A trip down (a painful) memory lane
Dubbed as “Marcos Manloloko: An April Fool’s Road Trip,” activists from the '70s, accompanied by millennials, embarked on a tour of landmarks in the metro which they said were reminders of atrocities committed under the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
The tour began at the University of the Philippines (UP) where members of student organizations, labor and civic groups gathered and started the familiarization with visits to important spots inside the campus.
It made a stop at the UP College of Law where the history of radicalism in the university was discussed, and the Diliman Commune, where student activists held their ground against police brutality in 1971, was remembered
From Diliman, the next stop was the Old Senate building in Manila, where some of the biggest protests were held during the tumultuous period of martial law.
Of course, the focal point of those protests was Mendiola Bridge, the road that leads to Malacañang, which was perpetually blocked by barricades and police to shield the presidential palace from protests.
The activity sought to raise awareness on the need for candidates in the May 13 midterm elections to make “honesty an issue.”
“Honesty is and will always be an electoral issue, First and foremost, it is a requirement for public officials. From the campaign period and towards the end of their term, they must be honest in all aspects,” said Reverend Dionito Cabillas of Kontra Daya.
“This midterm 2019 elections will be dirty--from regular vote-buying cases, to vicious base-denial and red-tagging harassment supported by the government itself,” Cabillas added.
The students listened as the veterans in the groups recalled their experiences and discussed the history of each particular place.
The young ones heard from the old stories of violence, human rights violations, as well as examples of government corruption and atrocities.
The culmination was a visit to the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani, where the names of human rights victims during the Marcos years are etched. The participants honored their memories by lighting candles and praying for their families.
An activist sits inside a bus as it tours the University of the Philippines (UP) campus in Diliman, Quezon City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Martial law human rights activist Felix Dalisay shares his thoughts with the young people in the tour. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
The participants made several stops in key places of UP where significant events prior to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972 happened. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A young woman looks out of the bus, taking note of the locations where events during the time of Ferdinand Marcos were held. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Martial law human rights activist Felix Dalisay shares his thoughts at a stop in the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Participants gather during a tour around the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman campus in Quezon City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A participant views the old Senate building, now the National Museum of Fine Arts, on Burgos Avenue in Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Activists from the First Quarter Storm Movement (FQSM) find support in each other as they join the tour to historical places in Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Children play in Plaza Ferguson, a park near Roxas Boulevard, the site where activists staged rallies against the United States and the Philippine government. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Participants gather at Plaza Ferguson, as they share stories and anecdotes of their activities against the Marcos dictatorship in the 70s. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Participants raise their fists as they sing songs reminiscent of the struggle against Marcos, during a stop at Plaza Ferguson. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Activists from the First Quarter Storm Movement (FQSM) walk hand-in-hand as they join others in retracing their steps to remember the student uprisings in Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
The bus tour carried messages from the struggle against Marcos that are still relevant today. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A brief program was held on Mendiola Bridge, the focal point of protests during the Marcos years. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
People take notice of the activity on Mendiola Bridge. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
People pass in front of the protesters as they hold a demonstration, part of the program on Mendiola Bridge. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Students walk near the peace arch on Mendiola Bridge, erected to commemorate the various struggles held in this place. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Participants gather at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, a site dedicated to victims of atrocities during Marcos' martial law. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Young participants are ushered at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani where they listened to stories from veterans of the struggle against the Marcos regime. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
An old participant and former activist honors those whose names are etched on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon Avenue. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News