MMSU celebrates FM’s birthday

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Over a thousand students, staff, and private individuals convened at the MMSU Teatro Ilocandia last September 8 in an austere measure to celebrate the 100th birthday of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos through lecture series dubbed “The North Remembers.”

Dressed in black and red, the crowd expressed undying support to the former strongman’s family led by former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd district Rrepresentative Imelda Marcos, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos, Bongbong Marcos, Irene Araneta, and her cousins, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba, the province’s board member Mariano Marcos II, and their children.

“Today, no parade such as the one my mother is fond of, no concert such as the one my brother Bongbong used to hold, and no parties such as the one I used to do,” beamed Gov. Marcos adding that for a change, “let us do the things which my father liked (when he was still alive) – simple celebration and doing intellectual things.”

Gov. Marcos was referring to the development activities throughout the province that kicked off to commemorate the legacy of her father’s 100th birthday to help the country achieve its goal in terms of developing its human capital. 

For instance, instead of fanfares, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) and MMSU conducted contests in debates, storytelling, and literary among high school and college students aside from the series of lectures and forums that were launched in the province that  defined Marcos’ 100 years. 

“In addition to being austere, intellectual and compassionate, we have given free medical services at the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center here in Batac for patients having dialysis, ultrasound and electronic cardiograph (ECG),” Marcos said. For those in the food production sectors, the PGIN also gave special services to farmers and those in the province’s fishing communities, such as inputs and other materials. 

“Not only that, we also gave scholarships to deserving MMSU students to help them achieve their dreams,” Marcos said, explaining that the desire of her father was for MMSU to become the UP of the north has already come and that no one had to struggle to get into the university, because every Ilocano has the right to have a world class education.

So, as the north remembers Marcos today, what are the legacies that every Filipino should also remember?  

“My father, after all, represents every Ilocano,” Gov. Marcos said. “The story of every Filipino is enthused in (my father’s) biography – that everyone here is being born in an arid and hard landscape — struggling through life and every adversity and, finally, coming out triumphantly by his own definition of difficulty in the Ilocano’s spirit,” she added.

Gov. Marcos has likened the character of her father to that of a typical Filipino. That is, one should have loyalty and pride. One that abhors treachery and betrayal. These, she said, “is part of the Ilocano history that you and I should know. And that we have lived it to day after day.”

Recalling her experience at the height of the EDSA revolution, Gov. Marcos revealed what her father said in Hawaii after their plane touched down at a military air base several hours after they fled from Manila because of that infamous military uprising that resulted in her family’s downfall in 1986.

“My father declared that history is not done with him yet,” the governor said, adding that when they were inside the air base and were all in tears, everyone in the group, except her father, said: “the end is near, it is finished, we are dead and doomed.”

“But my father said: To my family and to everyone, history is not done with me yet. Let us continue to work so that everyone will learn,” the governor revealed.

“So, despite of all the invectives that we hear about my father (from the past administrations), why is it that the legacy of Ferdinand Marcos continues to burn unabated in the hearts of people in this 100 years after his birth?” Marcos asks.

To every Ilocano who attended the celebration last September 8, indeed if the north remembers Ferdinand Marcos, Gov. Marcos said, winter has not come yet for the legacy of the late President. (By Reynaldo E. Andres)

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