A while ago in class today, our topic was historical events and places in NCR, and very timely the discussion focused on the EDSA Revolution and the different circumstances that led to that life changing event. My students had a lot of questions about the dark years in Philippine history. As an educator, I adressed them as developmentally appropriate and as objectively as possible.
Before closing the lesson, I showed a video of the EDSA People Power Revolution. As the song, “Magkaisa,” played in the background, and as scenes from the martial law years flooded the screen, I felt yet again that strong, familiar stirring of emotions. In fact, I had to clear my throat a couple of times before addressing the class. When I turned on the lights as the video comes to an end, I was even more surprised to see some of my students with tears in their eyes. As the last notes of the song faded into the background, the class fell silent, clearly absorbing everything before slowly breaking into a heartfelt clap. It was deeply moving. Deeply moving.
Nine year olds…what do they know about martial law, about Ferdinand Marcos, or about history. Nothing except what we tell them. But then, how we tell them matters as much as what we tell them. So, lets explain history and what is happening right now in the light of faith and reason because this is the only way we can raise critical thinkers, sound decision makers, and upright leaders of the furture. Our roles as storytellers and witnesses of the past and present times matter. They matter a lot to our children so lets take these roles seriously.
It is a sad day for the Filipinos, I agree but this does not dictate how our future will be like. Before I even knew of the Supreme Court’s decision on Marcos burial today, a student raised this question just before we ended the class, “Should we allow Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani?” After an exchange of opinions and ideas, I let them decide. My 26 nine year old students made a stand. They based their decision on what they know about what makes a hero, in plain and simple truth. 24 out of my 26 students voted against it. Judging from the way my students made their choice, I see a “bright” future for the Philippines. ????????????