“Pity the Land that Needs A Hero” – Berthold Brecht.
If anything, I hope burying Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani will help us get over our “hero complex”. Filipinos don’t need to be saved. Filipinos need to learn how to do shit for themselves. We truly do.
Seriously. The problem here is complicit historical amnesia. We didn’t learn lessons from Spanish colonization. We didn’t learn lessons from American imperialist expansion and our tragic involvement in the “Liberation of Manila” . We totally gloss over the Japanese occupation and hey- apparently we’ve even forgotten that China stole our islands less than a year ago. So how is it a surprise that nobody remembers the abuses that happened under Martial Law? History seems to be a gift for a very select few in this country.
Marching to protest his burial may work in the short run I guess, but frankly, how can we complain when we ourselves did not demand that memory be set in stone when we had the chance?
The Liberation of Manila was swept away because many in that generation did not want to relive the pain when retelling the tale. Erasing a memory is a natural coping mechanism. But this conscious act of forgetting the end of World War 2, deprived the next generation of Filipinos from learning what they lost and what they could lose again.
So if we really want our fellow Filipinos to remember things, let’s do it through arts and culture. Let’s build a museum (hell, let’s do it in BGC – whaddaya say, Ayalas?); let’s make paintings, let’s stage shows; let’s write books and plays, but most of all let’s balance out the school curriculum. We owe it to the next generation.