How Filipinos can stop being Martial Law ‘victims’

There is a saying: Success is the best revenge. When someone wrongs you, you could either choose to be a victim or go on to be successful.

Not the Philippines. It seems the Philippines chooses to remain a victim of “the Martial Law regime” of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos. Indeed, the theme of one of the more popular “activist” movements amongst Filipinos nowadays revolves around a pathological need to assure themselves that those terrible “Marcos years” never again happen. And so born of that profound victim mentality is the “Never Again” slogan that has come to symbolise anti-Marcos “activism”.

Trouble is, 30 years have gone by and none of the alleged perpetrators of Martial Law “atrocities” are in jail. The only thing that is imprisoned are Filipinos’ minds — imprisoned by the notion that in victimhood lies some perverse form of validation.

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Martial Law 'victimhood' blinds Filipinos to the vast opportunity that lies ahead.

Martial Law ‘victimhood’ blinds Filipinos to the vast opportunity that lies ahead.

Victimhood is an addictive comfort zone. In the case of Filipinos, it has given them an identity to latch on to. Filipinos define themselves as a people who remain butthurt by Marcos’s “Martial Law regime”. Upon that definition they’ve built an edifice of a mythology premised on the idea that there remains some sort of Laban or “fight” to “continue”. Interestingly, that 30-year no-results period is what lends credibility to this bizarre idea — that, to this day, there is a “fight” to sustain and that every Filipino has a patriotic duty to “educate” the next generation of Filipinos to recognise the bygone enemy of this Laban.

This victimhood also absolves Filipinos of any responsibility for failing to build a country they could be proud of. To most Filipinos, the Philippines remains poor, crime-ridden, and corrupt today because the money allegedly stolen by the Marcos family has not been recovered. As long as Filipinos are victims, any failure could simply be explained away. Quite convenient this victimhood is, isn’t it?

To Filipinos, victimhood equals righteousness. Anti-Marcos people are good and all the rest are bad. By holding on to that idea, Filipinos who are afflicted with this national victim mentality cocoon themselves in that warm fuzzy feeling of belonging. In short, Martial Law “victims” have formed a community to which they identify with and march with to their battles against all who beg to differ.

Perhaps it is about time Filipinos understand that it is ok NOT to be a victim.

The challenge facing Filipinos who aspire to escape the mental prison of their Martial Law victimhood is to confront the reality that not being a victim is hard work. Some would even say that because Martial Law victimhood has defined the Filipino archetype for so long, letting go of that victimhood may leave Filipinos feeling like a hollow shell — as if the substance of their very being had been sucked out of them.

The good news is that this uniquely-Filipino victimhood is an artificial problem. This is an astounding epiphany considering the massive activist edifice that had, over the last several decades, been built on this so-called “problem”. When Filipinos recognise that they had saddled themselves with a perceived problem, only then can they start to erase that perception.

The truth is, there is a vast future out there to look to. Hold that thought and reflect on the relatively small past Filipinos have been focusing on. The immense prospects for moving forward that lie ahead utterly dwarf the smallness that the much ballyhooed “Marcos years” have shrunk to in comparison.

In that regard, perhaps many Filipinos will be surprised to learn that they actually have a choice. Filipinos have it in their power to choose to stop being Martial Law victims. Indeed, it is encouraging to observe that many young Filipinos today have started to challenge the sacredness of the notion that the Martial Law years were “all bad”. What it takes is the proper motivation and the proper education. Rather than teach young Filipinos what to think, the country’s esteemed institutions of learning should focus on training them how to think.

Part of the process is to start relying less on hearsay and the dogmatic shrieking of so-called traditional “thought leaders” and start building a more self-sufficient intellectual frame of mind.

In short, Filipinos should start asking themselves:

What do I think?

“What do I think of the Martial Law years?”

Think of the hard decision Neo had to make when faced with the choice of staying in the Matrix or irrevocably turning his back on the “reality” that constituted the very fabric of his identity and then unplugging himself from that world.

In the words of C.R. Strahan…

Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.

It’s time Filipinos stop being a victim and start focusing on becoming a successful people.

13 Replies to “How Filipinos can stop being Martial Law ‘victims’”

  1. Filiinos. Always losers, always the victim. I guess “Loser” is what that L sign stood for during the so-called “revolution”.

  2. >> There is a saying: Success is the best revenge.

    By some twisted form of logic, for these Laban Pinoys, success is defined by freedom -> which includes freedom to fail, freedom to remain dumb and poor, freedom to vote assholes into government, freedom to self-destruct

    Freedom = Anything but anyone telling them not what to do

    If this is their happiness, then maybe they have achieved their Pinoy version of success. Good luck to PH democracy.

    What “never again”? Military generals should rule this nation. And everyone should undergo ROTC/CMT like our disciplined Korean neighbors.

  3. these people who wants Grace out of the voting list should be all put behind bars for violation of the constitution. why? ‘cuz they’re ignoring the word ‘SUCH’ …. 10 YEARS RESIDENCY PRECEDING SUCH ELECTION. Grace Poe since birth resides more than 10 years in the Philippines before she went to further her studies in the USA.

  4. We have to cast off the “Victim Mentality”, that the Aquinos and EDSA, have put into our consciousness. We must put : “Victor Mentality”, in our consciousness.

    Aquino’s EDSA and Martial Law atrocities, are the tools of Aquino and his YellowTard minions have to use; in order to hold us hostages of our past. These are their tools , also, in order to make themselves, stay in power; and cling on to their Hacienda Luisita. The agricultural land, they scammed from the Philippine government. These tools, they use to project themselves, as good people, heroes and saints.

    Martial Law and EDSA are past. If we want the Truth about Martial Law , and EDSA. We have tor bring out: Enrile, Ramos, Honasan, etc, …let them all talk, of what they did. If they had tortured and murdered people, during those those years of martial law. They all must be held accountable. Let us bring back the Death Penalty. So that, we can “burn” these evil people on stakes; or cut their evil heads, in a French guillotine.

    1. how can they be charge if their guilt is on secessionist and communism who wants to kill our democracy? they hypnotized the people to believe that fighting anarchy and secession is bad so they’ll be in power for hacienda luisita which is the core of what’s going on in the Philippines. without the bbl’s shariah law on ancestral domain, luisita is gone. it’s the only way they could save it.

  5. the yellowtards are stage playing the ‘IF YOU CAN’T BEAT YOUR ENEMY, JOIN THEM’ … they all should be taken out of their government post after election. or else it’s going to be the same, no change at all. we all know who they are.

    1. YellowTards will just change allegiance, on whoever will win , and whoever is in power in the Philippines . Political opportunism is the negative characteristic of Filipinos.

      If their candidate or YellowTard Masters, will lose; they will be in survival mode. Change color from Yellow to maybe…?

  6. I and others have also stressed that the country has long been dependent on dole-outs. We were in better condition than our Southeast Asian neighbors post World War 2 for one thing: American Aid. Yeah, it’s the greenbacks from Uncle Sam that really kept up afloat. Not Marcos, not anyone locally could claim having kept the country afloat, I’d say. So when that aid petered out, we fell during the Marcos Era, and fell further after. The only way to stop this is to simply be self-sufficient. Really, we’re not a self-sufficient country yet. We can’t expect Uncle Sam to run to our aid all the time.

  7. OK, for starters, JUST TAKE BACK ALL OF THE MARCOS ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH. AND distribute it amongst the people.


  8. Blame is a Defense Against Powerlessness

    Betrayal trauma changes you. You have endured a life-altering shock, and are likely living with PTSD symptoms— hypervigilance, flashbacks and bewilderment—with broken trust, with the inability to cope with many situations, and with the complete shut down of parts of your mind, including your ability to focus and regulate your emotions.

    Nevertheless, if you are unable to recognize the higher purpose in your pain, to forgive and forget and move on, you clearly have chosen to be addicted to your pain and must enjoy playing the victim.

    And the worst is, we are only too ready to agree with this assessment! Trauma victims commonly blame themselves. Blaming oneself for the shame of being a victim is recognized by trauma specialists as a defense against the extreme powerlessness we feel in the wake of a traumatic event. Self-blame continues the illusion of control shock destroys, but prevents us from the necessary working through of the traumatic feelings and memories to heal and recover.

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