Rethinking Marcos

Asiong, a karikna, is confused about my stance about President Marcos.  “I thought you were a Marcosian, you said so in one article, and then you were praising Cory in another post,” he laments.

Riknakem habitue William S. has also delivered an insightful dressing down of Marcos, saying, “I never forget my Ilocano roots in blood and in deed but it looks like we are pushing the envelope too far and too hard.”  He observes a “regionalistic grandstanding of patriotism,” and wonders, too, about my views on the issue.

Let me make clear my points then.

Cory did her best as a transition President, who brought us back to the path of democracy, and who restored the Filipino people’s freedoms. She could have ran for reelection, but she never entertained illusions of grandeur. The yellow lady knew when to step down, one thing Marcos didn’t, and one thing Gloria certainly doesn’t.

Marcos was a great social architect.  I believe that his vision of “Ang Bagong Lipunan” was sincere.  He knew just exactly what he wanted for our country and he had a blueprint on how things can get done. From infrastructure to participatory democracy to Cultural Revolution to educational reforms and values reorientation, Marcos did more than his fair share.

True, he was a dictator who suspended some of our freedoms, and it’s ok with me. I can trade in some of my freedoms for food security, for jobs, and for real and lasting progress.  However, things did not go as well as they should in the later years of the Marcos regime, which brings me back to my previous argument: his was a good presidency which lasted longer than it should.

Marcos was brave and brilliant, sinister and cunning. People question his motives.  One thing is sure: he loved us Ilocanos, and he was proud of our people. That is why most of his trusted men were from the North. I love Marcos, and love needs no explanations. Love, in fact, defies reason.

Uncle Gerry, my uncle, was an activist during the martial law era, but he ended up being a Marcos loyalist… and up to this day. (Click here for previous article.) Slowly, history is looking at the Marcoses with kindness, given our present crop of leaders.  Chances are, Bongbong will even win as senator.  Meanwhile, most young people know so little about EDSA, and many don’t care.

What then is the truth about Marcos? “There are no truths, only interpretations,” says the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. To tell the truth is to tell a lie. We Ilocanos have every right to write our own version of history, but we have no right to brand other versions as lies. There are as many truths as there are many people who search for it.

You can only convince a person whose loved one disappeared for eternity (desaparecido) due to political reasons during Marcos’ time that Martial Law was a gift from heaven as much as you can make people, whose lives Marcos brightened, believe that his regime was a time of darkness.

So, am I maka-Marcos or maka-Cory?

I choose to look past personalities and talk about their virtues and follies so that we, as a people, are not doomed to commit the mistakes of our forebears and presidents.  In reading the cumulative lessons of history, i embrace all colors, shapes, and textures.  I understand that Marcos and Cory are not two divides, but are stages in our nation’s quest for political maturity, and emancipation from the enslavements imposed upon us both by foreigners and by ourselves.

First, i am maka-Herdy, and then maka-Filipino.

Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

8 thoughts on “Rethinking Marcos”

  1. Nice discourse, sir Herdy, your words has the political twang, he,je,he… (just a jest!) But true, you really belt out the deeds, not the person. I could find no fault in there for your personal loyalty (if lost) to the Apo. “I come to bury Ceasar not to praise him…” was said by someone who look down on the Ceasar’s bad deeds. Today, people tend to look more on the good legacy of a dead man during eulogies. But there are still many who focus on the dark side. But, we do not have to be the judge on the balance of good deeds against bad deeds of anyone. Let’s let only God…

  2. Sir Herdy-
    Your points are well taken, understood and respected. I rest my case. I learned something again from you and indeed: Love defies reason.
    And you are always on the upperhand when it comes to social science and human behavior matters.

    1. Thank you, WIlliam S.

      As French philosopher Blaise Pascal puts it, “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”

  3. Iti panagkitak, ti pakasaritaan kas maisursuro kadagiti pagadalan ket eksaherado.Ti panagiladawan kenni Marcos ket puros dakes, ket kenni Cory ket puros nasayaat. Saan a maisuppiat nga adda dagiti biddut daydi Marcos, ngem kas met kenni Cory. Sibibiag a pammaneknek ti Hacienda Luisita.

    1. @eugene Umim-imbag ketdi itan iti keddeng ti pakasaritaan ken Marcos. Our emotions cloud our judgments, and time has its way of making us sober, and thus able to look things with more fairness. Note that Cory died just last year, resulting to an outpouring of public sympathy. It would be interesting how Marcos and Cory would be taught in schools twenty years from now.

  4. Bakit ba kasi pag President MArcos ang pinag- uusapan bakit ang naiisip ng ibang tao masama siya…..Siguro ang mga taong nag-iisip ng ganito kay Makoy ay yung mga tao na hindi ang tunay na kalooban ng isang marcos…..Mas marami nga siyang nagawa compare sa mga apat na nagdaang presidente eh…..Anu bang mga nagawa ni Cory?…..Yung kunin sa mga magsasaka ng hacienda Luisita ang kanilang mga lupa…Si ramos….wla akong maisip eh………Si Erap…gawing legal ang jueteng…?.eh si Gloria?..ang sirain lahat ng mga aspaltong daan na ginawa ni Makoy….Kaya Marcos pa rin ang the best president for me…..

  5. in my own belief, Marcos did his best to improve this country in his own knowledge. even if there are some people who criticize him, i know that many of us believe that he to his best. in my opinion, being a president is a very hard position. everyone of us is responsible for our countries improvement.

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