This is not an objective post.
This post is not an impartial one.
If anything, this is my protest.
My take on a recent event that happened in my country.
A master thief and killer, buried amongst LEGIT heroes.
November 18, 2016. The ‘best’ president of the Philippines was buried at a place known as the Libingan ng mga Bayani, (Cemetery for Heroes).
I was not born in Marcos’s era. I was not also born in the time of the Spaniards. But why do our history books tell us to condemn the Spaniards and nothing but love and respect for the for the former president and the martial law? Former president Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972. My mom was born in 1973. Dad would have been roughly 6 years old during Martial Law’s first year of implementation.
Why is this fact crucial in my story? Because they will soon meet and will one day raise a kid who would learn to scrutinize history before commenting! My pillars for strength and wisdom, are crucial to the facts I would present soon. One person’s lust for power tempted him to declare an act. And thus was how his reign of fear and terror. A 20-year horror for those who lived then.
In their desperate attempt for power, the Marcos reign built lots of buildings and infrastructures. Still, the question remains, “Where did they get the money?” A law professor of mine once said, “I’d rather defend a murderer rather than a thief. For one may kill on impulse. But theft requires planning.” Why do people steal? Greed, envy, lust. Need I say more? And that’s just it. Those buildings his supporters take pride in? Built on a lie of progress! They’re all borrowed money! You wonder why the Philippines is still a poor country? Ask him! He borrowed so much we’re still paying for it 4 decades later!
When your freedom is lost, you’d do anything to get it back, right? Freedom among Filipinos was wrongfully taken during those 20 years and I’m not only talking about the freedom of expression! It’s no wonder they revolted! I would have too, if I was there. News, for example. During the Marcos Regime, everything was well hidden. A clever tactic much like how Hitler did it; massive propaganda and lies. Falsr progress is shown by the sheer number of infrastructure and building sites. But buildings and architecture is not indicative of a nation’s true status in the economy. Everything is news. That is how I see it. A Filipino journalist, Lourd de Veyra, has a segment: History with Lourd and their shows tagline is, “Tsismis noon, Kasaysayan ngayon” (Gossip yesterday, History today). A fitting description to today’s media and journalism in the Philippines, wouldn’t you say? But sadly, not enough information can be found with regard to thr Marcos dictatorship. Why? Media censorship. How else would you call shutting down media stations? Now a supporter might say, “His countless efforts should not be discounted by a single mistake.” Yes, that may be true. If he only committed one! And he is bound to have done a lot! He stayed in power for 2 decades! He surely could have done something! But the main issue is his ‘heroism’. Would you call it heroism if the highest official in the land turns a blind eye while the people he has sworn to protect are being tortured without question? Does the definition of hero include killing people who oppose you? Is there heroism when students, old people, men, women, children, are imprisoned simply because of their political beliefs or the beliefs of their parents? There is nothing heroic in any of these. Being a wat veteran and being a former president are not the only criteria for one to buried on such sacred ground. A thief is no hero. An oligarch is no hero. He is no hero.
His reign gave rise to numerous terms that once were positive in meaning, now have negative connotations in the Filipino culture! Crony, a term that once meant friend, in the Philippine setting, now has a negative meaning. Marcos and his cronies did not seek to bring back the Filipinos’s glory. They created their own, new oligarchy. They rampaged, killed, and created chaos.
Nepotism was their art. Brains and skills did mot become the category. Apparently all you had to do, was kiss their ass or be born into the family.
Supporters and fools would say, in social media, “Ibalik ang dati!” (Bring back the past!) When all was safe and great for them, for whatever reason they saw. But I say can we not dream for something better? Do we really need a dictator? Can we not think for ourselves? Can we not be blinded by fear or censored media? Is this dream too far gone? I hope not.
They say other cultures take shelter from the rain, but Filipinos sing and dance in it. That may not be entirely a bad thing. We will get through this. Discipline is best learned when its people are well-informed of their history. People who never learn from history, are doomed to repeat it until they do. I hope we learned. 20 years was a long time. 333 years was a long time. WE LEARNED NOW, RIGHT?
I was born ten years after his reign of terror ended, 1996. The world I woke up to, entirely different. I haven’t seen the cause, but I woke up to the effects. And I know, Ferdinand Marcos is no hero.