Never Forget: A Millennial’s Apology

Today, the greatest dictator that the Philippines has ever seen has been buried at a cemetery meant for heroes.

So, I apologize.

I apologize on behalf of those who refuse to see, and who stick to the belief that his reign was the “golden era” of our nation. I apologize to all the victims of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law. I apologize to the 3,000 that were killed, 34,000 that were tortured, 70,000 imprisoned, and to all who had to suffer from the regime.

I apologize on behalf of those who remain ignorant. I apologize to the little girls who lost their parents, to the parents who lost their little girls. I apologize to those who never had a chance to say goodbye to their friends. I apologize to the people who had to walk away from detention cells with broken bones and bruises and cigarette burns and no justice ever served to them.

I apologize on behalf of those who tell us to “move on.” For the fact that they do not recognize how it is impossible to move on when faults are never acknowledged, when murderers run unpunished, and apologies denied. I am sorry because they do not see that faults can never be forgotten and forgiven if not even recognition is given. I apologize to those who were raped, beaten, tortured, and were told to “move on,” instead of being told “Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.” I apologize that some victims will never be buried, while the dictator is–with a filmed ceremony and a 21-gun salute

I apologize that I can do nothing more than shout in the streets and write this, while the bodies of the true heroes writhe in their sleep, because their murderer lies right beside them tonight.

I apologize, and I promise I will fight. I will fight until it is possible for me to fight. I will fight for those who fought for me, until history is one where heroes remain heroes  and murderers, murderers. I will try to be a part of the hope that they have asked us to be, and stand guard until true justice is served.

After everything, it is the least I can do.

Sunday Morning Photos: Behind the Lens

My friends and I attended a Photography Seminar called “Behind the Lens”. It was interesting to listen to an actual photographer, but the highlights of the day were definitely the “capturing” parts. We met a bunch of kids who were playing by the grass near the venue, and took pictures with them. It was refreshing to see them run around and play, mindless of computer screens and cellphone buttons.

There was a time when we didn't mind taking a little fall

There was a time when we didn’t mind taking a little fall

Local products

Local products

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UP Naming Mahal

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UP Naming Mahal, indeed.

I remember a time when my older sister needed only to pay 300 php for each unit of her university education (UPLB). They had no Apple PCs in the library, no Bangas lining the sidewalk, and no faster online applications then, but she was happy. Why? Because that 300 pesos per unit meant that my parents could send the rest of us, her siblings, to school without worrying if we would have proper dinner to eat that night.

When I entered the university a few years ago, the tuition was more than double what my sister paid. And now it’s risen again. What makes it worse is that there were no proper announcements, upon enterinng my STS application, I was happy to see a 33% increase; I did not know it meant 33% of 1,500 php. Neither did many of my friends. How sad it is that the administration expects so much from the student body when they themselves cannot properly dissiminate information as important as this.

It is hard to swallow that students are paying so much more than many can afford. I have friends whose families do not even have enough money to buy food thrice a day. But I do not only feel bad for the poor but also the rich. There is a flaw in our bracketing system. There is so much more that affects a student’s power to pay tuition other than their household information and income. Even a student whose family owns three cellphones may be struggling to send their children to school.

At this point, even students whose households earn more than a million per year does not have to pay for higher tuition fees, not when the university can spare money to build hundreds of “bangas” to cover the UP sidewalk.