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Martial Law Reflection Paper

Colleen Gatchalian September 17, 2012 II – Ilang-ilang Soc Sci 2


During our humanities week in my high school, we commemorated the 40th anniversary of Martial Law as the Social Science activity.

1 There were exhibits, rituals, talks, and many experiences shared and throughout all this, I have come to realize how lucky I am, that I have the freedom all those heroes during martial law fought for, without breaking a sweat.

2 I realized how blessed I am, that I can do what I want to do, when I want to, because of heroes who sacrificed their lives for that.

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3 I learned about the importance of freedom, love for country, sacrifice, and remembering all those who have done something worthwhile.

4 During the tribute to Pisay martyrs, I really took the time to remember and value everything they did for our country.

5 I still have those rice grains we were asked to keep in my desk drawer, and every day when I open the drawer to get paper or a pen, I always remember what the grains represented – the fruits of the labor that all the martyrs went through. During the talks in the gym and in the small group discussion, I learned about the blood and sweat that all the Filipinos wasted fighting martial law.

7 Honestly, I never think of martial law heroes when I see or hear the word “hero”, because I mostly think of the heroes from the Spanish era, but then I realized that this was just a modern version of what happened to our country during the Spanish era – the people made so many sacrifices and lived through horrible and torturous times. I learned about all the hardships Filipinos went through, and the many things they weren’t allowed to do, along with the very few things they were actually allowed to do.

9 I do realize that I am only supposed to cite one important thing I learned, but I feel it necessary to enumerate all these, because I feel that they are of equal importance.

10 Freedom is very important, because it is one of the things in life that people look forward too – making their own choices, and doing what they want, when they want.

11 Love for country is also important, because your country is the place where you were born and where you live, you grew up in its culture, and you act like someone who grew up in it; you can’t just throw it aside, rather, you have to fight for it, love it, and honor it, because it is yours.

12 I consider sacrifice as one of the most important things I have learned during the talk, because without sacrifice, there would be no heroes who gave us what we have today.

13 Sacrifice is a virtue we must all have, and something we must use when it comes to people whom we love.

14 Lastly, remembering all our heroes is important, because not all of us will just lay down our lives for our country, because it takes a great deal of love for our country, and of course courage, to sacrifice for one’s country.

15 Just like what Elias said in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, we must “remember those who fell in the night without seeing the dawn.

16 We have to value all our heroes for what they did, and strive to become like them in serving our country.

17 Assuming I was a Pisay student during the martial law era, I would definitely join an activist group, because I feel that the power the people hold is without a doubt larger than whatever power any leader holds; therefore, if a lot of people revolt against martial law, the time will come when the leader will have to give up and do what the people want, just like what happened during the People Power Revolution.

18 However, inside school, I would start an activist group.

19 I don’t have the courage to start an activist group outside of school because I don’t have the authority and I am not comfortable doing so, but once inside my school, I will do what I want to go against Marcos and his ridiculous martial law declaration.

20 Likewise, I feel that fighting for a cause is more effective if more people unite and do it all together.

21 Being a Pisay student also means being an “Iskolar ng Bayan”; therefore, I have to fulfill the duties of being an “Iskolar ng Bayan”.

22 In doing so, I can show my appreciation of the deeds of the heroes and martyrs of Martial Law by always remembering them during National Heroes Day and valuing what they did whenever it’s September 21.

23 Also, I will try to find my own way to serve my country as they did, so to use my talents in a proper way, and to give back to the country that gave me my exceptional high school education.

24 Also, I will bring up the subject of martial law heroes whenever the subject of Filipino heroes comes up and most of all, I will reasure the freedom that I have with all my heart and treat it as the most precious thing I can ever possess to value everything that the heroes and martyrs did for all of us.

25 I can’t begin to imagine a life without freedom.

26 I salute to all the martial law heroes who laid down their lives to give me and every other Filipino the freedom each of us deserves.

27 And so to end my reflection paper, I’d like to say thank you to every hero who gave me my freedom, both named and unnamed.