a certain statue

January 31, 2007

statues are mementoes from the past. somehow, i can’t help but notice how these statues of the past gets the barest of attention from the passers-by. more than works of art, statues are there, rain or shine, to remind us of a certain chapter in our rich history. more often than not, it reminds us of the personalities that had somehow affected, in a large part or not notwithstanding, our nation’s historical landscape and contributed, good or bad, to who and what we are today.*

this was exactly my sentiment as i was caught by a red light in the junction of paseo de roxas and ayala avenue recently. i can’t help but notice the life-like statues of ninoy and the two avsecom men who went into the plane to escort him down to the tarmac. i’ve always thought of this particular bronze statue as a ninoy statue. just one of those statues paying homage to ninoy and his martyrdom. i never saw the dichotomy that it truly represents.

what struck me most at that particular moment, more than ninoy himself and to which i gave scant notice before, were the two avsecom men beside him. wow! here are these two soldiers that were once part of the much-vaunted and yet most-hated marcos machine of intimidation, their faces frozen for all to see. two faces that represented the evil in what has become a statue of the good and evil! so there they are for posterity’s sake!

can you just imagine the reaction of the sons and the daughters of these two men? their fathers as poster-boys for what was evil during those times of great upheaval. clearly, they are the contra-bidas in that silent drama where the bida stand tall and confident and moments away from the conclusion that we all know by now.

it is a sad thing for the descendants of these two soldiers to see their fathers represented as such – berdugos. but history is history and there is no way of going around it. you just hope that they, the descendants, rise from this episode of their lives and make something of themselves. it is also sad to see one of the descendants of ninoy make a fool of herself in public. but that is another story.

*this explains why we would see men astride a horse. some riding a prancing horse (which meant that that person was killed in battle), some riding a horse whose hoof touches the ground and the other barely touching the ground (wounded in battle) and some on top a motionless horse (pa cute lang).

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