A few days ago marked the anniversary of one of the darkest chapters in Philippine history. On September 21, 1972, the Philippines was under Martial Law with Ferdinand Marcos’ Proclamation No. 1081. This further strengthened his authority as a dictator that eerily resembled Adolf Hitler’s rule. I was not born yet to witness and experience the horrors of these times, but this is no excuse to deny the truth that Marcos has never been the man many of his blind supporters think of. There are people out there who still believe that Ferdinand Marcos and his men were the best administration the Philippines ever had, as evidenced by the “prosperity” the nation had experienced during those years.
Yes, theaters and malls sprouted like mushrooms, celebrities and big-wig politicians from all over the world graced the country, but these were not signs of genuine prosperity. This was a false sense of development because underneath it all is a painful, dirty consequence that could outlive all of us in the present and the future. In order to achieve the kind of superficial beauty and short-sighted luxury for the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos borrowed US$10 billion (plus interest that continues to grow each year) from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, a debt or “utang” that we are all still paying to this very day. And you are asking why the Philippines has a tough time rising to its great potential?
The elections are fast approaching in the Philippines, and historical brainwashing has grown increasingly strong among the youths. Many millennials these days just shrug off what has happened on September 21, 1972 to party, to be apathetic, or worse, to be lured into believing false anecdotes of the past. Some kids would even proudly say on social media that Ferdinand Marcos was the best thing to ever happen in the Philippines. It is too painful to learn that a mind that young has already been tainted with lies.
Lastly, if you still believe in the revisionist tales you’ve been hearing lately, be ashamed, be very ashamed that you’d crumble to the floor and weep for the hundreds of lives who have not lived to tell their tragic stories. Always remember, these were the lives cut short by Ferdinand Marcos and his cronies to keep them in power for their own personal gain. We cannot let this happen again for we should never be fools to commit the same mistake twice. Love your nation. This is one way of truly loving yourself.