Finalist-PhilBlogAwards 2010

Finalist-PhilBlogAwards 2010
Finalist for society, politics, history blogs



Friday, December 07, 2007


Bro. Erle Frayne D. Argonza

[Writ. 21 September 2007, Manila]

Good day to you all seekers, freethinkers, freedom fighters!

Today is the 21st of September, a day of infamy that many adults in my homeland (Philippines) and overseas vividly recall. On this day in 1972, then President Ferdinand Marcos y Edralin declared Martial Law. Fourteen (14) years of darkness then ensued, amid the erstwhile developmental pursuits toward industrialization by this fledgling nation-state.

Marcos’ tyrannical fiats declared the closure of congress, banned all political parties and mass movements, confiscated the assets of detractor oligarchs, and sweepingly incarcerated around 30,000 perceived enemies of the state. When the dictatorship was overthrown in February 25 of 1986, over 120,000 were totally imprisoned without due process of law for the entire duration of the regime.

The bloody capstone of terror was the torture and execution of over 10,000 detractors of the regime. Add to these the tens of thousands who perished in the dictatorship’s brutal war against the Bangsamoro people and the dirty war against the Left, and you’d have a picture of a Dark Era in Philippine history that approximates the previous Dark Era of Japanese occupation of the country (1941-‘45).

This mystic was an adolescent during the early years of Martial Law, and was among the youth radicals of his restive heydays. I was then a 3rd year engineering student at the University of the Philippines when I witnessed several of my own buddies and club-mates arrested and imprisoned incommunicado for 1-3 months. Sensing that military agents were after me one time, I fled into hiding for almost two (2) months, forcing me to take leave from school for that affected semester.

One after the other some friends of mine, including a guitar jamming pal Bong M., were murdered by state agents. Bong’s body was found floating among the water lilies of the highly polluted Pasig River. A former freshman dorm-mate, Ting, also an activist, was shot by the son of an army general and the case remained unsolved. Fraternity brods of mine in the Collegium Liberum were locked up, while others who chose underground life as their primary vocation were gunned down by pursuing military commandoes.

For many years a Bogey Man dressed in military fatigue kept on appearing in my nightmares, relentlessly chasing me and gunning me down without compunction. In some occasions I chased back this Bogey Man and killed it. But he kept on coming back in my next nightmares. Even when I was already a young state official, and later a professor at the University of the Philippines, the same Bogey Man kept coming back deviously.

Martial Law surely had a way of building up my paranoia. It was a challenge for me to detoxify myself of the dense energies from the experience of facing the mighty dragon of Martial Law machinery. But it was possible, and I succeeded. By the year 1990, when I was already a practicing yogi, my paranoid fears have effaced, and gone was the militaristic Bogey Man for good. My nightmares likewise dwindled to almost nil.

It is nauseatingly erroneous to say that Martial Law was an entirely ‘negative experience’. It was an experience, to say the least. It induced anxiety and paranoia, true. But it also presented a window of opportunity for the libertarian flame to awaken from its nocturnal sleep. And this is the sublime lesson of those dark moments: people learned to love their freedoms more and fought for their liberty in blood when exigencies so demanded.

Furthermore, Martial Law also accelerated the renascence of Philippine nationalism that, like the libertarian flame, slept undisturbed in the catacombs of the damned. Nationalism is a progressive force in the Philippines that comprises of over 100 ethno-linguistic groups. In the absence of nationalism, each ethno-linguistic community is like a nation unto itself, promoting its parochial interests and fomenting separatist wars of independence.

And the crowning glory of the Filipinos, for all the sacrifices they exhibited during those dark years, sacrifices writ in blood notwithstanding, finally arrived, when upon gathering their strengths collectively, they overthrew Tyranny via ‘people power’ in 1986. Such a sublime feat won accolades from fellow peoples of Earth everywhere. So the patriots who laid their lives to restore democracy and an ‘open society’ didn’t die in vain after all, but died with full honors as heroes of the nation and the human race.

Personally, Martial Law forged in me the warrior traits of Iron Will and audacity in action. In 1975, as a na├»ve freshman, I was a thin, fragile, wimpy nerd who just entered the august halls of the University of the Philippines. The sight of rambles and fistfights were enough to unnerve me and made me pee on my pants due to fright… By 1980, after over three (3) years of activism, I was a determined warrior-type soul, ready to face not only grimly-faced enemies in the battlefield but also demonic types in the astral domains (I was already a seeker and yoga student by then). I have mutated, thanks to Martial Law!

Not only the forging of 1st Ray (warriorship) traits, but also the countless capabilities I’ve learned from radical civil society were equally manna from heaven. Name them: social marketing, advocacy, policy analysis, campaign strategies & tactics, mass campaign planning, development communication, and more. All spin offs from my youthful experiences of facing the Mighty Dragon of tyranny.

Finally, two decades after becoming a youth activist (I joined the underground Kabataang Makabayan or Patriotic Youth in August 1977), I was, as a mystic of the GWB, able to articulate libertarian experience into a coherent wisdom tradition: libertosophy. As I argued in my book Libertosophy & Freethought (2000), the libertarian as a social type can climb the transcendent height via the libertarian Path, provided that s/he will complete the lessons in life with the other ingredients of a yoga package.

Very revealingly, I also realized, along my spiritual journey, that a Divine Being, Liberty, exists as the inspirational Light of all libertarians or social emancipators. To my delight, I discovered that the Lady Liberty constructed for the New York harbor is a wonderful archetype of this Being of Light. Formless in shis natural form, Liberty inspires and guides libertarians, provided that the libertarians sojourn the Path of Light.

So, Fellows in the Path, let it be summed up: Tyranny, in whatever form, is an experience that presents both positive and negative aspects. It is a tapestry of tragic incidents of every kind, but it likewise presents opportunities for learning, capability-building and innovative actions. This thesis is a ‘take it or leave it’ one: either you see only the negative aspect of the experience, or you see both aspects dynamically relating to each other like yin-yang forces.

Liberum Semper!

(Freedom always!)

1 comment:

Erle Frayne Argonza said...


Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Guru Ra

Felicitous greetings to you all!

I hereby extend my most heartfelt gratitude to enthused readers and fellow writers who appreciated my notes about social life, wisdom and arts.

Just about three (3) years ago, there was very little information about my person on cyberspace. Today, as I’ve spread my messages of Light and hope to all of the corners of the globe via the blogs and social networks, many enthused souls responded through reading, exchanges of notes, and citations of my works. Finally, after your appreciation and support of my cyber-crusade, information about me on cyberspace increased by gigantic strides.

Special thanks to the following online news, magazines and portals for citing my notes as among the top blogs on cyberspace:


Thanks too to the following sites that have cited, discussed and debated on various notes of mine about a diversity of topics and themes:

Maraming salamat! Thank you very much! Love & Light!

September 2010