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.