We're having a long weekend. Today is a holiday in the Philippines. Today we remember the declaration of Martial Law by then President Ferdinand Marcos 37 years ago. I remember the events as a child growing up and suddenly my parents herding all of us in the house which was pretty difficult since this was the time when mobile phones were not yet invented and Mama has to frantically call on friends, school and work to get all my siblings home. The next few days were spent going around in whispers. Years after, I remembered curfew nights and everybody has to be home by 10 PM which is pretty irritating for somebody who just had her curfew hours extended until midnight. I mean you have to go home by 11 PM to beat the deadline or else the military will detain you. . . .I remember my brother Joey with his long hair and nationalistic tendencies, being the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper forever advised by my parents to observe discretion and concentrate on his high grades. My uncles who were outspoken Opposition figures, my mother a "blue lady" (women supporting the first lady, and in my Mom's case, the wife of the Makati Mayor Yabut), priests and nun relatives helping political prisoners, my older sisters finally having their career, our dog Lord Vincent (a cross-breed St. Bernard) arriving as a gift and part of the family, the beginnings of Quad now called Glorietta (which is just a jog away with our dog in tow!), outlandish structures, concerts with foreign acts, experimental cinema that became a venue for uncensored films bordering mostly on pornographic materials, some relatives migrating to other lands, Ninoy Aquino imprisoned, went on exile, came home, killed and Cory's political awakenings and Presidency . . . and the end of Martial Law.
I looked back at all these events with my dog Sumo while my friends were calling for mall gimik (outing in the mall) or something. Actually, I already passed offers for a long holiday in a health spa because I have domestic chores (Thursday dog day clean-up) and pending appointments. And when I was ready to pack up for the weekend, my student called for a workshop that can not be canceled. Oh, how can I miss a fun, therapeutic session with kids?! In the end, I spent the weekend with kids, with my dogs and the plants in our house Heaven . . . quietly reminiscing about a supposed dark time in our history, trying to reconcile the lavish infrastructure, the veiled security measures, amidst the days spent walking freely around, enjoying family and traffic-less roads, growing up happy and carefree and connected even without the PC and celfon while in the grip of Martial Law.