Rethinking Philippine history and politics

“To know yet to think that one does not know is best; not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.” – Lao Tzu

Bongbong Marcos supporters might have voted him for reasons religious, political, and geographical affinity and Philippine History education malnutrition. The apparent insensitivity to what was considered one of the harrowing times and disappointments of the century was both insulting and appalling. The voters might have reasons apart from the ones mentioned above; thinking of whatever they might be became more of an eye-opener to me. Beefing up the curriculum of History in the country would be a vital step in making the people connected to its past. People’s, mostly youths’ posts on the influence of Sandro Marcos’ (physical) appeal to their voting Bongbong was in itself an indication of a questionable decision-making capacity. Some twenty years ago, I was at a neighbor’s house. I got curious. Mounted in their wall was an emaciated black and white photograph of a man in a t-shirt and a cap. He looked strong and healthy. His eyes reflected the vibrance of youth. I asked my cousin who the man in the photograph was. She said, “Sshhh, I will tell you later when we get home.” The kid in me got even more curious. So that balmy evening, cousin explained to me how the man in the photograph just disappeared during the Martial Law days. Fast-forward to high school and University days, I and classmates learned about the desaparecidos. That was how I got to remember the man in the emaciated black and white photograph, who, along with other Filipinos, perished during that period. While some of them might have done crimes, be they social and political, still, the decision to resort to murdering them was not the best solution.

The discord created by Martial Law stayed with the people whose heart for justice and mercy remained. As for those who might have forgotten such painful past, it is not too late to become part of our re-building as a nation. Remember and re-educate. Ask questions. And again, remember… (May 10, 2016)


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