Mondo Marcos

Mondo Marcos: mga panulat sa Batas Militar at ng mga Marcos babies edited by Frank Cimatu and Rolando B. Tolentino

Gorramn me but I don't know where to start. I'm hardly a Marcos baby, I was 5 during the People Power Revolution (or maybe I am) and was too busy reading Pinocchio and the Little Red Hen to notice much. I suppose I can be considered a post-Marcos Baby(...a Cory Baby? that doesn't sound right, or relevant right now) I do remember playing in the street and when several truck loads of soldiers went by (they were supposed to be suppressing rebel activities in the katian near our town) and my young sister and me shouting out "People Power, People Power!" and waving the Laban sign at them with our hands before being rather rudely snatched and hidden away from the street by our relatives.


Living during that time is difficult to imagine now and it's not a subject you can just easily broach with the random acquaintance, therefore I am not going to attempt to review this book in that light. I can't. I didn't exactly lived through it.

Divied up between Short Story, Essay, and Poems these are all written about, and by people who lived through, the Marcos Regime. Of all the various bits, I enjoyed all but a few of the poems which I found rather incomprehensible, my fault really as I couldn't relate.

Right at the start, the short story "Kulto ni Santiago" by K.S. Cordero one is jolted out of any preconception of what the book is about. I think that having that as the first offering shows uncommonly good taste (I can not believed I just wrote that...something you'll understand after reading the story) in that people who approach the book loaded with preconceptions are quickly disabused.

The short stories are quite good; poignant, highly visual, charged emotionally, nostalgic but it's really the essays that should really pull one in, these are actual accounts (well, recounts) of what people went through in that most interesting of times. These are individuals, people who fought, or merely strove to survive. If nothing else than for their sake one must read this book.

So, highly recommended? Absolutely. A must read? Extremely so. Will you enjoy it? Depends on which side of the fence you're at, but (I think and surely do hope that) even the most rabid Marcos Loyalist will find it hard not to sympathize with the people in these stories.


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