The Grey Chronicles


Marcos and Mt. Rushmore

In the 24th Anniversary of the original People Power, I’m taking a breather from my quest to quantify Relative Hardship for Iligan City or the Philippines. Twenty years of my life have been under the Marcos dictatorial rule. Ferdinand Edralin Marcos became the sixth President of the third Philippine Republic and his term began 30 December 1965 until his ouster by “People Power“ on 25 February 1986.

In 1965, I was a two years old baby, whose main concern was my own bottle of milk. By 1986, I was already 22 years old, and it was also the year when I have supposed to have graduated from the Philippine Military Academy, but been out of the Academy for almost two years before due to some circumstances beyond my control, I had to pursue my Electrical Engineering degree in a local state university.

Marcos Monument

Marcos Monument

During college, while writing for The Gearcast, the student publication of the College of Engineering in one of the Philippine state university, I submitted a drawing showing Marcos monument being pulled to attach itself to Mt. Rushmore.

The editor-in-chief then deemed it too political a statement; that the drawing, which was to be published in a lampoon edition of the paper, was lost to oblivion. I was only an associate editor then. Another colleague was even more apprehensive and he exclaimed, “That’s sacrilegious! controversial!”

I tried to contact the present editor of the school paper, but I recently found out that an archive of contributions from past and present students was no longer maintained. Ahh . . . those were the good ole days!

Below is the re-creation of that cartoon entitled: Go West, alluding to the slogan of by-gone America! The original cartoon was manually drawn, but with easy cut-and-paste feature on most graphic-editors nowadays, I made a composite of pictures from the web to approximate the original hand-drawn one.

Go West!

Go West!

The previous days, I searched whatever happened to this monument. Lo and behold! Further search took me to a site which hosted paint-ball war games around the monument.

Marcos Monument now

Marcos Monument now

At present, the Marcos Monument is literally defaced. This is not to say that Filipinos do not show their respect for their dead, much more to a former president of the republic, but the sad state of a Marcos-era relic is a testament to what oppressed people could do after a 20-long-year reign of am iron-handed dictator.

Unfortunately, 23 years later, with two ‘peaceful’ transitions of power from Aquino to Ramos to Estrada and one reincarnation of ‘People Power’ ousting the latter; putting Arroyo as President, the Philippines is still in the same sad state: rampant corruption; rising unemployment; the brain drain of the supposedly called new heroes—the overseas filipino workers [OFWs]—of teachers working as domestic helpers, of doctors and nurses toiling as caregivers, of engineers juggling as bartenders and card dealers; and politicians changing colors as frequent as they changed their clothes, all for show or just to earn Mang Pandoy’s or Aling Tetay’s precious votes!

Oh, my Philippines! When will we ever learn? Will Philippines forever remain the ‘basket case‘ or the ‘sick man‘ of Asia? Or should we heed the Thads Bentulan’s call for the application of his hyperwage theory, irrespective of detractors claiming its wild dream connotations, ambitious posturing for political office, incorrigible damn-these-PhDs-are-all-wrong and I-am-right arguments; and unacknowledged snippets from others declared a his own?


Photos courtesy of (man pulling rope); NNDB (Marcos Statue, before); WebShots (Mt. Rushmore); and People Corp (Marcos, present day).

Disclaimer : The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

1 Comment »

  1. I agree with you. After 23 years, Philippines has yet to experience that upheaval. The power of the people that the world witnessed in 1986 is wasted.

    Comment by Meikah Delid — 2009.February.26 @ 05:37 | Reply

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