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Never again: Memories of martial law as a UP student

04:30 AM September 23, 2019

In response to Michael Tan’s column, “Remembering” (9/20/19), yes, I do remember. I remember joining a march to Malacañang with a classmate and Ricardo Alcantara, a UP engineering freshman, on Jan. 30, 1970.

When night fell, we decided to go home, waved good night and told each other “see you tomorrow.”

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By midnight, my friend asked me to call the FEU Hospital and check on Alcantara. He was shot dead while fleeing the scene.

I also remember Emmanuel Alvarez, soft-spoken president of the Student Cultural Association of the University of the Philippines, later killed in a military operation.

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I remember holding hands with a buddy in the rallies we joined, as if trying to draw courage and strength from each other. Yes, I still remember how it feels to be stepped on by a dozen flip-flops during the dispersal of a Labor Day rally in front of the US Embassy.

On Sept. 21, 1972, I remember hurriedly packing Mao Zedong’s Red Book, Karl Marx and Lenin’s volumes, Renato Constantino’s works and manifestos of Kabataang Makabayan in a plastic bag, and burying them in the backyard.

Later in my professional life, I remember bringing up in class discussions the dark side of martial law, using my personal experiences as source of information.

Yes, sir, and I do remember that those experiences were the long-lasting part of my UP education.

EVELYN SILAY
[email protected]

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TAGS: Evelyn Silay, Inquirer letters, Marcos martial law
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