It's my first morning in the Philippines. I arrived late the night before and joined my teammates, Michael Flores and Evan Solis, early in the morning on a six-hour-long car ride north of Manila. I am joining them after they have spent the first four days there.
Our story has changed quite significantly. Our plan was to head to the Cordillera region to cover an annual celebration of anti-authoritarianism.
However, over the past few days, Mike and Evan have learned that Mike’s father, Manny, was in active resistance to Marcos Sr. through his youth and college days. To learn more about how his worldview was shaped, we head to the village where he grew up.
Santa Fe in Nueva Vizcaya is a sleepy village close to Quezon City. Here we meet Mike’s great aunt, who is the dominant political leader of the area. She is a complex person who also provided great insights about Manny’s youth and she understands why he would be vehemently anti-Marcos. But she also acknowledges that the Marcos family has built infrastructure, and is of the opinion that Marcos Jr. is the right choice for the future of the Philippines.
We still have a lot to learn about Manny Flores, through his other friends in Manila, through his family there, and most importantly, through Mike. We will be dipping into various points of both of their lives to uncover their stories. To learn what made Manny who he was and Mike who he is.