Our teacher in Grade V Social Studies, Mr. Bravo, once got furious, because no one among us in class could tell what was the number of the official proclamation of Martial Law. He sent us out of the classroom to find out before the class ended in an hour. It was 1981, and we weren't even teenagers, and I thought it was unfair of him to expect us to know something that nobody taught us before. Of course, that was my view then, and I have so far been awakened into the evil that was Martial Law. But thanks to Mr. Bravo, my classmates and I would probably never forget what Proclamation No. 1081 meant.
In high school, after the departure of the Marcoses, somebody passed me a copy of the book, "Conjugal Dictatorship," by Primitivo Mijares and pointed me to the chapter on Dovie Beams. Of course, the chapter would hardly qualify as porn, but to teenage kids, the Dovie Beams chapter was our initiation to the sex lives of the rich and powerful, and we were deciding between condemnation of the sexual transgressions of the dictator or cheering on the virility of the old man. But there are other pages that showed the cunning disregard of Marcos to the rule of law, particularly the chapter on Oplan Sagittarius. This would further shape our young minds that things have been set up by a power hungry Marcos couple. I'm sure I bought a copy of that book, then a pricey PHP 75 per copy, but it seems to have fallen out of the publishing reprint list, because nobody is selling it anymore. Our teacher in high school, Mr. Bango, said they used to pass around photocopies of the book in their days because it was prohibited. Now, that I'm a forty-five year old bookworm, trained in reading bullshit pleadings and political propaganda, it would find me a more discerning reader, who may evaluate its pages, like a reader of the future, eager to know how the republic unwashed the brainwashed minds of the Martial Law babies. To his credit, Marcos did not abolish law schools and universities, and Imelda would allow artists and writers to flourish during martial law. Otherwise, they would have turned us all into minions incapable of thinking for ourselves. For, as many suffered during the dark night that was martial law, a generation of discerning teachers, academicians, lawyers, writers, and artists would survive and nurture our country's love for freedom, hold vigil to unwash our brainwashed minds, and see this love coming out with all its might in the days of February 1986. It would carry on henceforth.