September is another awkward month for the government of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. because the 21st of the month will always remind us of the ultra-rightist coup that Ferdinand Marcos Sr. launched in 1972. Since we are in a period where history is being rewritten, I don’t think President Bongbong would hold commemoration rites on that day, or if he will, this will be in a positive tone.

Anti-Marcos groups and fact-checkers will, of course, be busy defending the accepted interpretation of the past, but with a Marcos now at the helm, this year’s commemoration will be different. But I have long gone past that. I no longer follow current events and am merely waiting for the day when the political wind changes. It is time for the new generation to take over.

I was in first year high school when martial law was declared and had already quit college when People Power ousted Marcos Sr. in 1986. The early years of military rule forced me to be apolitical but that changed when I was in college and was more mature. What happened in two decades could not be all positive. Neither could it be all negative.

The current political wind obviously favors the Marcoses. They are back in power and there’s nothing we can do about that for now. That favorable wind started with the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, although the winds of change were planted earlier than that. The game changer was when Duterte allowed the Marcos Sr. remains to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. That meant our concept of heroism was already muddled.

The peak was when technology changed our perception of things. The democratization of the sharing of information also allowed the moneyed to shape people’s perception via social media. That would take years to undo, like it would take time for disturbed water to settle down. That was what happened when traditional media took hold in society. Media ethics took time to get shaped. Social media disturbed the calm waters traditional media took years to achieve.

The world’s leading democracy, the US, is even still in turmoil with the rise of Trumpism. Liberal democracy seems to continue its retreat there even with Joe Biden as president. Trump’s forces have remained a threat, and it would be interesting to find out if Trumpism would surge again in the next US elections.

The Marcoses and the Dutertes will continue to be a force in the Philippines in the next elections. The forces of liberal democracy may no longer be on the retreat here, but it takes time for the majority to embrace their tenets. Wasn’t September 1972 undone only in February 1986? That was more than a decade.

When I was younger, I worked hard to undo the damage brought about by Marcos’ rule. I thought that was enough and that the slogan “Never again” would stick. So don’t blame me if in my old age I am discouraged, even demoralized, by the return of the Marcoses to power. But this event told me that in a democracy, you have to put your faith in the majority. Just like when you are floating in the sea. You let the current dictate your fate.