Saturday, April 7, 2007

April 7, 1978

April 7, 1978, 29 years ago today was when a highly successful noise barrage roused a fearful nation. Ferdinand Marcos had planned to hold “elections” for his rubber-stamp parliament in order to cloak his dictatorship with a mantle of legitimacy. Only Marcos candidates were allowed to campaign and every restriction was placed to prevent the opposition from being seen or heard. Come to think of it, those were pretty long odds. People were not allowed to peaceful assembly. The press was tightly controlled. It was a miracle that made millions of people go out of their homes at the appointed hour and make as much noise as they could with whatever implements they had. I was 15 years old and that night instilled in me the faith that we Filipinos had it inside us to fight against long odds. This marked the debut of Laban (Lakas ng Bayan) and the names in that slate will remain with me for as long as I live: Ninoy Aquino, Jerry Barican, Alex Boncayao, Feli Cabigao, Juan David, Jaime Ferrer, Neptali Gonzales, Teofisto Guingona, Trinidad Herrera, Priming de Leon, Chito Lucero, Ernesto Maceda, Tony Martinez, Ramon Mitra, Aquilino Pimentel, Charito Planas, Napoleon Rama, Anding Roces, Soc Rodrigo, Ernesto Rondon and Emmanuel Santos.

I remember writing all 21 names by hand on newsprint and asked total strangers to vote for them. The outcome was never in question but what was important was joining a movement that dared to stand up to an all-powerful regime.

8 long years would pass before we would wrest free from Marcos but on April 7, 1978, deafening sound turned to seed.

9 comments:

kick said...

I used to say I was lucky I didn't have to go through the Marcos Era; that I didn't have to experience Martial Law. I'm not too sure anymore. It would have been nice to have experienced the kind of nationalism that used to be present in our country. Right now it seems that most only care for themselves and not much else; perhaps they've already lost hope for a bright future for this country.

You guys have to win this election. The Philippines really needs new blood and renewed hope.

Alikoy (Phi'06)

Anonymous said...

Doc.. why did you not become a US greencard-holder or US citizen?

Another blogger on the quezon-blogsite mentioned that you probably entered the USA on a J1-visa for your training, so you are not eligible to become an American citizen unless you first go home to meet the 2-year residency requirement.

Paul Martinez said...

Anonymous,

Eligibility for green card for J1 visa holders entail 2 years in his home country after training OR 5 years in an underserved American area.

I think the good doctor has complied with the second (18 years in the US?) which makes him eligible to apply for a green card.

I believe the doctor is truly nationalistic. If you view his youtube clip, you'll definitely agree.

juan said...

From what is written on his blog. Doc martin and his wife are green card holders, which means as long as they maintain in an active status their state medical licenses, Drug Enforcement Agency licences, medical specialty certifications they can always go back and work legally in the US. He is not like Jim Paredes of the APO who burned the bridge that connects him with the US by surrendering his immigrant status to the State Department via the American Embassy in Manila. If his political ambition doesn't materialized in the Philippines , Martin can always tell his colleagues in the US that him and his wife took an extended sabbatical leave in their homeland by practicing volunteer medicine.

Observer said...

Juan,

I think you read wrong. Dr. Bautista is not a greencard holder. Watch his youtube clip.

nursing1998 said...

i wish doc bautista responds on the greencard question. Too much speculation, and if he wants to say "... the greencard issue is not relevant... i do want your vote so I can be of service", he can say that too.

Martin D. Bautista, M.D. said...

I was a resident alien the entire time I worked in Oklahoma.

john said...

i think the question is whether or not dr. bautista is a green-card holder.

his answer: "i was a resident alien..."

forgive me for my ignorance, but does a "resident alien" necessarily have a greencard?

not that it means EVERYTHING in the world, but can we just get a direct answer please?

Anonymous said...

resident alien=green card holder