There are some memories (or people) you don’t just bury.
I’m usually a forgetful person. Some things tend to slip easily out of my mind and when that happens, it usually causes trouble.
You know how sometimes you’ll walk into a room and you suddenly stop to think: “Ano nga ba gagawin ko rito?” (“What was I supposed to do here?”) That’s how forgetful I am. So what I do is I take notes. I set reminders so I wouldn’t forget important things, events, or meetings.
But no matter how forgetful I am, there are things I don’t easily forget. Things like special occasions, the people I love and care about, those whom I’m grateful for and those who I still hold a grudge to, and certain memories that I still hold on to.
I don’t forget certain things or people relevant to my life — my history.
When I found out the news about Supreme Court’s decision to allow former President (and former dictator) Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani, it made me wonder: “Is everyone that forgetful these days?”
How lucky for his body to be buried and hailed as a hero when some families never even had bodies of their deceased loved ones to bury during the Martial Law.
But here’s one thing, with or without their bodies buried, they’ll never be forgotten. Let me rephrase that: THEY SHOULDN’T BE FORGOTTEN.
It’s because you don’t just forget the blood spilled as bodies lie down across the street during Martial Law. You don’t forget the cries of every family who lost their loved ones.
You don’t forget the idea that you might be passing by someone who experienced and suffered during Martial Law and see the pain reflected on their faces. That person who gave you the freedom you so graciously embrace to tweet things like: “Move on na, mga bes! Matagal na naman ‘yang Martial Law thingy.” (“Just move on. That Martial Law thingy was so long ago.”)
No amount of infrastructures built during the Martial Law could justify the death and sufferings of people who fought for the democracy that we are taking for granted today. And just because Martial Law didn’t happen to you, doesn’t mean it never happened.
Martial Law was a bitter and painful part of our history and we should never forget that. Not today, not ever. You don’t just bury the memories that still haunt a lot of people and you don’t bury someone who caused them that in a place we said that are only for “heroes.”
Ignorance may be a failure in this country, but choosing to forget in spite of having knowledge, that’s the real tragedy.
So here’s to the forgetful ones, may you all sleep well at night.
Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of InqPOP! and INQUIRER.net.