Listen to Liwanag sa Dilim here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvGYqdvZvYM
2005 was a time when radio airwaves and TV signals were transitioning from and cleansing itself of sex jokes: either of sex jokes on lyrics or people who are being sex jokes themselves (but they still have to wait for more time before Willie Revillame was taken out from the air, but only to return years later). It was also the time when you'd start seeing from either from Pinoy Weekly or your college papers counts (tally?) victims of political murders and of enforced disappearances under the Arroyo regime. Those were what we could say dark times, but with a kind of darkness which brought feelings of uncertainty.
No one was happy, or no one knows how to be. You'd sense remains (or spectres) of grunge nihilism. Even jumping emo kids tend to dance not with songs of celebration but of hurt and pain, and never without a scar. It was a time of symbolic depression, paired with real depression brought by the body count of the dead and missing. The State never really made the killings a secret. The President then even commended Jovito Palparan for his role as the state's butcher.
Perhaps I was too young to think about it back then and some may have perceived it, but it was really spot-on that Rivermaya has released then their instant hit, Liwanag sa Dilim.
Liwanag sa Dilim was made as light as possible, while its lyrics call to stand up and to break with history: as though a sudden wake up call for those who are still asleep. The song spoke of being a light; not really what you'd expect to come out in the midst of a rock scene then crowded with black shirts and heart aches.
Fast forward, 10 years later, radio airwaves now only play old songs (or old songs recycled by new singers) and TV confusing the people of what was real or not, in addition to several other screens people are looking at right now (mobiles, PCs) to form their daily realities and ideas: a time when every light shines too bright it overshadows the darkness, but never really get rid of it. Everything's too bright now, that most of us get blinded by it. What now, is our alternative for this brightness? Do we have to regress to darkness again just to have the light focused on what should we focusing about? Is this the reason why most netizens crave for Fascism again?
1. Arroyo, Gloria Macapagal. Sixth State of the Nation Address, July 24, 2006. "And we will end the long oppression of barangays by rebel terrorists who kill without qualms, even their own. Sa mga lalawigang sakop ng 7th Division, nakikibaka sa paglaban si Jovito Palparan. Hindi siya aatras hanggang makawala sa gabi ng kilabot ang mga pamayanan at maka-ahon sa bukang-liwayway ng hustisya at kalayaan." Retrieved from: http://www.gov.ph/2006/07/24/gloria-macapagal-arroyo-sixth-state-of-the-nation-address-july-24-2006/.
2. Recent exchanges of opinions online regarding the coming elections tend to sway either in favor of the tandem of the now celebrity senator, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., or a call for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (one who is regularly linked to the vigilantes who murders/executes criminals in Davao) to run for presidency.