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Sillimanian spearheads #KadaBato Initiative

By Angelica Mae D. Gomez

The Quimpo brothers narrate their experiences during the Martial Law years. PHOTO BY Queenie Maria Guibao

SHAMAH BULANGIS, a local activist, organized an Anti-Marcos event called the #KadaBato Initiative last July 5 at the Silliman University (SU) Catacombs.

The #KadaBato Initiative, headed by Bulangis, is a localized version of the nationwide non-partisan initiative called #BawatBato.

This initiative opposes the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, Manila.

According to Bulangis, people in Manila were putting stones with names of heroes during the Martial Law at the Libingan ng mga bayani in an empty slot where Marcos is planned to be buried in September.

“They called it Bawat Bato,” she said. “Meaning, bawat bato ay istorya at bawat bato ay buhay and I wanted to do that here in Dumaguete.”

The event held storytelling sessions from Martial Law survivors David Ryan Quimpo and Nathan Gilbert Quimpo, authors of the book “Subversive Lives”.

Both Martial Law survivors narrated their personal experiences during the Martial Law period as student activists.

 David Quimpo recalled that “much of the student movement of the time was inspired by the Katipunan.”

“Actually, before Martial Law, we could feel it already that revolution was becoming inevitable and so when Marcos declared Martial Law, it was basically a dictatorship,” Quimpo said.

Quimpo added that they found that there was no other way to fight except through going underground participating in a big anti-dictatorship movement.

Afterwards, Sillimanians wrote names on the stones to commemorate those who died and disappeared during the Martial Law and laid them at the SU Catacombs, where student activists gathered before.

“Students should learn about Silliman history and Martial Law because we are part of it. We are part of history and, as students,” Paul Anthony Cinco, 4th year political science student said.

Cinco added that Sillimanians “should be aware of the atrocities of Marcos at the time because learning history—specifically Martial Law—will give us critical thinking, will give us learning to decide on things, on [what] our choices.”

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