“I am rage! I am wrath! I am ire!”

“Prometheus Unbound” by Pete Lacaba and Dong Abay | I caught this on Twitter yesterday, another one of those things the local edition of Esquire has cooked up – this one, a poem from wordsmith Jose F. Lacaba, written during the martial law era, and perhaps best known for half-subtly comparing Marcos to Hitler. It was set to song by Dong Abay, and arranged by Up Dharma Down‘s Armi Millare for good measure. While listening to this I had a good thing about how often we said “never again” whenever 21 September – the day in 1972 Marcos declared martial law, extending his powers and clamping down on freedoms – rolls by. “Never again,” they always say, tutting at how the young ones, the ones who did not see the atrocities for themselves, have no idea how good they have it right now. There’s always this feeling that the kids should know, because they will never know. But horrors of the past aren’t exactly limited to the past. A friend of mine pointed out, to name a few: continued extrajudicial killings, still prevalent corruption and cronyism, the growing wealth gap, the loss of hope in the Philippines (despite what some president says). I think of the lumads being murdered, of contrary opinions being shut down, of next year’s Sabado Gigante with the same old people, in new costumes, showing up… [NB]

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