The Art of Talking About The Ferdinand Marcos Years

Father and SonI recently posted something on Facebook that turned into a minor argument of some sorts, regarding people under the age of 35, talking about former President Ferdinand Marcos in the form of “I remember when…” Amazingly enough, there were some who actually defended those individuals.

Obviously these Filipino’s either reacted without reading — which is quite common — or simply didn’t understand what I had written. The following is the complete text of my posting.


ATTENTION!! ATTENTION!!! I have a special request I would like to make!

To any and all of you Filipino’s who are UNDER the age of 35. When it comes to talking about President Marcos and/or the Martial Law years.

KNOCK IT OFF!!!

You all harp and sing about it as if you experienced those years with personal, “first-hand” knowledge. Well… You didn’t. Good or bad. Right or wrong. You SERIOUSLY need to shut the hell up!!

You’re embarrassing yourselves. And you’re insulting the lives and memory of those who ACTUALLY DID LIVE those years.

Almost everything your knowledge “lays claim” too, is propaganda mixed with truth, lies and other shit you have either been taught in school, or the one-sided, biased bullshit you’re being fed on TV.

If you want to argue about the current half-wit in office. Or maybe former President Gloria Arroyo, I am open for discussion. But please… Erase whatever you “think” you know about Ferdinand Marcos from memory.


Although I myself may have not been completely correct, I can say my statement doesn’t contain much grey-area, and is to the point.

So what drives these young people to speak in a near-insistent “I know what I’m talking about” manner regarding the Marcos years? Personally, I believe it’s some kind of wishful thinking, along the lines of “I wish I had been there” with a hint of jealousy tossed in for flavor. Over the course of the last decade or so — and more recently the current Aquino regime — much of what President Marcos did — famous and/or infamous — has resurfaced. Especially among the younger generation. Most of which is driven, not only by the natural curiosity towards the Martial Law years. But his apparently endless list of accomplishments.

It seems these accomplishments have sparked some level of pride in the youth communities. In fact, so much so, the younger crowd is talking as if they actually lived it. I guess one can say it’s a form of flattery when they speak of all the great things Marcos may have done during his long tenure. But at the same time, when these kids talk as if they lived the Martial Law years. It can be classified as insulting to those who actually did go through those turbulent years.

vietnam-veterans-memorial-washingtonHere is another perfect example of how ridiculous this mentality can be: I recently had a conversation with someone regarding the Marcos years. And why she insisted her droning on was justified, due to the death of her Grandfather during those years. She claimed her uncle and Grandfather had been picked up, suspected of being anti-Go8 (whatever that was). I got curious and checked her profile. Which revealed her being born in 1996. Almost 2 decades after the said incident. When I mentioned the loss of my Grandfather in WWI. And uncle in WWII. My brother in Vietnam. And two cousins in Desert Storm. She argued that it was nowhere near the same.

Let’s see now. Her loss was maybe 20 years prior to her being born. Yet, aside from my Grandfather and uncle. I personally knew my brother and cousins. How does hers even come close to outweighing my loss? Granted. Neither loss in general, is enjoyable. But to be so selfish as to make such a cold claim?

We all have had dreams of living in another time and place in our lives. And there is nothing wrong with wishful thinking. But if you choose to talk about what I refer to as a sensitive or touchy subject within Philippine history. You need to exercise a little caution. And a lot less carelessness.

So remember this. If you choose to speak of a point-in-time that obviously occurred before you were born. Please, do so from a more opinionated perspective. And not some kind of fanciful, past-tense, hands-on approach. You will allow yourself room to ask any questions that may come to mind. And you look a lot less foolish to those who are in-the-know.

Jacques Phillip

As an ExPat living in the Philippines. I have found it relatively fun and exciting to have been given the opportunity to live among such wonderful people.

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10 thoughts on “The Art of Talking About The Ferdinand Marcos Years

  1. My grandfather lived it, my parents witnessed it, and they told me the tales of that era. They didn’t live in fear like you people claim. The only ones who lived in fear are those involved in rival political factions. Any objections?

      1. Nearly 10 years — meaning you’ve only been exposed to local conditions beginning 2005 when the internet was beginning to be infected with Marcos propaganda full of baseless claims, twisted facts and outright lies. As such, your limited view cannot possibly be relied upon for any worthwhile commentary about the quirky, murderous Marcos era.

        If you’re old enough to have lived in the country through at least 3 presidents before Marcos, you might have the much-needed perspective that would put Marcos, corruption and martial law in their proper context, enough to give your opinion some weight that not many foreigners living in the country would have, like the late Jesuit, Fr. Reuter. But you don’t.

        What makes you think your pretensions will legitimize online Marcos propaganda?

    1. you don’t really understand what you are talking about. marcos is a one man ruler and any other person or group is considered rivals so ALL/everyone is living in fear. or maybe your grandparents and parents are with marcos that’s why you are saying that.your relatives are with the dictatorial regime of marcos.
      or you really don’t understand this article.

      1. Oh believe me! I do understand these articles. And being a foreigner only makes me more aware of the way things work in the PH. And since I have lived here for 10 years now. I can say this much. Unlike us during the 1970’s and the Vietnam war. At least WE HAVE moved on. Unlike you idiots who insist on harping about the past. And living it as if it happened yesterday. No wonder your country is still in the dark ages.

  2. Marcos is the best Philippine president ever. The Pinoys are so infected with the yellow propaganda that has been going on since Marcos was forcefully ousted not by the foolish revolt but by the Americans. It is simple to understand that while Marcos in his younger years did a lot to the country and allegedly robbed the country of millions or billions in his later years did people fail to understand that when you’re weaker, trusted people near you we’re no longer trusted and abused their influences and power thus blaming the aging Marcos. He’s definitely not a saint and has done numerous things also that has made him greedy but what the people failed to see is that he did it because he wanted it for the greater good of the Philippines and the Filipino people. If he was accused of gold related crimes, he did it because he wanted to share it to everyone. Literally nit showering everyone with gold but by backing the country with lots of gold means that a country is progressively rich just like the most advanced and progressive countries out there i.e. US, Japan, Brunei, now Dubai, China, etc. But sadly, the world economy isn’t backed by gold now but by debts, which is the world leaders way of contradicting what Marcos did to the world as told by Karen Hudes, a World Bank whistleblower, by collecting the world’s gold and issuing certificates as to who’s the rightful owners of those certificates. A perfect example is Dubai and how they magically transformed their country to what it is today. Imagine if the Philippines and the Filipino people all sided with Marcos and agreed with all his idealogies, fought Communism with him, battled rights of Sabah, Spratly Islands, applied his New Society (Bagong Lipunan), embraced Parliamentary system of government, and lived the proud Filipino culture the way he is pushing everyone to live in, we’re obviously one of the top progressive and advanced countries in Asia. The Filipino people is known for having crab mentality and what happened to Marcos and everything that did him harm is a perfect example as to how we Filipinos can hardly progress on our own.

  3. I am 29 years old. And all I can say is that Marcos is the best President in the Republic of the Philippines. For those people who are talking shit to the late FEM you’re “bobo” just like your Noytards president. You are living in the dreamworld of your Noytards president. I don’t know what those people think in defending Pnoy. I really don’t understand what they see to that crazy president. Well, my grandparents and parents live in the era of the great President Ferdinand Emmanuel Marcos. And the only thing that they can say is that… Living in those times were the best times of the Philippines. Mabuhay ang mga Marcos!

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