“For as we remember those victims of authoritarian rule, we shall become more vigilant about preserving our freedom, defending our rights, and opposing any attempt by anyone to foist another dictatorship upon us.
In honoring our martyrs, we proclaim our determination to be free forever.”
Excerpt from the original concept paper on the establishment of a memorial center that would be the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, drafted by Dr. Ledivina V. Cariño, former Dean of the University of the Philippines’ College of Public Administration.
History is a weaving of all peoples’ stories. And as with all stories, history is in the telling. More than the story itself, the way we tell stories shapes our view of the world – the past, the present, and the future. At this point in history, when opposing forces wield their best to control the narrative, the telling of our stories is a battlefield.
We struggle with historical revisionism —a stab to our hearts as Filipino people who struggled for more than 300 years of control under the hands of powers both foreign and our own. A hero’s burial was given to the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, or recent dark past lacks integration in education curriculum, and disinformation and misinformation spread on social media. These blatant erasures and the muddling of facts not only paved way for the return to power of the most disdainful of political figures, but has also opened up new avenues for those new ones who seek to rise to power – politically, culturally, and economically.
These attacks against historical truths — propelledby the malignant use of creativity, innovation, and political persistence — prove the power of storytelling. What we must never forget is that this power is ours too.
We are more creative. We are more innovative. The persistence of old, wise ones and the vigor of the young ones will prove to be stronger. Most of all, correctness, built on seeking justice for the masses who struggled under the old and new dictatorships, is ours.
In pursuit to #NeverForget, DAKILA and Bantayog ng mga Bayani, with the support of Forum Asia, and through the Active Vista International Human Rights Film Festival, present “Wall of Remembrance: Digital Bantayog ng mga Bayani” — a joint effort to bridge gaps in Martial Law education by expanding and extending working spaces for education.
This exhibition which recreates the Bantayog ng mga Bayani’s iconic memorial center is now accessible to digital visitors from the regions and abroad — stylized and up-to-date, and interactive to promote and facilitate education on the heroes of the Martial Law era.
Memories serve as markers so our nation will #NeverAgain fall in the cracks of our past mistakes. The Digital Bantayog pushes and innovates on the objective of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani not only in preserving the memory but aspiring to expand the spaces where memory is preserved.
We are under attack. For the last few decades, we truly are. With the advent of new technologies and new ways of telling stories, the battlefield towards the control of the narratives is ever-changing. And with this, the call to #NeverForget must evolve with the times while retaining the integrity of the message.
For all of us, seekers and vanguards of truth and justice, storytellers, and makers, this is one simple truth: The struggle against Martial Law has not ended yet. We are living in the struggle and, through stories, we will persevere.
The exhibition assets may take a little while to load. While you are waiting, here are some tips to make your visit more enjoyable:
Whether you are on a laptop or a smartphone, we want you to get the full experience. We suggest you enter the full-screen mode by clicking the full-screen icon on the lower right side of the exhibit window.
Swipe left and right, tilt up and down, zoom in and out to view the entire digital exhibition. You can also explore by moving your smartphone around the room but remember to be careful.
If you have one of those fancy virtual reality (VR) glasses, we have prepared a stereoscopic version of the exhibition. To view the VR version, click the VR glasses icon on the bottom right corner of the exhibition window.
About Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument to the Heroes) is a memorial center honoring individuals who lived and died in defiance of the repressive Marcos regime that ruled over the Philippines from 1972 to 1986. The center aspires to preserve the historical memory and awaken people’s sense of history through research, publications, and facilities such as its museum exhibitions and park.
About DAKILA and Forum Asia
In 2020, DAKILA, through the help of Forum Asia, continues its objectives in contributing to the campaigns in promotion of democracy, expansion of civic spaces, and the defense of freedom of speech and press freedom. This exhibition banners the efforts of DAKILA in countering historical revisionism and contributing to the anti-populist and anti-authoritarian social education.
About Active Vista International Human Rights Festival
Active Vista International Human Rights Festival (AVIHRF) is an annual event that celebrates human rights, freedoms, and dignity through creative and innovative forms. In 2020, AVIHRF opened its 8th edition with the theme Walang Pipikit 360 (No One Blinks an Eye) promoting a wider perception, exploration, and actions towards human rights issues.