Officially 3 years away from the big 4-0, when they say life begins.
Does that mean 3 years more in inception stage?
A day before my birthday, Ferdinand Marcos was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Stealth-mode preps from the family. Of course, once Filipinos got wind of the situation, the 21-gun salute was going on and a sort-of SDE (hey, drone shots!) was already posted on his daughter Imee’s Facebook.
Outrage online. Gatherings at the People Power Monument and on the streets of Katipunan. A lot of things have been said, spewed, spitted out.
#MarcosNotAHero. #NeverAgain. #NeverForget. These were the popular hashtags as of late. And black boxes as profile pics are in.
Being born in the twilight years of Martial Law, I can’t say I have experienced the atrocities then first-hand. But my parents and older relatives have their share of stories about what happened then until February 25, 1986.
To be honest, my clear memory of that time was my sister’s birthday. Papa went out the morning February 23 of that year to get the pre-ordered cake from Goldilocks in Shaw. He came back at around 6 pm. The cake was a mess in the car — the icing had melted. He said that he just went to look around the EDSA area. Oh well.
That aside, I will agree with the first hashtag #MarcosNotAHero. So let’s say he’s not directly involved in the EJKs or the Desaparecidos. But it was his men in uniform, whom he had control, who carried those acts out. And he didn’t call them out. That’s not a way of the leader. That’s not the way of a hero.
People say #NeverForget. That’s true. But I don’t think that telling the Filipinos that moving on shouldn’t be done is right, either. Hear me out on this: MOVING ON DOESN’T MEAN FORGETTING. Really. Just because people say “move on” that doesn’t mean throwing history out of the window. Seriously, people can rant all they want. But after that, what now? People can say they don’t want Marcos to be buried there, but then what’s your solution? I say, we move FORWARD from this issue WITHOUT FORGETTING the past. The solution: we teach our children about the past, the bad and the good, for them to learn to shape the future.
[Calls have been made to exhume the body. But really, is disrespect the way to go?]
The playwright George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying, “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” I do hope that for us, Filipinos, this isn’t the case. We have to remember that there was a man who brought us to an era of darkness. Yet, at the same time, we should go forward and bring this knowledge, this part of history, to the consciousness of the young ones so that they will work hard for this not to happen again.
And yeah, you don’t have to be born/live during Martial Law to call out what’s wrong with the issue.