What can be done to stop the youth from their hero-worship of Marcos?

ferdinand marcos filipino youth
What can be done to stop the youth from their hero-worship of Marcos? (Credits: www.tumblr.malacanang.gov.ph)

Today is the 33rd death anniversary of the late Senator and Martial law-era opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. In previous years, various activities were held to commemorate his fight for the restoration of Philippine democracy. This time, the public seems to be more preoccupied with the debate about whether his political nemesis, former President Ferdinand Marcos deserves a burial at the National Heroes Cemetery.

In a survey published by the Social Weather Station last March, 59% of 1800 respondents agreed that Marcos deserved to be buried with official honors. This survey, viewed in the context of the fact that the dictator’s son and namesake Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. won the vice presidency last May seems to suggest that the days when the Marcos family used to be universally reviled are long gone.

ferdinand marcos filipino youth
What can be done to stop the youth from their hero-worship of Marcos?
(Credits: www.tumblr.malacanang.gov.ph)

Hence, there are those who claim that many Filipinos particularly the youth are miseducated about the horrors of the 1970s and 1980s. Here are my thoughts:

First, most of the present generation were told over and over again that Marcos and the Martial Law are two things that were particularly horrible for the Philippines. Based on many evidences, that is true (e.g. corruption of billions of pesos, human rights violations, economic mismanagement, etc.).

However, there’s a notable lack of discussion on the few good things that happened during that time. So therefore, when millenials were eventually told about Marcos‘ accomplishments, they feel as if they’ve experienced an epiphany of sorts (they’re like, “Sh*t! Everything I was told about Marcos is wrong!”).

A better approach to teaching about the Marcos years is to mention his achievements like the infrastructure projects, etc. and then emphasize the damage he really did to the country. That will help the youth have a more complete perspective on what really happened at that time.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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