Filipino millenial voters deserve better than a 1970s-vintage ‘Never Again’ slogan

The youth is all about the future. This is why the ‘Never Aqain’ rhetoric of the anti-Marcos camp all but fails to resonate amongst the Philippines’ youth. That’s unfortunate for candidates and parties that have their so-called platforms firmly-rooted in the past. Young Filipinos, quite simply, do not care about the past, perhaps, rightly so, because there is not much about the past that is under their control.


Indeed, many of those who throw hissy tantrums about the ‘victimisation’ of Filipinos by the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos (FM) are, themselves, part of the very generation that ran the Philippines to the ground. They are the very Filipinos who foolishly held on to long-discredited notions, like (1) the idea that a ‘lack of freedom’ is behind the Philippines’ chronic backwardness, (2) that the Philippines can easily descend into ‘another dictatorship’ if people are not ‘vigilant’, and (3) that the Philippines can only move forward if ‘long-overdue justice’ is served.

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It is important to note, however, that whatever “sins” the Marcos family is supposedly guilty of is no different from the sins of the oligarchy that remains firmly entrenched in Filipinos’ social, economic, and political life. Perhaps there is much about what the government of FM allegedly perpetrated while holding the country in the grip of Martial Law to account for. But how is this different from the same thievery and injustice perpetrated by post-1986 governments and oligarchs?

It is thanks to this very important aspect of how the Philippines failed to change under the watch of the old Yellow Guard that the Philippines’ youth are now standing immune to the poisonous propaganda that persuades us to think that Martial Law remains the singular cause of all the Philippines’ troubles. Indeed, much of the poison of the Yellow rhetoric has long since expired. And those who take up the new “cause” to “educate” Filipinos about Martial Law are simply an unappealing lot in an age of social media-savvy and telegenic influencers.

Heads full of graying hair make up the throng of anti-Marcos activists in this rally. (Source:

Heads full of graying hair make up the throng of anti-Marcos activists in this rally.

The sight of a throng of old farts forming the majority membership of groups like the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (CARMMA) is, by itself, a public relations fail. Such movements simply cannot compete for young eyeballs who are drawn to fresher ideas and fresher faces. Indeed, even whilst the first campaign video of Liberal Party candidates Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo crashed and burned, they had the right idea nonetheless — that the way into the hearts of the Philippines’ youth-dominated base of voters is through a forward-looking message.

It is now evident that the Philippines’ young voters cannot be underestimated. They are no longer beholden to the emo rhetoric of 1970s- and 1980s-vintage political chatter and are open to new ideas and new approaches. The first real presidential debate in a long time organised by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and sponsored by TV network GMA-7, for example, was one of those exercises that attracted strong viewership and sparked valuable social media engagement amongst young Filipinos. As a result of the event, young Filipinos were able to associate ideas to faces. It whetted the appetite of the electorate for more intellectually-stimulating exercises and less of the brain-dead sloganeering and placard-waving style of ‘activism’ of bygone decades.

The old cadre of anti-Marcos 'activists' may need to be replaced by more telegenic personalities to be more effective.

The old cadre of anti-Marcos ‘activists’ may need to be replaced by more telegenic personalities to be more effective.

In short, it’s time Filipino politicians and ‘thought leaders’ stop insulting the intelligence of the Philippines’ young voters and start making more modern sales pitches that appeal to young sensibilities. Old fossils whining about old uncollected debts make good curious sideshows but aren’t exactly easy on the eyes and ears and, certainly, not the sorts of subject matter that rake in television ratings and social media “likes” and “retweets”. Images of gray-haired folks shuffling around in 1970s-era outfits waving placards with messages rendered in that cliché style of lettering made to look like they were written with a blood-stained brush no longer fly.

It’s time for real change — not just in thought but in messaging style.

33 Replies to “Filipino millenial voters deserve better than a 1970s-vintage ‘Never Again’ slogan”

  1. Ohh thnx God younger generations already awaken….and i hope more people will realise that we can not live from the past….history will speak for itself not those people talking abt the past using it as propaganda against bongbong marcos…..and these people did nothing for the country ….they are just good in talking….

  2. What Marcos did is good to remember and what has happened since his removal is good to remember as well.BECASUE when Marcos and Martial law are looked at, and what has transpired since then is also looked at, it is clear that the Filipino people have had absolutely no say in what there countries leaders do.IN FACT, Filipino’s are ignored by their leaders.It is completely laughable to think that any leader in the country now has anything but his/her own interests in mind.
    Look at the state of the state and it is not difficult to ascertain:The Filippines is truly fucked.AND UNTIL the people that have run off with the countries wealth ,since 1948, are removed by any means necessary the country will continue to suffer the same fate that it seemingly enjoys now:POVERTY for the 99% and everything else for the 1%.

    BET ON IT.


    For more of the same shit:

    Elect another Marcos or Aquino.AND that is exactly what you will get.Bend over, coz here it comes.

  4. \\Perhaps there is much about what the government of FM allegedly perpetrated while holding the country in the grip of Martial Law to account for. But how is this different from the same thievery and injustice perpetrated by post-1986 governments and oligarchs?\\

    1. now with freedom of speech you can write about it in social media and reporters can expose it with less fear of reprisal
    2. at least now there’s a better chance of them being caught. The ombudsman has been active lately. We have and have had in the past senators and presidents/ex presidents either under investigation or in jail. Do you think that would have happened before 1986 to marcos’s cronies and allies?
    3. today the economy is growing faster. Since the claim is that corruption reduces economic growth by a huge amount then perhaps corruption is less these days, maybe not on an absolute basis but as a percentage of the economy

    1970-1980 GDP growth per capita

    malaysia = 5.3%
    thailand = 5.1%
    indonesia 5.7%
    singapore = 7.7%
    philippines = 3.4%

    for comparison, from 2012-2014 the philippines GDP per capita growth rate was 4-5%

  5. \\ that the way into the hearts of the Philippines’ youth-dominated base of voters is through a forward-looking message.\\

    agree, but this is a battle on multiple fronts. Carrot and the stick aproach better than stick alone

    Thats an important front, an important issue to face but not the only one

  6. \\It is important to note, however, that whatever “sins” the Marcos family is supposedly guilty of is no different from the sins of the oligarchy that remains firmly entrenched in Filipinos’ social, economic, and political life. \\

    article has a point there. But to use an analogy, if your ex boyfriend beat you up, and your current boyfriend steals money from you, why would you be crazy enough to want to go back to ex boyfriend? Find a new one with as little faults as possiblev

  7. I really hope that the youths in Rizal’s mind have arrived or at least awakened, somewhere.

    In my case, I live with more than 10 Filipinos who’s average age is 30 but it is sad that the recent debate doesn’t have much impact on how they’re going to vote. Either it’s just another show or they don’t really care at all. Perhaps they’re too used to that old way of campaigning that they thought that the recent COMELEC sponsored presidential debate is just one of them. Most of them really watched but… just to see who’s going to be slammed by the other, or, like watching a car race, not really waiting who’s going to win but instead who’s going to crash and burn. After the debate, they proceeded with their usual “bahala na sila/ang gobyerno” thinking.

    Still, I’m anchoring my hopes on the 18-29 age bracket. I hope most of them have left the Pastillas and/or/vs. AlDub fad behind and moved on to some other important national issues.

  8. This is the Flynn Effect in action. Regardless how much dumbing down the local media and the educational systems are trying to do, the internet somewhat compensates for that.
    We tend to give the youth less credit than they deserve. Comes with the filipino definition of what “maturity” is (a subject grim has tackled now and again) and how filipinos look down on younger people.

  9. My teenage nieces recently remarked that Bongbong and his sister Imee behaves like well educated and well mannered guys unlike Noynoy and Cris who are both arrogant and lack manners.

    1. Well, I mean WELL-WELL….sounds like your teenage daughters are not too bright. Take a look at the photo shoot that Immee Marcos did recently. As a 60 year old Woman, dressing up as a 22 yr. old Jezebel….hey there is a role model if ever there was one one,HUH? Tell us, how does taking as much of your clothing off and putting 1/2″ of makeup on,then photoshopping the results all JUST to look the part of a person 1/3 your age just to get some whore-worshipping jerk-offs attention passes for well behaved?LOL, well bahaved? Arrogant? You,and 99% of the rest of the world, only see what the Aquino’s and Marcos families show you….and it is choreographed to the letter.
      There are no role models for youngsters in the country,LOOK at Vice Ganda (IDK WTF THAT IS, BUT SURELY NO ROLE MODEL),Vicente Soto(Playboy Senator)and the Jackass Senate candidates having sex onstage with 19 yr olds(its a free country so they are allowed to do it,and should be, but its surely not role model behavior).
      The Philippines has become so completely devoid of original culture that it seems to just implode upon itself and puke out onto itself an imitation of the West’s worst behavior.

      IF IF IF there is any hope for the archipelago it is that the current crop of candidates all meet a very sudden end and are completely removed from the political arena. IF any Marcos or Aquino is elected to any high office YOU CAN TAKE IT AS A GUARANTEE that NOTHING WILL CHANGE, NOTHING.

      A sane person would surely think that after seeing what the last 50 years has been like in the country, and who the leaders of that 50 years have been…..that electing any one of them or any member of their familes would be the act of a society gone insane. For it is know that the truest sign of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over again and somehow expecting different results.


  10. For me, the old vs. young is a false dichotomy. The conflict is not inter-generational. Rather, the conflict is between opposing groups within each generation. For example, among the “old farts,” there are also the pro-Marcos people like my mom, who, being the wife of a Constabulary officer, felt things were better then. There are also young people who also know of the Marcos era abuses. There’s one of every type in every generation, such as moochers and anti-intellectuals.

    This reminds me of what Nick Joaquin wrote back in 1965 in the Philippines Free Press. He already then called us a “failed society,” and the problems we know today, he had already noticed then. That we have peasant attitudes, how lifestyles change and some people refuse to keep up, how we don’t seem independent enough. It still seems the same today.

    1. @ CF, IDK why Filipino’s fail to see what is squarely right in front of them. They also do not realize that when you are constantly looking behind you as you are moving forward that you will trip on everything in front of you and it is a great way to insure a fall.

      The real conflict, and it is world-wide, is the rich against the poor.
      The 99% vs. the 1% and the 1% is winning by the widest margin since the Ancient Romans.This is primarily because the 99% falls into the 1% ‘Divide and Conquer’ charades pretty much all the time.

  11. AAWW, isn’t that nice (NOT, BUTT annoyingly grahic) !
    No one ever mentioned to you that if you have nothing good to say, then STFU?

  12. @Whinyinternetbrat

    Is that the best insult you got? Or is only the insult you can think of?

    Besides, by showing how butthurt you are, you are only making yourself look like an idiot..

    Well, you’ve already accomplished that one…maggot

  13. Those “Never Again” placard waving old YellowTards, cannot understand that (1) time changes, season changes. (2) Technology and medium of information changes. (3) People thoughts and ideas changes.

    These YellowTard placard weaving old DumbAsses, are remnant of the Old EDSA generation; who believe the Aquinos are saints and heroes. And they believe, we owe our freedom to the Aquinos.

    They refuse to see the evils of: Hacienda Luisita scam; the Mendiola massacre; the Hacienda Luisita massacre; the Luneta Chinese tourist massacre; the Mamapasano massacre; the BBL Law; the Pork Barrel Bribery; DAP; PDAF; LagLag Bala scam by Aquino and Abaya; the missing Typhoon Yolanda Relief Funds; widespread graft and corruption; etc…

    Are these evils done by Aquino and Mar Roxas, not worse than Marcos Martial Law? They look at the evils of Marcos; but refuse to see the evils of the Aquinos…

    1. Evil is as Evil does, the apples fall not far from the tree, elect another Aquino OR another Marcos and Filipino’s will have the same old shit as they have had since 1960’s:EVIL

  14. A good product does not need advertising, and no amount of advertising can save a horrible product.

    They can talk and talk; the millennials won’t listen. The millennials know what they want. The Yellows didn’t do their job so they are selling a horrible product.

  15. nobody can match what Marcos did to the Philippines. infrastractures alone can’t be match by anyone. Marcos to the Pilipinos is a HERO! concerned about the communist takeover of the motherland. keep Marcos preserved not to get rotten, he’s a HERO. now everyone knows Marcos is right.

  16. Hmmm…

    Marcos – 20 years vs. 30 years after him.

    uh… the question is who has the most accomplishments for the country? Who made the country better and who made it worse?

    1. That length of time (30 years) didn’t do shit for the average Failipino, but did a lot for the Chinese and politicians.

  17. I love young educated Filipino’s. I talk to them and they have dreams and believe the country can be made better. I as a foreigner hate most older Filipinos, because of these words that are used for everything “This is the way it is here in the Philippines”. There is no hope or effort to change anything anymore and the old people have just accepted everything that is good and bad. If I could I would start by making all the members of government recent graduates of universities and let them all try to make this country better. Some will fail , but some will have success.

    1. The “young, educated Failipinos” I know are talking about getting the hell out of the Failippines to migrate to other countries or become OFWs.

      Their ideas of making the country better is taking the money they’ve earn overseas to buy properties in the Failippines, which is good if the money will be used to rebuild the aqua/agricultural, or other cottage industries, to provide jobs for their countrymen.

      Unfortunately, these “young, educated Failipinos” just want to jump on the bandwagon–of polluting the country and making life harder for the poor–by joining other Balikbayans and OFWs in living the aristocratic life of owning condominiums, driving nice cars, and shopping at SM malls.

      It’s easy for a foreigner to see life in the Failippines through rose-colored glasses, because they have a pension or other means to live well and mind their own business—but it’s not the harsh reality of life in the Failipppines, where it’s cats against dogs every single day to survive.

      1. Agree a lot with you, Benign0. And true, Aeta. And it’s because Post-1986 GovPH didn’t really provide solutions but just retain old problems while adding more to deal with. Like for example, their idea of progress in the provinces is industrialization but they are just copying what Manila went through. Real estate boom because of the fast growth in population. GovPH is waiting for a law to pass to do something about family planning and population control (but even with a law, they have a problem enforcing it). And for spaces for the buildings and the houses, you need to turn the forest or agricultural lands to subdivisions and industrial parks/businesses (the ancestral lands of the farmers and indigenous people are normally the target. There’s no ancestral domain in terms of favoring the oligarchs). More road gets build but the number of vehicles in the street also grows, because GovPH thinks many cars on the road equals traffic is a sign of progress. Also most cars are imported and jeepneys and tricycles are the normal PUVs built locally (talk about innovation).

        K12 program wouldn’t be that effective if afterwards these youth will stop studying to get a job be it local (work for factories of foreign investors) or as prod operators or helpers abroad. TESDA could have been better if they don’t only train for vocational and short time courses. Yes, they also train for BPO agents. Customer service and support is fine but for that to be the job to earn good payment for most Filipinos won’t inspire for high ambition on our youth.

        Filipino aren’t really given the training and opportunities for growth, not just in business enterprising but also growing, manufacturing, upgrading and better packaging of the local products, local products that will help us to become self-sufficient and food export capital (since Philippines have vast natural resources for fishing, mineral mining and agriculture) but GovPH thinks BPO and OFW exports is the driving force for the country’s economic growth because of the +points in paid economic and credit rating reviews. Then GovPH encouraged our professionals to find jobs abroad by giving them menial salaries and small pension to support their retirement, the undergrads are trained to be help workers abroad so they can support their dependents instead of releasing a program that will keep them in school and acquire high education.

        That said, our mediocre leader only uses people to rise in power. Only true leader will step up to empower the people.

    1. Who is Alam Robles ?
      Got your pampers in a bunch,do ya?
      The “POP”ing noise you may hear in the distant future is your head popping out f your ass. Time to wake up. The Oligarchs/Elites/Politicians and their families all laugh at you.Thinking one of these idiot/scumabg/thieves is going to change the ‘Mass’s lot in life, tis a fantasy.

  18. The old fart holding the “E” of the word “MORE” is Teofisto Guingona, Ferdinand Marcos appointed him in DBP back in 1965.

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