A dark era in Filipino history comes to light in a social experiment.
The Philippine elections opened up a Pandora’s box of controversy.
The Philippine elections is just about wrapped up. And it was some kind of circus.
From corrupt candidates to one scandal after another to a potty-mouthed incoming president, it was only a matter of time before the world caught on to what was happening in the Philippines. Even comedian John Oliver decided to give his two cents on the situation.
However, one of the most powerful messages to come out of the elections came from a social experiment that cut to the core of many Filipinos.
It's a video made by the group Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA for short). Basically, a guy named Bong Bong Marcos is very close to becoming vice president. If elected, he’d be one step away from Malacañang, the White House of the Philippines.
You see, Bong Bong is the son of Ferdinand Marcos, a former president and dictator famous for implementing martial law from 1972 to 1981. Essentially, martial law is when the military is given complete control of the government, rendering the executive, legislative, and judicial branches powerless. It’s usually imposed temporarily in times of calamity, but this man led the charge for nine whole years.
And while some may say it brought its fair share of good to the country, a group of millennials are about to learn the terrible price others had to pay.
The social experiment begins with an interviewer asking young voters about what happened during martial law.
That’s when the young voters start to rationalize its implementation in various ways, remembering all the lessons they learned in school growing up.
They talked about there being order...
...and how Marcos was really more like a loving parent.
They gushed at the glory of yesteryears.
Finally, the interviewer asked, "Are you in favor of martial law?"
That's when the tables were turned and the interviewers reveal who they really are — actual martial law victims.
After revealing themselves, the victims shared their stories of survival. And oh, are they powerful.
(Trigger warning: Proceed with caution. Their stories are very graphic in nature.)
This man talked about a soldier that was literally drunk with power.
This woman shared what they did to her brother-in-law for three days.
This man reflected on how he was almost tortured to death by electrocution.
Others were violated in ways we wouldn’t even wish on our own worst enemy.
Needless to say, everyone was shocked. But a troubling truth was revealed.
These young people simply did not know all of this had happened.
And that’s only because they were never taught the truth.
Mind you, these are college students. Yet here they are, hearing the true history of their country for the very first time.
This may feel familiar to those of us who have learned aspects of our own nation's troubled history — a history much more complex than the "cowboys and Indians" narrative of our schoolyards. But learning the reality of our past can help us build a better future.
It is unacceptable for schools to only teach a version of the truth.
It’s like the saying goes, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." And while these circumstances are very extreme, we can not be afraid to trust our youth with the most powerful weapon of all — knowledge.
If you think the Filipino education system should tell students the whole martial law story, you can sign this Change.org petition to help our friends in the Philippines. It’ll only take a minute, but it has the potential to correctly rewrite a country’s history and improve how they shape young minds forever.
Watch the full video below: