To Remember

From Benjamin Pimentel’s article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 12 Sept 2012

Feeling Lenin. Marcos frozen after death. With Imelda, who's face was frozen into eternal youth (probably courtesy of botox). Picture from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/277872/marcos-regimes-criminal-legacies-continue-to-harm-filipinos-fdc

Feeling Lenin. Marcos frozen after death. With Imelda, whose face was frozen into eternal youth (probably courtesy of botox). Picture from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/277872/marcos-regimes-criminal-legacies-continue-to-harm-filipinos-fdc

‘What was the point of getting rid of Marcos? Look at how there’s still so much corruption and injustice in Philippine society after all these years.’

We joined the fight to get rid of a tyrant. And guess what – we won. And you won.

I know it’s hard to believe …

But trust me: it was much, much worse back then. It was a much scarier, more violent time, when even the mildest criticism of government, of Marcos, of Imelda, could land you in jail or even get you killed.

Look at it this way. Some of you don’t like the current president. And you probably even joined the fad of Noynoying, making fun of the guy, calling him all sorts of names. You know what would have happened to you if you had tried a stunt like that during the Marcos years?

Marcos’s allies want you to forget that. They want you to see the long struggle against dictatorship, and the uprising that finally brought it down as wasted effort.

Which is really an absurd view if you think about it. It’s like telling our heroes and those who waged past struggles in our history that everything that happened, everything they did was a waste.

It’s like telling Jose Rizal, “You know those novels and essays and poems you wrote, including that last one you composed shortly before you were shot to death by the Spaniards, all that was a waste of time. For look at how messed up the country is right now.”

You’ll hear it from those who simply don’t like democracy, who find it inconvenient because it keeps them from acquiring more wealth and more power.

You’ll hear from those who just can’t stand ideas they don’t agree with, who arrogantly think they have all the answers and must therefore have all the power.

They’ll present themselves as the nation’s saviors based on twisted claims. Some would point to their military discipline and experience.  Others would claim to have the correct political line base on historical truths. Some would claim to have god on their side.

Don’t trust the liars and the bullies. Democracy can be messy and chaotic. But the alternatives are even messier. They create a false, deceptive sense of “peace and order.”

A delusion.

Photo attribution: koreanewsonline.blogspot.com

Photo attribution: koreanewsonline.blogspot.com

***

Uncle N and his wife are die-hard Marcos fans.

Not surprising, because they worked under Apo himself and Apo’s beauteous, shoe-obsessed wife.

When I would visit Uncle N, he would rant about how the current media would distort the memory of his idol. My uncle is Ilocano, as I am (well, partly, at least).

It’s difficult to argue with tribal (and familial) loyalty. I see Nancy Binay and I think, darn — she must love her dad so much to take all this flak from just about every Filipino who can still remember how to use his/her brain.

Maybe the problem is not that we can’t remember.

Maybe the problem is that we couldn’t transcend ourselves.

"Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali

“Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali

***

Reporter to Pope Francis: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”

Pope stares at reporter in silence. The reporter  asks him if he may ask this question. The Pope nods and replies: “I do not know what might be the most fitting description…. I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

Read more from this website — http://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20130919_1.htm

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s