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BACKGROUND Apo on the wall by Bj Patino is a poem that talks about the
narration of a child’s point of view about his rigorous Father and the hanging
photo around the wall called “Apo”. The poem tells the reality of life during the
reigning of Marcos alongside with the Martial Law. It is a reflection of the
scenario of what and how the Filipinos experienced the tragic and traumatic
event throughout the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. “Apo
on the wall” shows the real situation concerning with the different perspective
between millennial and those who lived through Martial law. This masterpiece of
Bj Patino advocates reasonably close to the realization of giving importance on
looking back to our past, moving forward through our present and ensuring the
success of our future.


Apo on the wall gave me a new impression of the reality about martial law. This
poem served as a living testimony for those Filipinos who come across this
period. It opened up my eyes to see the not imagined condition, that I myself
didn’t witness or experience, of what the victims of martial law go through. I got
enlightened of the truth that the new generation has a different view of what
had happened during the regime of Marcos compared to those Filipinos who
suffered severely to the cause of Maros’ abusive use of power.
The work of Bj Patino has a denotation to the characteristic of the “Father” as a
superior ruler of the family and the child’s natural feeling to fear his Father as a
sign of respect. This also connotes the feeling of the Filipinos who were afraid
over the power and authority of Marcos dictatorship. Their fear is a self-imposed
prison that kept them from having their human rights, freedom of speech, and
voice of justice.
The poem occured suitable in relation with the happenings within the Philippine
issues and problems. It has an essential role that we can look back on. This
shares a meaningful message to every young Filipino especially to those who
have stereotype background about the whole historical story of martial law in
the Philippines during Marcos era. Apo on the wall brought me back to my
senses illuminating the whole picture behind the scenes of the real dark chapter
in the Philippine history.
Generally, I liked this poem for the reason that its composition has an impact in
our present time and for the proceeding years. The past may have passed away
yet its spirit still lives in our present time.

Apo on the wall is a revelation of the dark side of what happened in the past
during Marcos regime. It has a lot of secret untold stories and unheard voices of
testimonies up until now weren’t given a chance to have justice.
The whole story about this poem is filled with fear, grief, trauma and unheard
lamentations from our past. I felt sympathy for the Filipinos who undergo such
experience. If I will put myself on their own shoes, I’ll be deeply depressed. I felt
the great sadness of the poem from the injustice rights they had. I’m visioning
flood of bitter tears flowing upon their eyes, the silent sound of weeping, and the
deep anguish of crying from them. I sense the lost of the hope coming from their
soul. They were been closed into a dark place, where no light could enter. They
were forced to sit in the dark like someone long dead. I also felt the pain that
they took from the past. The feeling of being wasted describes their life. It is like a
mixture of bitterness and sourness of a food. They can’t find peace or remember
happiness. I am affected by the misery they carrying up until now. They were
terribly mistreated and worn out back then. All day long it leaves them in shock
from constant pain as though they were trampled by a huge rock. They were
mourning from the aftermath of the past. All in all, I felt the suffering of the
Filipinos who were under the martial law.


There was an interview between millennials and elders asking how they picture
martial law. Through their responses you will discover the differences of their
answer – an absolute unlikeness. The millennials who has insufficient knowledge
of the whole history of martial law tells the prosperity of the Philippines’ economy
and the presents the state of discipline among Filipinos. In contrary, the elders
facing towards the mellennials (who are unknowing about who they are talking
with) reveals their wisdom of the one-sided reality of Marcos’ distorted law as a
horrifying past, full of misery and a painstaking sufferance for those who had an
actual experience. This shows the contradicting over all view among them.
Honestly speaking the poem made me realized, as one of the mellennials, that
what we know about the whole chapter of Martial law in the Philippines was not
enough. Therefore we must not let ourselves from stereotyping. “ Apo on
the wall” taught me the value of open-mindedness (free from rigidly fixed
preconceptions). We mustn’t come up with a fixed concentrated one-sided
story of someone or something, it will only conceal the big picture that everyone
must see. We must stop ourselves from overgeneralization of a certain story.
Teach yourself the habit of seeking out multiple perspectives. Everyone really
needs to fully understand the overall view. We mustn’t settle from limited sources
of information. We might miss the important details that are vital to know the
truth or worse it can lead us to false ideas. You must recognize that broad
generalizations are often misleading. Skills in perspective consciousness and the
habit of seeking out different perspectives can help us recognize on how to
interpret events and issues in quite different ways based on their backgrounds
and experiences, knowledge, beliefs, and values.

The poem of Bj Patino is a comparison of the past and present. It imparted me

the sense of learning from the past through our own history. It captivated my
entire perspective to enlighten me for the whole truth in the past that change
my present overview. The poem gave me the reason to give value of what had
occurred in our past. We must give ourselves a room for a personal outlook from
our previous mistakes and start applying the wisdom in our present time.
Rick Warren once said, “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be
prisoners of it.”Our past has already passed away now. Our present learns from
our past and wanted a new start of life. Our future calls us to move forward and
keep looking straight ahead. Everything is in the past now. We should know the
purpose of our mistakes, it is intended to mold and build us of whom we are and
who we will become. Our past is already our past. We don’t have the power to
change it whether we like it or not. For our own sake, let us learn from its mistakes
and failures we had done, and then let it go. Let us live through starting right.

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