He was already ruling with an iron fist on the day I was born. A despot despised, not just by the Left, but also those blessed with the gift of discernment. I was told, my father had to languish in a cell inside a military camp for months. My mother, who walks in crutches meanwhile, used herself as a human shield during the uprisings of the First Quarter Storm.
I knew of a life back then. When freedom of expression had to promote only the voice of the government; when dissenters disappear, never to be seen again; when cronies and their business interests come first before the needs of many. Sundry stories, I have heard; excerpts of a time now nearly forgotten. I kept in heart the narratives, because of literature, and the people who had lived through that terrible age.
I was barely a child, when the dictator was toppled; when ordinary men and women assembled in Edsa; when a housewife-turned-leader restored Democracy and the freedoms we enjoy today. And while ties to such past, will never be part of my memory, I pay my respects to the occasion, to express my gratitude to those who willingly gave up their lives for tomorrow's sunshine.
To forget, dishonors them, and erases the stains of the blood they have spilled.
And that is why it hurts to learn that so many, among the younger generation never really understood the idea behind the revolution, and the restoration of Democracy, of the days when the Philippine Constabulary roamed the streets. They would say on Twitter, "Ferdinand Marcos is the best President," without even making little considerations to the despair the country has to bear. This attempt at revision; this planting of the wrong seeds in the minds of people born after Edsa First terrifies me. It scares the hell out of my imagination because of the possible future my beloved nephews might have to live through.
For to call a despot a hero, to bestow him honors and wipe out all his atrocities from the annals of history is to allow the forces of suppression, of deceit, of human rights abuses to rule our lives once more.