Growing up, I knew of the atrocities committed during the martial law era, but I didn’t really
think about them until I joined the political party Nationalist Youth and Progressive Democrats (NYPD) in college.
Through this party I met people my age or older who made me realize the importance of never forgetting and learning from the mistakes of the past regime.
Sadly, many Filipinos would rather move on or forget; some even criticize the zeal of today’s youth who question those dark days. Is it their fault?
I blame our educational system for not talking enough about what happened during martial law, for not taking then atrocities of that period and their lifelong effects on people seriously enough, and for making it seem that the Edsa Revolution was created by a handful of leaders and not the effort of millions seeking change, freedom and democracy.
It begs the questions: Why do you wish to move on? And how do you go about doing so? Is moving on truly a call of unity? Or does it serve the interest of those who benefited from those days?
I choose to keep the memory of martial law alive not to harbor anger but to prevent people from repeating the same old mistakes—and for us to truly appreciate the meaning of freedom. A freedom countless young, brilliant and patriotic Filipinos fought and died for, all for the love of country and freedom.
So, when people tell you “move on ka na,” remember this: They have those who died for the country to thank for allowing them to freely express opinions, political or otherwise.
Personally, I and many other millennials will never forget, no matter what others may think. So, go on, read and learn all you can about this significant part of history. Schools may fail to educate you, but you should never fail to educate yourself on this critical time in the Philippines.
This was more than a feud between two families; this is part of the story of the Filipino people. No matter how others may try to change history, there will always be those who know and will remind you of the truth. Through the latter, no one will ever forget the value of freedom. Never again.