Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Lot Changes in 25 Years

No one thinks much of the Philippines. We aren’t known for our abilities at football. Sasha Barrett Cohen has never made a movie about someone from here. Walk through the streets of any major Western city and you’ll find food from Thailand, India, Greece, Italy, Mexico, but nothing from the Philippines.

Despite our relative obscurity, I love my country. I lived through the horrible authoritarian rule of Ferdiand Marcos in the 1980s. Much like the Americans did over 200 years ago, I stood up to the dictator and resisted. Alas, my brothers’ and my struggle was not as successful as the American Revolution. For my actions against the government, I was thrown in prison.

Even after the Marcos regime tumbled, I languished in prison. Isolated from the outside world, I longed to find out how the revolutionary group was doing. News from incoming prisoners was incomplete and often contradictory.

Last year, in an effort to save money and right the wrongs of the past, the Philippine government let a bunch of people out of prison. I finally had my freedom after 25 years incarcerated.

I had heard so much about the changes of the past 25 years. Anxious to see what had become of my brothers in the revolution, I went to a computer and used Google to find out about the movement’s successes over the time I was in prison. What came up instead was a bunch of pictures of naked white women in their 40s and 50s.

I came to learn that MILF, in addition to being the acronym for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, is also a term for older women in porn. It saddens me to think that after all the time and lives spent fighting authoritarianism, when people hear MILF they think of masturbation material.

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