Martial Law Life Lessons
All 80s Kids Learned From Their Parents
by Tim Henares
From most circles I could see, it would seem that while the number of Marcos sympathizers is at an all-time high, their roster mostly skipped a generation. My generation. The one that was born during the early ‘80s, whose parents directly experienced Martial Law, for better or for ill.
Isn’t that strange, though? Martial Law didn’t happen to our generation, yet here we are, still painfully aware of its horrors. Yet the generation before us, some of whom were actual victims of Martial Law, are now pro-Marcos in the present day. The kids born in the ‘90s are too far away from the first EDSA revolution, so it’s reasonable to think some of them would not want to accept the narrative of Martial Law as gospel truth.
And with that unique position of being a millennial on the cusp of Generation X, our parents, whether or not they now support the Marcoses, taught us a few peculiar lessons. Lessons such as…
8. Communism is really, really bad.
We Think: The CPP was given a bad rep beyond repair during the Marcos regime. It didn’t even matter if you agreed or disagreed with what happened during Martial Law: you still blame the communists for what’s going on.
Everyone Else Thinks: Communism in and by itself isn’t bad. Imperialist America has been too hard on them, when in reality, they are simply an alternative kind of government – so long as it doesn’t end up being ours.
Of course, it seems pretty terrible that some of the poorest and most oppressed countries are under communism.
We Think: Being compared to Imelda was not supposed to be a good thing. That kind of luxury and ostentatiousness was simply something to be frowned upon.
Everyone Else Thinks: Imelda is so regal and dignified even at her age! Truly, there is something about the good, the, true, and the beautiful that she so espouses.
She also believes her own hype, by the by.
6. “Bayan Ko.”
We Think: It’s the ultimate middle finger song to the Marcos era, along with “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo.”
Everyone Else Thinks: It’s just a protest song, period. There is a certain sense of irony when the recent “meetup” for Marcos loyalists at Luneta involved people singing “Bayan Ko” as a sign of protest. That’s right: the song banned during Martial Law was co-opted by the very people who want to bring those days back again. Go figure.
One, two, three, sing! Ibon mang may layang lumipad…
5. No news isn’t good news.
We Think: We haven’t heard from so and so for the past few days? What’s going on? Considering how many people mysteriously disappeared and never resurfaced during Martial Law, we were a bit paranoid back then.
Everyone Else Thinks: Good. They’re not getting on our case right now. Finally, some peace and quiet.
We are a clingy generation.