MANILA, Philippines – Now and then, stories of heroism emerge from our mundane lives: a poor boy returns a bag loaded with cash, a doctor gives away free medicine, a city councilor gives his salary to schoolchildren.
It’s surprising that nowadays these stories make it in the TV news and hit the front pages of newspapers. Yet their treatment is regarded as novelty, like a nice and welcome curiosity given widespread reportage on crime, tragedy, corruption and scandals.
Aimed at upholding the values of honesty and integrity and fostering appreciation for them, the Tapat Summit gathered 9 ambassadors last May 26 to recognize and pay tribute to them.
The boy who returned the cash-filled bag is only 10 years old. This ambassador of goodwill was joined by his peers: a kalesa driver, a janitress, an engineer, a lawyer who sent himself through school by driving taxis, a teacher who remains dedicated to her vocation despite her age, a volunteer who built classrooms despite his disability, a Red Cross volunteer from the professional world, and a city councilor who budgets his pay to accommodate the less fortunate.
For these 9 souls who exceeded expectations and went beyond the call of duty, the Tapat Summit serves not as an awards ceremony, but as a way of building hope for the nation.
This start at nation-building took place in a small, intimate gathering where the Tapat ambassadors got to know and inspire each other. They were met by veteran actress and social good advocate Susan Roces, who was filled with admiration for the 9.
“It was out of the goodness of their heart that they did what they did,” she said.
“Katapatan is precious. No matter one’s age, no matter one’s background, it serves as a foundation and inspiration. I hope this will inspire our people to do good deeds, to follow in their footsteps,” Roces added.
It is through honoring simple acts of katapatan that many others may rise to the challenge of upholding honesty in a nation bombarded with corruption and injustice.
“Everybody must have the ability to follow what they think is true and right for them. The people honored here have done that. Despite being told to conform, to do otherwise, they still followed their heart,” said one of the organizers, Jasper Tiu, marketing vice president of Peerless Products, makers of Champion.
Simply put, katapatan is being true to one’s self and being true to what one does — katapatan sa kapwa tao, katapatan sa serbisyo, katapatan sa pamumuhay, katapatan sa sarili.
The Summit sought to uphold the virtue of katapatan in everyday life, to create a world where each individual is a Tapat ambassador. This movement hopes for a future where katapatan shines through even in the simplest of actions. – Rappler.com
To find out more information about the Tapat Summit awardees visit www.tapatsummit.com
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