Thursday, February 23, 2006

Twenty years ago...

...I was a weird kid with a weird sense of humor and weird friends. (It stands to reason that I should grow up to be a weird adult...or maybe I didn't.)

...I was in Davao, as far away as possible from the political melee brewing in Manila. Granting that, it was still a fearful time because it seemed that the worst military action would always take place in Davao. Ah, memories of martial law still fresh: when military men barged into our house one early morning, aiming long rifles at my Mom and Dad, over some small infraction committed by our househelp.

...it was hard to express my political views because the Catholic school I was in was extremely conservative, with exception of certain teachers who encouraged discussion in their classes (I mean you, Mrs. Helene de Castro-Bello. Thank you very much.) We had a fascistic Boy Scouts organization (I mean you, Mr. Feliciano Puno), so that should give you some idea. It was a very frustrating time.

...we were driving one night, and a bunch of kids were shouting "Marcos! Marcos! Marcos pa rin!" and I stuck my head out and shouted back "Sobra na! Tama na! Palitan na!"

...my Mom and I would check the newspapers for accounts of what was happening in Manila. We both hated Bulletin Today. We both lapped up Malaya and Philippine Daily Inquirer.

...they called off classes on account of the trouble brewing in Manila. I remember waking up to the sound of the TV, and there was the Old Man himself, presenting someone who had blown the whistle on the plans of a coup attempt. He looked very confident, every bit the strongman. I didn't know what it meant, but Mom and Dad were riveted.

...I woke up one morning, very disappointed that there would be classes that day. Apparently, the First Family had flown the coop the night before and Things Were Going to Be Okay.

Twenty years ago, I slept through the whole thing.

1 comment:

  1. I was actually in Manila at that time -- I was 10. I remember a car passing by and some people holding their hand up in the Marcos "V" sign.

    I flashed an "L" sign back, and someone -- an aunt or a housemaid, maybe -- told me to put my hand down, that it was dangerous.

    Don't remember much else.

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