#Eleksyon2016: Marcos questions


THERE is no better time to talk about the Marcoses than at this time: pre-EDSA 1986 anniversary, a Bongbong Marcos candidacy for Vice President, a Romualdez running for Senator, and the Marcosian rewriting of history at its most divisive.

And most effective.

We can call it many things: a generation gap. The failure of our history curriculum. The success of bourgeois education. The protection of the interests of the wealthy. The blindness to history.

The way we react to it is as expected. We implore the youth to learn about Martial Law. We demand that they know better than to campaign for, or vote, for the Marcoses. We ask that they listen to the voices of those jailed and oppressed, raped literally and figuratively, by the Marcos regime. We demand that they change their minds about the Marcoses, make sure that they do not get back into the highest position(s) in the land.

Yet it seems we are not ready to answer questions about the Marcoses. We disengage from the more difficult questions about our culture, the questions that can only be important because these are being asked.

And then we wonder why a Marcos has dared run for Vice President, and why so many don’t mind declaring their support for him.

A question of culture
History and its re-writing is something that the Marcoses always engaged in: who else would think of having the Malakas at Maganda creation myth re-painted in the images of Ferdinand and Imelda?

But where the Marcoses are clear about manipulating history to their benefit, the rest of us aren’t even on the same page about what we must do with the historical artifacts that remain of our Marcos past.

Case in point: why is there no real discussion about Imelda’s contributions to culture? What did that mean for nation then, and what does it mean for nation now? While we are not having that discussion, someone like Carlos Celdran has created a career around his love for Imelda, on the premise of the ex-First Lady’s cultural contributions. And we let him get away with it, with nary a squeak.

And then we wonder why the youth would think the Marcoses a gift to nation.

Then we wonder why the youth cannot wrap its head around the fact that these cultural institutions were used as ideological state apparatuses for Martial Rule. We wonder why we cannot speak of these cultural institutions and its current dysfunctions to be grounded in a Marcosian rule that had the true good beautiful as cultural priority.

The more important question we fail to ask: which Presidential candidate has a platform for culture that will actually dare break apart these Marcosian cultural institutions, and put up a new Ministry of Culture that can be the real and new authority over these imeldific, outdated, and dysfunctional cultural offices?

About those jewels
Intricately tied to the question of culture is history, and there is no talking about history without discussing Imelda’s jewels, now assessed to be worth $21 million dollars (P1 billion pesos), which this government cannot wait to auction off – the better to earn from it, the better to claim it as part of this government’s savings? – before this Liberal Party ends its term.

I’ve said it before: keep those jewels, build exhibits around it, create a whole culture and tourism program around it. Those jewels can be a gift that will keep on giving, if we only know to harness it as a vestige of a terrible horrid past, and re-imagine it as a way of giving back to nation.

It also provides a wonderful teaching moment, one that a younger generation will be unable to turn their backs on, because it is proof of the kind of decadence, the kind of shameful display of wealth, that represents the Marcosian delusion. It is a display of excess that can easily be contextualized in the poverty and need of that time, the violence and oppression of the people.

Someone in the Presidential Commission for Good Government (PCGG) has apparently listened, and now they say that there will be a public display of these jewels before it is auctioned off.

But why auction it at all? These jewels can forever be our national assets, the value of which can only go higher as the years pass, the possibilities for tourism and culture, history-telling and education, endless and infinite.

It has been said by this government that they would rather get rid of vestiges of the Marcoses’ decadence, because it represents such a bad time in our history. But it is this horrible moments in our past that are just as important to remember, because these are the ones that are constantly being re-written, that are always at the risk of being forgotten. It is this Marcos past, that bears repeating, over and over again, because it is true. And we have these jewels, we have art collections, we have gowns, and mansions, to prove it.

To sell these jewels would be to lose out on the opportunity to create something out of history, not just in terms of earning from it as part of a tourism program, but in terms of learning from it, analyzing it, discussing it, reconfiguring it to highlight various aspects of the Marcos years, Martial Law included.

Seems like the best way to teach our youth why they should not vote for Bongbong Marcos yes? Seems like the best way to show the forgetful what the Marcoses put nation through, and what these kids of Ferdinand and Imelda have yet to apologize for.

The question of course is which Presidential candidate will dare have a vision for these jewels, and all the rest of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth? Who will dare decide to have a program for history, one that will bring in our academicians and intellectuals, young and old, to actually engage the public in a discussion about what the Marcos years were about, and why its re-writing is a dangerous thing?

Because look, a Marcos just might win the Vice Presidency.

That’s just too close to the presidency for comfort.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Martial Law period was the Golden Years of the Philippines…And VP Bongbong Marcos will bring back the glory days of progress, unity amd peace. Comparing with the Yellow administration, the country is far better managed during the Marcos years.

  2. I wonder why this writer could not see the BIG LIE that was thrown with the Marcoses back then. When Cory took the government, the Philippines went down and disgraced! Marcos time is the best ERA of our government and the country was PROSPEROUS! The Communist and the elite Aquinos including the misguided activist such as this writer plunged the country and the youth today to unending poverty and lawlessness! Go for Bongbong and bring back the GLORY of the Philippines!!!!!!!

  3. opinionated na pinoy on

    In 1975, Bong Bong Marcos went to study in London and enrolled in a very prestigious institution. He had a service vehicle, a Rolls Royce, with Philippine Flag displayed in front of the bumper, a vehicle normally used by Diplomats. A driver was provided as well, courtesy of Filipino taxpayers. Young Marcos is fully aware then, that all his expenditures and paid services did not come from the salary of his father as president of the Philippines. He attended a prestigious school that children of Billionaires from rich countries, as well as members of royal families all over the world were enrolled to get higher education. My conclusion is this- all his educational expenses and luxury lifestyle while attending college in London were all paid by Filipino Taxpayers. Today, their warehouse is still full of money, that should have belonged to BSP, a bank owned by Filipino people.

  4. We cannot blame the youth, it has been more than 30 years when we were under Martial Law. Many personalities have died like I was just in my early 20 but I have seen the atrocities of the military. Maybe Marcos was not responsible for all the kidnappings and killings but he created that atmosphere of military abuse. The country was bankrupt and we are just relying in foreign aid still bing stolen by the regime. One of the recipients was actor George Hamilton given by Imelda a house in Beverly Hills, the most expensive are in Los Angeles for SERVICES rendered. After martial law, the house was reacquire by PCGG because the funds were taken illegally by the regime. That is how bad those times were. The youth do not know about these. We seniors were aware of these corruption.

    • Bonifacio Claudio on

      I am a senior, too, but I belie your “yellow” propaganda that Marcoses are bad & your idol “aquinos” are heroes — the EDSA 1986 is a farce marking the beginning of the decay of democracy where the yellow gov’ts protected the interests of the wealthy exploiting the poor thru the auspices of the aquinos, the oligarchs & the conscript media. Hence, the heralded economic progress stayed in the pockets of the rich and did not trickle down to the poor. The yellow people, like you, & members of the conscript media have re-written history to honor the aquinos as saints & heroes contrary to the written testimonies of history — as to the WW2 Japanese Imperial Army, armed Communists, secessionist movements, reforms favoring the vested interests of the oligarchs, destabilizers & corruptors of the balance of power of the gov’t, etc etc against the weal of the majority “common tao” & of the republic. You will eat your words after the May 2016 elections. Mark the words of the senior citizens who belie your yellow propaganda…

  5. Dear Ms Writer;

    you just like a “Fish” with a BIG EYES and SMALL MIND; our country was infiltrated by communist during the 70s;

    You should learn Ms writer that during his term (Marcos), he did not declared martial law by himself because he wanted too but it has considerations and, these considerations were met that time which led for the signing of Proclamation Nr 1081 to save this country against communist insurgency.

    ABUSES during the martial law, by whom? Marcos? did he ordered anything to kill someone? There is this thing they called “CHAIN OF COMMAND” from which the President as Commander-in-Chief down to subordinate leaders of the AFP where leaders within this command channel exercise authority and when this authority abuses on their own gesture, there we could have a problem.

    There also is this thing called “CIVIL UNREST” a threat that comes from subversive organizations like CPP-NPA-NDF which constantly organize, protest rallies in airing their objection to some government policies and military actions.

    The thing is Ms Writer, what ORGANIZATION are in? using your freedom to express what ever you want WITHOUT THINKING and shallow knowledge about what really happen in the past.

    THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER HAD BY THE FILIPINO PEOPLE is believing that the AQUINO is their hero who saves this country…from where?

    THINK AGAIN FELLOWS… Marcos asked Aquino to pleased keep the Bataan Plant, if not, 20 years time, Philippines fall. WE FILLED-IN a leader that has no idea of what is going on that time.

    AND NOW, WE are once again, selecting a leader, a leader that will lead this country, and who do you this he is?.

    YES Ms Writer, in the other hand, you are right, A leader with a sense of awareness about our culture, and our country has a lot of culture to consider. Influence by the Spaniards for over 300 years, governed by the Americans, invaded by the Japanese and continuously influence by the Communist.


  6. A BIG YES to BBM! Bongbong is a good person and a competent leader. You are blinded if you fail to see that. God will make him win. I will vote for him and I want him eventually to become the President. Unity and nation building is the right mantra for Philippine success! If you choose to stuck with the past (30 years+ ago), then, you doom yourself to that darkness. Bakit maganda ba ang nangyari sa Pilipinas during the post-martial law years? (I lived during the martial law period. I was law abiding kaya hindi ako naging biktima ng anumang abuse.) Aquino is worse and even worst, a mentally deranged person, hinayaan na mapatay ang sarili niyang mga pulis! Corruption? Bakit nawala ba ang corruption after EDSA? Light will forever elude those who choose to cling to a selective past at the expense of properly appreciating what is transpiring at the present moments. Never na kayo magiging winners; forever na kayong victims ng matial law dahil ayaw ninyong bitawan ito at maging victors.

    • Ayoko po dati ang mga Marcoses. I was 15 on 1986. But Philippines did not get better after Cory sat as president. I became older and eventually chose to leave my country on 2009 because i was afraid for the future of my children. It cannot be denied, BBM and MDS are the ones who are “working” in the senate. Why will i not campaign for them?

    • The Ilocano constituent never saw the Marcos evil even at the height of Martial law atrocities. It’s like “My utot” is never “Mabaho.”

      I saw for myself the well-chronicled Ilocos infrastructure that Macoy supposedly accomplished there, but my expectations kept me looking because I never saw any. Except for Vigan, but Macoy did not build that.

      BBM main goal in life is to resurrect his namesake and bury Macoy at Libingan. It’s easier for him because he’s privy to unlimited funds. Why he’s running for VP even eludes Imelda’s thinking. He proclaims lofty goals that only a President can accomplish.

      Surely, he’s not half the intelligence and savvy of his father. He may be able to fool the people one more time. Thank God, He reserves vengeance for these!

  7. Want to understand why the youth see the Marcoses more kindly? Talk to them. Ask them. Understand them. Try to see the past from their point of view. Banging the head or calling them stupid or gullible as many of your kind do will not explain to you why.

  8. jessie corrales on

    much ado about jewels and historical bla blah. I will vote for BBM not for past reasons but for future. I’d rather have him than a pretentious Chiz or a hypocritical Leni 24/7 and twice on Sundays.

  9. Wala yan si marcos! Ayaw na namin maulit yung past. Grabe ang ginawa nyo sa mga Pilipino. Wala kayong awa.

  10. The government cannot wait to sell Imelda’s jewely para may manakaw din at paghati hatian nila. Nobody believes the administrations after the Marcoses are so malinis. It is even worse. Regarding history, there is always two sides and they should present all the facts and let each decide on their own. You must remember that Imelda was the highest foreign government official tried in the US court and was ACQUITTED IN ALL COUNTS.

    • Imelda did not steal the money and foreign aid, she does have the authority to steal. That is why she was acquitted. The big guy stole the money. He was not acquitted till he died. He was very close to the American president that time. All these martial law was approved by the American president. Without the approval of the U.S. the big guy cannot move. We are under the US remember until now.

  11. Dear writer,

    As a Singaporean, We always in-debt with Marcos. Without his contribution, Singapore is not as it is now. it been written in Singapore history that Marcos play a big part on what we become today. When we parted from Malaysia we a just like fishing village. Our late prime minister Lee Kuan Yew seeks advise from Marcos how to survive and using Marcos ideology that that our leaders built our country to become the most successful country now. Just imagine if there is no people revolution, what will Philippine will become now.

  12. This present inconsequential Regime led by the inutile president in malacanang together with her/his yellow zombies allies keep on harping that these jewels are the fruit of plunder of government coffers perpetrated by Imelda being the wife of the late dictator “kuno” Pres Marcos. Then if its is the fruit of plunder, why is Imelda still scot free with no criminal indictment in any court of the country? On the other hand why is Imelda not keen on recovering these jewels? Perhaps the answer is the statement of Imelda when interviewed by local and foreign media that the bulk of these jewels were gifts given to her by local and foreign admirers….

  13. I think years that passes by could be enough to prove them, brought them to justice but what have the past governments done,is it because they don’t have enough evidences to proved their wrongdoings. The best thing the government done should be ,sent mrs. Marcos in jail but maybe they can’t proved her wrongdoings. Do we still have the right to cry about, I think none.

  14. Or the son of a crony, former Secretary of Agriculture/FAPE chair ( Sonny Escudero ),
    the CCP and friends run by a former controversial Central Bank Governor of the Marcos administration too!
    How about the in-laws of Bongbong and Irene ?

  15. jeff jaramillo on

    Name those that were jailed and let us go over their background, who they really are and their activities before they were jailed or punished?

    With regards to the ill-gotten wealth, what do the PCGG do?. In 30 years, what have they done and got? And do you think you should be richer than a man who is an intelligent lawyer, statesman, and all?

    Aside from Joseph Estrada, all of the presidents after Pres. Marcos were unfriendly to his family, yet none of them is jailed for stealing money or the accusations you are talking about.

  16. Wala kaming tiwala sa Marcos na katulad mo BBM, babagsak lang ang kabuhayan sa bansa kapag nag presidente ka.

  17. To the Author,
    Well written article, and I wonder about voting for the other families with their ill-gotten riches. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  18. sobra sobra na ang ninakaw ng mga marcos sa kaban ng bayan hahayaan pa ba nating maulit muli ang ganyang sistema??? no to bongbong marcos!

  19. sobrang takot na kami sa batas militar! kaya di na mauulit ang batas ng mga marcos! no to BBM!

  20. peter victoria on

    mas lalong malulubog sa utang ang pinas kapag si BBM ang mananalong pangalawang pangulo ng pinas. WALANG HIYANG MGA MARCOS YAN!!! NO TO BBM!!!!

    • Hindi pinaniniwalaan ng mas maraming Pilipino ang mga paninira niyo dahil kitang kita nila at dinarayo ang Bangui Windmill at Solar Power Plant sa Curimao na sumisimbolo ng isang Nation Builder. #BBM4VP