My Dog Ate my Article
Perfect attendance or rather perfect article submission down the drain. Yes, sadly last week I was not able to submit an article. Actually, I was not even able to write one. Why? We know that all-too-familiar excuse- my dog ate my homework. In my case it is really the reason. And, to put it succinctly, she died.
My late father, Jesus Antonio Matamorosa Carpio, was recently added among the Monument of Heroes. Our fathers are our heroes, as their children we always considered them as such regardless of whether they had been recognized and hailed as our country’s official heroes.
Wikipedia has a more extensive article on the topic since this is a recent addition to our national history. Textbooks are even under close scrutiny since, allegedly, they are not reflecting the facts of our recent painful past:
The Bantayog ng mga Bayani (lit. ‘Monument of Heroes’), sometimes simply referred to as the Bantayog, is a monument, museum, and historical research center in Quezon City, Philippines, which honors the martyrs and heroes of the struggle against the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Immediately following the People Power Revolution in 1986 that ousted President Ferdinand Marcos, Ruben Mallari, a Filipino-American medical doctor visiting the Philippines, proposed the creation of a memorial as a dedication to people who opposed the authoritarian rule of Marcos but didn’t live past the People Power Revolution.
The Bantayog ng mga Bayani Memorial Foundation was organized as a response to Mallari’s suggestion, with Ledivina V. Cariño, former Dean of the University of the Philippines’ College of Public Administration aiding with the creation of a concept paper for the memorial. The foundation soon established a Research and Documentation Committee for the purpose of verifying the nominees of the people who should be honored.
From its inception, the Bantayog ng mga Bayani was designed to honor all of those who struggled against the 1972 martial law regime, regardless of their affiliations. As such, it has maintained a stance that is “uncompromising against Marcos and the Marcos dictatorship” while honoring all individuals who opposed it, regardless of their political colors or beliefs.
The current chairman of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation since August 30, 2022 is Chel Diokno, human rights lawyer, current chairperson of the Free Legal Assistance Group, the founding dean of the De La Salle University Tañada-Diokno School of Law, and son of Jose W. Diokno.
Wall of Remembrance
The central element of the Bantayog memorial is the granite “Wall of Remembrance” on which are inscribed the names of the martyrs and heroes who were the victims of the abuses of the Marcos dictatorship.
Individuals honored on the wall are nominated by victims’ families, civic organization members, or the general public. These nominations are reviewed under a set of criteria by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Memorial Foundation’s Research and Documentation Committee, which makes recommendations to its executive committee for further review. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees then gives the final approval.
The initial intent had been to honor victims who had been martyred during the dictatorship period, but after extensive deliberations, the foundation decided to also honor people who advocated freedom, justice, and democracy during the Marcos administration who lived beyond the People Power Revolution.
Ang Mamatay ng Dahil sa ‘Yo: Heroes and Martyrs of the Filipino People in the Struggle Against Dictatorship 1972-1986 published in 2015 by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, features short biographies of the “heroes and martyrs of the... resistance against the martial law dictatorship.”
Up until now, I could still vividly recall- even at an early age -the day that I visited my late father imprisoned in a military camp in Legazpi City. I was with my late mother and siblings. History should be etched in stone so that the mistakes will no longer be repeated and lessons will be learned thereby the future will be a fresh start for everything that is best for one and all.
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