The month of September marks three significant dates in the life of the Filipino, depending on whose side you're on. First, the birthday of former President Ferdinand Marcos on the 11th, his death anniversary on the 28th, and more significantly, his proclamation of martial law on September 21, 1972. I expect that on this year's commemoration of that fateful date, something eerie could be the mood of the nation. Why so? Well, whereas people reflected on September 21 with abhorrence, the strange new mood could very well be gladness over any coup rumor, that a military takeover could be in the offing, considering the unfolding of events that may look similar with those that preceded the declaration of martial law - particularly the rash of bombings in Mindanao, including parts of Metro Manila.
Comments on the impendng military takeover could be from "It looks like this is the only way we can save this country from its path of chaos and destruction" to "Everything else has failed, so why not bring in the military again?" This possible shift in mood of the public could only prove how bad the government has failed its citizens. The very same reasons they used to boot out Joseph Estrada are also the very same reasons they too should be booted out (with a sharper boot). Hence, the government has really failed miserably that its citizens would give up their liberties for some semblance of law and order, just to get the nation going again.
Reflections on September 21 in 1972 could bare a general statement that the first few months and years of martial rule were edifying for the country with Filipinos learning national discipline and respect for the rule of law under strict compulsion.
Filipinos, by nature and psyche, need a strong leader to which the only alternative would appear to be for the whole country to be a conquered nation. But the martial law gains crumbled when several of Marcos' cronies and relatives twisted the impetus and gains of the military takeover for political power and self-aggrandizement. If this did not happen, the Philippines could have been one of the strongest leaders in Asia both in politics and economics. And maybe, with lessons learned from the Marcos regime, the country may now accept another strongman rule and move with proper direction towards what may be called as the Pacific Era.
(Image from http://cafepress.com/)