Part 1 of 2

It was the height of the recent national elections, and this question kept echoing in my mind.  For me, it was completely dumbfounding to think that many Filipinos were so desperate about change but were choosing the wrong candidate to become this country’s vice president.

Yes, I’m referring to the former dictator’s son whose name I do not think deserves any mention in my blog.

This is not to yield either that we have just elected to the presidency a man perfect for the position, but that’s a topic for another post or maybe let’s not bother.

Then someone on TV commented that it was the millenials who made the majority of this dictator’s son’s supporters.  Honestly, that was the first time I heard the word millennials. I thought what a caveman have I lately been.

Good thing an ever reliable source always comes in handy! A few search via Google and voila! I was led to a numerous definitions of the term.  Depending on who you ask, the term millennials is defined quite inconsistently with regards the period it pertains to.

I took the definition placed by Time Magazine and also adopted by Wikipedia as those individuals born between 1980 and 2000.

To my biggest surprise, I am a millennial!

Apparently, millenials comprise the younger generations who were born during the last years of the Marcos dictatorship; they may be too young to care about what had happened then which eventually paved the way for the most peaceful revolution in the history of mankind.  Perhaps they are too young to know what the hell Martial Law was.

Then I asked myself almost obliviously: how could this vast portion of the millennial population support a former dictator’s son who never admitted of his family’s crime and even considers his father a hero? How could they not know the truth about Martial Law and the injustices and human rights violations committed by those in power at that time? How could they ignore history which restored the country to democracy and gave them the freedom they are now enjoying? How on earth can they take the lies about the dictator and his abusive government and use arguments that were not only fallacious but faulty at the very first premise? How could they be so wrong? Now I sound a bit redundant, don’t I?

Granted, there are always two sides of the coin, but history has been written by the victors (the Filipino people who fought against a dictator), and only the bitterest of losers would attempt to revise it (rings a bell, doesn’t it revisionist folks?).

Then I realized what these millenials (discount me) might have profoundly missed: stories. Honest and real stories about what happened.

When I was even younger, I would frequently hear stories about abuses of the government under martial law from none other than my own mother. She would often recall her traumatic experiences of the abuses of the military during that time.

Another source of my information about martial law was the documentaries that some government channels would repeatedly play on certain times of the year.  Channels 9 and 13 would often do that.  I also used to be a loyal “kapamilya” and have known the movie “Eskapo” released sometime in 1995 which chronicles the ordeals of ABS-CBN’s Eugenio Lopez Jr. and senator Serge Osmeña at the hands of the abusive regime. Perhaps that’s one reason why ABS-CBN is often seen biased because their founder was apparently anti-Martial Law. But would you not be so given the same experiences? Would you not oppose a repressive regime just as he did?

Having been active in the parish life, I have known (although not personally) the late Jaime Cardinal Sin who was one of many heroes of EDSA. Many people in the church religious and non-religious alike who took part in the EDSA revolution of 1986 and even prior to it were living witnesses to the truth about Martial Law, all them aside from the many victims and their families who have told their stories like an open book.

Hearing these stories told and retold made me aware of the truth.

Going back to those millenials, whom I would assume are Catholics in their majority, may have once in their lives become a ‘kapamilya’, and have heard stories from their parents or any of the grown-ups they knew, how again could they ignore those truths?

It convinces me that these millenials, failing to hear the real stories grew up ignorant of Martial Law.  I dare point my fingers to the shortcomings or complacency of the family and the even the school. In fact, I could not remember any discussion about Edsa revolution or Martial Law during my elementary and high school days, but I could remember some professors in college who recounted the other side of the story but obviously of a different coin ala revisionist version.

As a result, many had become gullible; they have fallen to believe the revisionist version of the story. Where best to spread these ‘stories’? Yes, social media and internet in general. Obviously, there are particular information coming from the former dictator’s camp and trolls from the ‘solid north’ (loyalistas in general) who have declared open season on revising historical truths.

Read part 2 of this post here.