Youth showed force in a Millennial Throwback Forum organized by Balay Rehabilitation Center during the national day of protest
Various youth groups and young individuals from different universities and organizations flocked at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Auditorium in the morning of September 21 to listen to first-hand experiences of Martial Law survivors during the Martial Rule of Ferdinand Marcos.
Balay Rehabilitation Center in partnership with Human Rights Online Philippines and International Studies Society (ISSOC) of Mirriam College organized a millennial throwback entitled Martial Law Noon…At Ngayon? to commemorate the 45th year of the declaration of Martial Law in 1972.
Those who spoke during the forum were martial law survivors Hilda Narciso and playwright Levy Balgos dela Cruz. Both shared their experiences of suffering and torture under the grim years of the Marcos regime.
Dela Cruz shared that the recent happenings in the country remind him of the martial law years. He also expressed his gratitude that more and more millennials are standing up for the rights that they once fought.
Narciso also said that more activities like this should be organized to make the young people be more informed and aware on the injustices during the dark days of the country and not based their judgment on spin and false news they see online.
After the forum, the participants were divided into five groups to have an intimate exchange between the survivors of Martial Law. Among those who facilitated the focus group discussions were martial law survivors and ex-political detainees.
By the end of the forum, millennials raised an angry emoticon as a sign of protest against the injustices during the martial law era and the threat of another dictatorship that would curtail ones civil and political rights.
Balay program coordinator Kaloy Anasarias said that Balay will continue to help victims of martial law to seek reparation towards their healing. He also said that it will be open to collaborate with schools and universities in organizing inter-generational activities to educate and spread awareness among the young people.
Present during the activity were students from University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas and Mirriam College. Youth Groups such as PM-Kabataan and Balay Youth Learners also participated in the said event. Members and representatives from Claimants 1081, Ex-Political Detainees of the Philippines, Medical Action Group, Childs Legal Rights and Development Center, Martial Law Memorial Commission, Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board and Department of Social Welfare and Development were also present.