small way just by respecting and protecting the national flag from harm and destruction.

Hopefully, those who are aspiring to be heroes by exposing the corruption in government genuinely love their country and are not doing it because they have some personal and political agenda. Maybe one way to test this is by asking them if they can honestly sing the national anthem (Lupang Hinirang) without looking at the lyrics.