In the 70’s, the Republic of the Philippines was suffering under the midst of then- President Ferdinand Marcos’ reign as ruler. It was in September 21st, 1972, that he chained close whatever inkling of democracy the Filipinos had by declaring Martial Law. Unfortunately, it was a rule of a a twisted sort: the nation would be under the rule of the Armed Forces, but contrary to its definition, Marcos’ Martial Law kept himself in power.
Dekada ’70 (Translated into English, the 70’s decade) is a bittersweet tale of love in the face of hate, hope in the face oppression, and new life in the midst of death. It is a novel of a mother, her examination of her oft-unappreciated role in modern society, and how she struggles to find for herself a sense of purpose and identity while suffering through the very pit of the nation’s disintegration. It is a novel of a mother and her family, how society around her affects her family.
It is a tale of she becomes torn between the letter of the law or her responsibility as a mother. Dekada ’70 tells of how under hate, greed and corruption, one normal person transcends beyond right and wrong: instead learns that it is freedom that entails survival. Set in the 70’s, urban Metro Manila, Amanda Bartolome is a middle-class mother of five young men. Amanda acts as a supposed symbolism of detachment. First of all, she was a mother, a housewife; such were not considered integral parts of society during those times.
She was not the breadwinner; she did not experience the foremost effects of the decline of the Philippines economy back then. She was a member of the middle class; her family did not take money, like the rich, nor did her family suffer the worst of the financial crises, like the poor. The lives of Amanda’s children each went in different directions in the story, and each varied. Her eldest son was Jules. Jules grew up normally, similar to every other ideal family. His upbringing was that of what ideally conformed to normal.
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