Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Marikina City Host to two Monuments of Marxist-Leninist Revolutionaries

Note: I'll make this short, and hopefully, sweet. But I think I'll improve and expound on this later, when time and (more importantly) motivation permit...

Distinguished historian Prof. Vicente Rafael of the University of Washington, in his erudite foreword entitled, "Radiant Hope, Dark Despair," for the remarkable autobiographical opus Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years (2012) of the siblings Susan and Nathan Quimpo, wrote in his beginning paragraph (bold letters mine):

THERE ARE NO monuments to communism in the Philippines. Instead, there are numerous statues of nationalist figures. Whereas it is common, perhaps even essential, to commemorate national heroes, the nation seems unable and unwilling to acknowledge those whose nationalism was colored by communism. Even the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, which is run by a private foundation and not by the government, commemorates the victims of the Marcos regime primarily as nationalist martyrs rather than members of a radical revolutionary movement. Why this absence of memorials to communists?
The fact is, Marikina City holds the distinction of hosting not just one but two monuments to socialist revolutionaries! As "early" as  2001, then city mayor Bayani Fernando erected a statue of labor leader Filemon "Ka Popoy" Lagman (March 17, 1953 - February 6, 2001) -- just a few months (I believe) after the latter's assassination. To this day, it stands proudly at the middle of a busy intersection of Barangay Concepcion Uno:

(Yours truly took this photo recently, of the statue of -- in the interest of full disclosure -- my uncle, my mom's brother. :) )

Then in 2014, only a month after he perished in a vehicular accident, Arvin "Tado" Jimenez (March 24, 1974 - February 7, 2014), renowned TV personality, activist and comedian of the absurd (preceding Ryan Rems Sarita), was honored with a mural along a road straddling Paliparan, Marikina:

(Photo from marikinacity.wordpress.com.)

Trivia: There was this encounter between Ka Popoy and Tado, when the former allegedly grabbed the latter by his long hair, angrily, and...I think I'll just let their comrades, who actually witnessed that, complete the story. ;) Still, years after Ka Popoy died, Tado proudly declared in an interview with Kris Aquino his deep admiration for the murdered revolutionary, that he emulated him. So, regarding their respective dates of birth and death: coincidental? 

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