By Raïssa Robles
Here are drawings made by Martial Law detainees which I managed to hold on to all these years. I knew then that if these had been found in my possession, I would have been jailed, too.
But I managed to hide them because I felt, somehow, they should one day see the light. That day is now.
All are unsigned for a good reason.
What struck me upon looking at these first two sketches once again is the stillness of the figures in them. They are not flailing about or screaming.
They are in between torture.
In fact, the poignant drawing below of birds as seen from prison bars is one that the detainee chose to remember:
The next one, however, is horrific beyond words:
The next two drawings look like the usual inspirational pap one would get from the greeting card section of bookstores.
But they take on a significance if one remembers that these were sketched out by detainees who were probably tortured out of their minds by intelligent military officers who went home to their families after a day of inflicting the most horrible pain on their countrymen.
If you notice, even if the messages are full of defiance, the atmosphere in the drawings is dark and full of foreboding.
Please, next time your children ask you – What was Martial Law REALLY like?
You can say – outside it was all sweetness and light. We had a modern cultural center, a First Lady who was the toast of the world, modern hospitals to mend the heart, kidney and lungs, and even a modern marvel called the Bridge of Love.
But deep down inside it was like this. And you show them these drawings. And give them a hug. And hope they never go through Martial Law again.
Unless theyre’ bad children and you want to teach them a lesson that will sear their lives forever.
A friend’s text message convinced PNoy not to bury dictator Marcos at Libingan
Human Rights Commission Chair Loretta Ann Rosales was repeatedly raped during the Marcos dictatorship
Why the Marcoses want Ferdinand buried a hero
Is it possible to post your articles in Facebook, bcuz it seems that more ‘masa’ have access to FB. Like articles about the Marcos dictatorship.
nelson ongpauco says
ang alam ko ay may sakit sa kidney si marcos kaya sya dinadialiisis sa cidar sini hospital at angbuong 9 th floor ay bawal pumasok ang mga pinoy ..kaya ko ito alalm ay dialisis nurse ang asawa ko doon ….
Gigo Alampay says
Hi Raissa, While doing some research for a project that we’re working on, which you can read here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150658259056359, I came across this blog entry.
Might it be possible to borrow your drawings if our curatorial team decides they should be included for the show that we’re planning? Are there more of these?
To which drawings are you referring to?
Oh. Now I see. Those are actual drawings that detainees then made. those are circa Martial Law. Those were not made by me. Those were just part of memorabilia I kept.
Go ahead. Pls just put a link back.
thank you for sharing these pictures.