#RPNonFiction: What Martial Law Was Really Like
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it." —Edmund Burke
The 2016 National Elections may be almost over, but discussions about its results and the stories surrounding this year's candidates are still all over our social media feeds. We already know who's occupying the presidential seat, but there's still much debate about the two leading candidates for the vice presidential race—Leni Robredo and Bongbong Marcos.
Right now, you may be asking why everyone seems to be against BBM occupying the second highest position in the land. And we understand why you're wondering because us, millennials, didn't live through the dark days called Martial Law, under the dictatorship of the late former president Ferdinand Marcos (BBM's dad whom he idolizes) who occupied the presidential seat for 21 years. We were spared from its horrors and the terror Filipinos had to live through for two decades.
Today, the hashtag #RPNonFiction is set to give us an idea. Movie critic Philbert Dy started the hashtag in hopes of ending our lack of knowledge about what living in those two decades was like. Spoiler: It was not the Golden Age of the country. The Marcoses and their supporters have long fed us with fictitious accounts of that time but today, we're attempting to end it—not just for our sake, but for the sake of the generations who'll come after us. We will never get tired of saying #NeverAgain. This isn't a battle between two political families. It never was and it never will be. This is a battle for our country's sake.
We're embedding a few tweets below and links to very reliable sources which you can read to kickoff your search for knowledge and truth. Word of warning, though: These aren't light readings and we ask you to read and really understand them—not because we want you to go fighting and bullying Marcos loyalists and apologists on social media, but because we want you to help inform and educate them and have a meaningful discussion with them.
1. Those who worked hard to fight for Philippine freedom during the Marcos regime, including their families and friends, were in constant danger. Some have survived and were traumatized by the torture they've gone through during Martial Law. While there were others, a lot who didn't. Some of the bodies were found and others were not.
My lolo was taken away & to this day nobody knows why he was taken or what has happened to him. Don't think we'll ever know. #RPNonFiction— Izzy Lightwood (@isabellalamag79) May 12, 2016
2. During this era, freedom of expression was non-existent. Those who dare say anything against the government are enemies of the state. Everything was under control, even what people should know. If social media existed during that time, not one of us would be airing our sentiments over the government's poor reaction to the state of the MRT or how they handled Yolanda unless you want to end your life right then and there.
Student Councils and College newspapers were prohibited. A critic of the Marcos regime was an enemy of the state. #RPNonFiction— Regis Andanar (@RegisAndanar) May 12, 2016
#RPNonFiction When there was a rally and my Ate wanted to join, my father asked, "Sige gusto mo mamatay?" It was a given that protest=death.— Shakira Sison (@shakirasison) May 13, 2016
Foreign newspapers with topics on PH had to be smuggled into the country since most of the press was state controlled. #RPNonFiction— Matthew Lopez (@MatthewLopez93) May 12, 2016
3. The economy wasn't booming during the Marcos regime. It's easy to say that it was because a lot of buildings and infrastructures were built during his presidency, but the country's debt was actually so huge. We'll be paying for that until 2025. That's not a small price to pay for what some people say was the "Golden Age."
Do you have some thoughts or a story to share about the Martial Law? Leave a comment below. We always love hearing from you. :)