Friday, November 18, 2016
Pilipinas, Saan Ka Patungo?
So, today, the former President and exiled dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. A lot of people are outraged at the sneaky and stealthy way Marcos was buried. Current President Rodrigo Duterte and Malacanang even claim that they knew nothing about it. This is despite that Marcos was buried with a 21-gun salute or full military honors.
It's frustrating to be proud of the Philippines during times like these. It's not even about Marcos vs. Aquino or whether the Marcoses, in their rush to bury Marcos, went against the law because the Supreme Court decision was still subject to appeal.
People gathered in different places across Metro Manila and the Philippines to voice their protests.
And all I can think about is that the Philippines is a nation divided. While the anti-Marcos sentiments were being tweeted on Twitter, I saw a lot of pro-Marcos comments on the CNN Philippines' coverage of Marcos' burial.
Add to the fact that Bongbong Marcos almost won the Vice Presidential race. Current Vice President Leni Robredo won by a slim margin. Again, people might see that as a Marcos vs. Aquino race, since Leni Robredo was endorsed by former President Noynoy Aquino.
Some people say that the Edsa People Power was a middle- and upper-class creation, that people were paid to go to Edsa. I don't want to believe that because that was one occasion that the Filipino people were united for something, to unseat and drive off a dictator.
But, now, I wonder whether we can still teach our children that. Now, with Marcos now buried in a cemetery for heroes, former soldiers, and National Artists, I wonder if Filipinos still have a sense of history or pride.
Today is a very hard day to be proud to be Filipino. And I expect that it will only get harder.
When we, as a nation, are so divided that we forget our sense of history, our sense of democracy and justice, and calls for "moving on" from our history are brandished as if it's just a bad break-up, who then do we become? Where are we headed, Philippines?