Kapitan Kidlat and Other Boyhood Heroes




When I was in elementary school, I had a regular supply of Tagalog and English comic books.


My mom subscribed to the biweekly “Pilipino Komiks” for me. The subscription was to continue for as long as I maintained my class standing. My dad also occasionally bought me English comic books featuring Superman, Batman, and Robin. Kapitan Kidlat (Captain Lightning) was my favorite comic book hero then.


As a young boy, I enjoyed reading about these fictional characters’ adventures and exploits in their fight against villains and evil. So did my brothers and friends with whom I shared my comic books. We were thrilled with their fierce battles against their enemies to protect and help people in distress, and we admired their efforts to save their city from destruction by those evil forces.


I “worshiped" these imaginary heroes of my boyhood.


In high school, I graduated from comic books to history books and biographies of great men and women, among others. I read about true-to-life heroes, actual people, like our national heroes who fought our country’s invaders using crude arms like rifles, small guns, swords, and bolos (machete-like knives). Some used their pen. Both revolutionary leaders lost their lives fighting to free their people from the oppressive foreign colonizers.


We hero-worshiped them, too.


In my childhood, I learned about another "hero." He was not like those fictional characters who skirmish with an enemy in the sky with thunderbolts, nor historical freedom fighters with their high-powered guns. He was a simple person who led a small band of followers walking the dusty roads and hills of a tiny country. He attracted thousands of people eager to listen to what he had to say. His speeches created enemies who succeeded in having him killed brutally, but he became alive again and rejoined his friends.


He could appear in a room even with the door locked. There was a time when he finally rose to the sky in full view of his friends and followers.


This hero fought his arch-enemy, not with swords or magic but by suffering and offering his life, then rising from death. He spoke to his people with words and acts of love and compassion and told them to do the same. And he saved his people, not by annihilating his enemies, but by offering his own life for his friends.


He did not write a book that inspired a revolution. Those who heard and knew Him wrote about Him and what He said that changed people’s hearts and gave meaning to their lives.


No hero can ever claim victory by dying and rising again. Nor can any hero have a claim to a personal relationship with the people he died for and saved. No hero can offer everlasting life to anyone.


No hero has a right to our worship—no one, except Jesus Christ, our Savior.


Kapitan Kidlat, Batman, and Robin exist only in comic books made for entertainment. All great men of the past are honored in history books, occasionally celebrated, and then forgotten.


But Jesus is alive and remains still with us. Although He is in heavenly glory, He made Himself present still with us in a way incomprehensible to our finite minds--in our hearts in and the giving of Himself in the memorial of His sacrifice. He is constantly calling us to have a real friendship and relationship with Him now and forever.


Our Supernatural Hero, Christ, our Savior, the Lord!


Come, let us love and worship Him. All our lives. #


"But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 1:12-14)