After high school, I was to see the dark side of the Marcos years primarily through my readings of the horrifying accounts of abduction, torture, murder, and other forms of repression during that period. And I began to notice the cracks on Apo Makoy’s hallowed statue that had long cast a great shadow over Ilokandia. The rays of truth about desaparecidos and glossy propaganda in an autocratic state shot through the cracks and an epiphany of some sorts finally dawned on me. And so mine became another coming-of-age mini-story.
No, this doesn't mean that I have to totally demonize Marcos and everything that has come to represent him. It just means that when Imelda says she doesn't have anything to regret about Martial Law or when she talks about beauty and truth and God, I want to puke.
The books were all ears, as were students poring over research materials, and the lower floor of our school library temporarily suspended its “Shhh!” policy. The impassioned readings about harrowing stories of repression and abuse were too electrifying to miss:
♣ “Sa Panahon ni Hitler (Bangungot)” ni Luchie Maranan (read by the author herself)
♣ "Martial Law (sa pananaw ng hindi ipinanganak ng panahong ito)," blog post ni "annemarxze" (binasa ni Christian Fajardo)
♣ "Para Kay James Balao" ni Priscilla Supnet Macansantos (binasa ni Shekinah Queri)
♣ Kabanata 26 ng Etsa–Puwera ni Jun Cruz Reyes (binasa ni Abigail Torreliza)
♣ Mula sa "Tutubi, Tutubi, Huwag Kang Papahuli sa Mamang Salbahe" ni Jun Cruz Reyes (binasa ni Faye Abalos)
Of course, my favorite reading was that of Professor Abalos whose vocal manipulation of the text can melt a metallic heart (at boses pa lang yun ha hehe... ).
May we not forget these and other mini–stories of anguish so that we can, in times of merriment, remember that we can now freely chat and laugh because brave souls in the past were willing to be gagged and silenced for our sake.