Tabada: Angels and demons

·2 min read

Why cannot the Filipinos forgive and forget what the Marcoses did? It is the Christian way to forgive the sinner and condemn the sin. Ferdinand Marcos did some good for the nation, too. And he is long dead.

My tita expressed these views online and in public. She gives me pause because she is not a troll, a web ‘bot, or a social media influencer.

When she wrote, “Am a Marcos loyalist,” Tita made me think of the Angel of History, the “Angelus Novus” in the Paul Klee painting first owned by Walter Benjamin.

I believe that Ferdinand E. Marcos (FM) is the author of the darkest and bloodiest chapters in the history of our “democracy”. My tita thinks that FM is the best president this country had.

I was born in 1965, the year FM moved into the Palace. Bongbong Marcos (BBM) aspires to become the 17th president of the country and follow the footsteps of his father, the country’s 10th president.

If the son succeeds, there is the number 7 that conjoins son to father in the history that will be rewritten again by the Marcoses. In numerology, seven means perfection.

According to 6.7 million sites (rounded off, the figure is 7) turned up by Google to my search in 0.53 seconds (just 0.17 away from the number 7!), people with 7 in their “angel chart” have an angel sitting on their left shoulder, whispering answers, and making their life profound and meaningful.

The Angel of Numerology is not Klee’s emissary. Looking not so much disheveled as battered by the storm called “progress,” the angel is stupefied by the past but remorselessly drawn to his appointment with history, as the philosopher Benjamin theorized in the essay, “On the Concept of History”.

Nazism, with its mad dream of the Master Race and the campaign of genocide that erased six million Jews who fell short of Aryan perfection, affected the work of Klee and Benjamin, as well as claimed the life of the latter.

As Benjamin wrote, “A storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence the angel can no longer close them. This storm... propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward”.

Despite Klee’s apocalyptic depiction and Benjamin’s depression and seeming surrender to racism and authoritarianism, the Angelus Novus (New Angel) emboldens the viewer to sustain the struggle resisting inhumanity and contesting the abuses of power.

Weary but not defeated, citizens must sift through the rubble of lies “piling wreckage upon wreckage” in BBM’s recasting of our future in his father-and-son narrative.

The father may be buried but he is not dead. In 2022, the dead should stay dead.

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