Cyberspace can't capture martial law fear, educator says


Posted at Sep 22 2016 06:21 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2016 06:31 PM

MANILA-- Social media can never capture everything that happened in what has been dubbed as the "darkest period in Philippine history," according to someone who actually lived through the Martial Law period. 

Gang Badoy-Capati, founder of Rock Ed Philippines--a volunteer group that uses rock culture to provide alternative social studies classes--was just a newborn when former President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. 

Today at 44, she explains how social media has been a space for spreading truthful and revisionist accounts of the Martial Law period.

"Spreading information on the internet is about speed and magnitude. Information is energy, it's a wave you can always counter so it can be about the number of posts or the quality," Capati said.

For Capati, Martial Law is an era with tremendous texture and layers that cannot be fully captured by social media users, particularly millennials who are accustomed to enjoying freedom.

She compares the limitations of freedom during the Martial Law period to today's social media users who fear posting negative sentiments about President Duterte out of fear of bashing.

"Imagine that feeling, that kind of non-freedom that is and multiply it by 10 million. That's martial law," she said.

However, she also explained how every generation is "guilty" of not fully understanding a certain period, in her case, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines.

"Every generation has their war that might not be transmitted to the next generation. I just hope that more of the young ones who were not alive during the martial law would be more aggressive when it comes to the information that is available. Be more discerning and credible. It's very easy to lie on the internet just as much as it's very easy to tell the truth on the internet," Capati said.

She encouraged everyone to speak out and share information, whether it be pro-Marcos or anti-Marcos but asked those who lived through Martial Law to speak out on the "non-freedom time" of the period.

"I think this is the texture of martial law that cyberspace can't capture: the overly pervasive feeling of fear," Capati said.