ENDGAME: The Fall of Marcos by Ninotchka Rosca

ENDGAME: The Fall of Marcos

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Manila-born short-story writer Rosca (The Monsoon Collection, 1983) turns her hand to personalized political commentary in this account of Marcos' fall from power. In the wake of other Marcos books (Romulo's gossipy Inside the Palace, p. 1053; Simons' riveting Worth Dying For, p. 912), Rosca attempts to provide an artistic portrayal of the hearts and minds of the Filipino people at the time of the Marcos collapse. Marcos, known as ""the Sir"" to common Filipinos, and Imelda, known as ""the Ma'am,"" are looked at by two street urchins, one of whom sells cigarettes, the other flower garlands. The kids feel the Marcoses can't ""see reality."" Rosca herself, who has been affiliated with the Philippine communist movement and incarcerated in a martial-law detention camp, thinks the Marcoses were pretty dreadful, and while she's not an automatic fan of ""Cory"" Aquino--here seen as a bourgeois lady emanating from a wealthy, Marcos-supporting family--she comes to grudgingly respect Aquino's integrity. Rosca writes of the hooplah surrounding the last Marcos-run election, which she terms the ""Thrilla in Manilla,"" and seems to enjoy the disorder and the impending dethronement of Marcos immensely. The communist movement, big in the 60's, is briefly traced, and we meet Ka (Comrade) Isabella, Ka Rowena, Ka Winner, and Ka Timmy. In the end, the two urchins who have rallied to help oust Marcos resume their urchin-like existence, living on, perhaps, to tell their children and grandchildren of their role in this historic event. Very scattered, slangy, and self-consciously ""cute,"" this work nonetheless provides a Filipino ""man on the street"" perspective of the Fall of Marcos, and is, at times amusing.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1987
Publisher: Watts