As a child, I grew up with the belief that Ferdinand Marcos was evil and Cory Aquino was good. Stories of the courage of the EDSA Revolution and People Power affected me greatly often times moving me to tears. Videos like these about the atrocities of the martial law enraged me. 

But having grown up some, I realized that nothing can ever be that black or white. It made me wonder why my lola harbor fond memories of martial law and why do older people go as far as wanting that kind of rule back.  It made me question if Marcos was really as corrupt and hateful as the media now portrays him to be? And for all the ridicule and griping directed towards Imelda Marcos, I wonder if people have forgotten that she is responsible for putting up the CCP, the Lung Center, and the Heart Center. In my blogging about Philippine culture, I often research using an old encyclopedia entitled, "Filipino Heritage", a series commissioned by Imelda. I don't want to change anyone's opinions about the Marcoses but we owe it to ourselves as Filipinos to learn about what really happened then.

I just finished James Hamilton-Paterson's biography of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos entitled, "America's Boy". The book posits that Marcos's rise to power was largely due to the endorsement and encouragement of the United States. From the very beginning, the U.S. aided in covering up his fake war heroism even awarding him medals that he did not earn. America gave him financial backing in the elections, supported his declaration of martial law, and even offered him and his family safe passage to Hawaii when things went sour. The author believes that it was only after America told him to, "to cut and cut cleanly" (meaning to get the hell out of the Phillipines) did he actually let go of power. Overall, the book is expectedly biased since the author is American. But it is also useful to hear about an outsider's opinion. It allowed me to see Ferdinand and Imelda as real people, with ambitions and flaws. It provoked thoughts about their intentions for doing what they did. And what exactly it is that they did in their 21 years of power. One of the things that struck me was this quote from the inaugural speech of Ferdinand Marcos in 1965.

"The Filipino has lost his soul and his courage. 
Our people have come to the point of despair. Justice and security are myths. Our government is gripped in the iron hand of venality, its treasury is barren, its resources are wasted, its civil service slothful and indifferent. Not one hero alone do I ask, but many."

I guess I find it disturbing because it seems that we're still facing the same problems we had in 1965.
38 years after martial law and we have not gotten back up. Now is the time to lick our wounds and get back into the fight. Perhaps Bobit Savila has the right idea.