Editorial: History is ‘tsismis’ kuno

·2 min read

Historian Ambeth Ocampo has been targeted by pro-Marcos trolls after he gave his two cents on remarks by young actor Ella Cruz, who said in an interview that “history is like tsismis (gossip)” when asked about the lessons from portraying a daughter of President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in the upcoming film, “Maid in Malacañang.”

The academician and columnist Ocampo has said that “history may have bias but is based on fact, not opinion. Real history is about Truth, not lies, not fiction.” An individual cannot deny an event “becomes part of history because there is universal assent that it really happened,” he added.

Ocampo further said: “Otherwise, it is reduced to tsismis and a myth or fiction without any factual basis. Can anyone honestly deny that once upon a time a president named Ferdinand Marcos Sr. became an autocrat who wielded dictatorial powers; that his family and cronies were accused of plunder; that they were booted out by the Filipino people in a revolution?”

The historian’s reply to Cruz’s statement is valid; however, he has been subjected to online harassment and attacks.

Ateneo de Manila University president Roberto Yap S.J. defended Ocampo, saying: “Only with truthful history can we move forward as a nation, and only through recognition of the failures and successes of the past can we create solutions for the problems that beset our society.”

The Jesuit priest said it just right.

Remember the oft-quoted statement of philosopher George Santayana? “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Have the Filipinos repeated the past? The current president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is someone who has a past—he’s the son of a dictator who ruled the country for nearly 21 years.

Woe to Filipinos who do not study history, who abandon facts, and believe in lies peddled as historical truth; woe to Filipinos who do not listen to truth tellers; woe to Filipinos who forget.

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