Today – 21 September – will forever be etched in my memory, as I am pretty sure it’s the same in the collective consciousness or unconsciousness of the people affected by it.
The fact that the people I love, and my lifetime friends or BFF’s (Best Friends Forever) treat me with a certain level of suspicion betray as much about them as it does of myself.
For we were, when all is said and done, “Martial Law” babies, born to an era of corruption, nourished by propagandas, cultivated by threats, censor-fed, soaked daily in self-loathing; curfew kept us in line as a working sheep dog would. Trust is the last thing one can expect; paranoids – that’s what we have become!
One day, exactly a week after my twelfth birthday, on September 21, 1972 by virtue of Proclamation 1081, then President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law in the Philippines. Nothing will ever be the same from then on.
Fourteen years later, on February 21, 1986, that Marcos and his family fled Malacanang Palace realizing perhaps that there was no way that he could sway the raging force of “People Power”.
I was 26 years old by then, and I distinctly remember my cockiness and arrogance, as youthful ignorance overpowered my whole being. I was confident of my future and how I want the world to know me. In short, my view is the world according to “Me”.
All turned out to be one epic failure!
That was then, fast forward to some 28 years later, and the scar left by Martial Law still lingers, albeit years of practice have aided me to learn to adapt, to mask it to near perfection!
I am shy; I am a people-person, once you manage to break through the ice.
I am a prude; I am a natural flirt, no exceptions!
I am a Catholic; I am agnostic, I need to believe, so thank you, X-Files.
I am Bipolar, Bifocal.
I came from Third World, currently living in a First World country – Australia, regardless that the definition of First World is now less concrete than during the Cold War.
I am Bilateral, I am Homosapien.
The healing process is slow, sporadic and irregular.
So yes, even though it may not be the sole reason for what we have become, Martial Law has a lot to answer for…
After all, we were Martial Law babies!
“Freedom is not won on the battlefields.
The chance for freedom is won there.
The final battle is won or lost in our hearts and minds.” -Helen Gahagan Douglass
Other post/s by Benny Chan Jr
- Searching for a new breed of Filipino leaders - December 1st, 2013
- We Don't Say Goodbye, But Whose Life Is It Anyway? - July 9th, 2013
- Scarred by Domestic Violence - June 19th, 2013
- "No Way To Treat A Lady?", Julia Gillard, Jessica Soho, et al - June 17th, 2013
- The Great Gatsby and Reflections on Philippine Independence Day - June 12th, 2013