Monday, April 28, 2014

A Voltes V Fan Contemplating on the possibility of seeking remuneration for human rights violation

"I say this to my dear beloved Filipinos. Voltes V is a
communist propaganda that threatens our very freedom and
democracy that we now enjoy.  It is now my duty,
as the president of this nation, using my mandate
as provided for by the constitution that gives me
extramarital powers , and in times where our nation's
 security and survival are being threatened,
I am hereby announcing presidential decree 1231-2r32-
213-2343-ygxs-3d421f-213ddf-ewe23-an addendum to
proclamation 1081, otherwise known as the
Anti-Voltes V decree, that unconditionally stops
the airing of Voltes V and other related Japanese anime
for national security reasons. Be it known that violators
will be subject to the penalties of anti-heinous crime
provisions of the still un-revised penal code."
Imagine watching a super robot cartoon on TV. You have already viewed a couple of episodes and was mesmerized and hooked, and you're imagination was in a state of excitement that you even had realistic dreams about it. Then of all a sudden, without prior notice or reasons given, the series was pulled off the air. Your whole being was already into it...and then puff.

This was martial law and there's not a thing we could do about it, an era of curfew, desaparecidos, NPA-MNLF uprisings, energy crisis, and bell bottoms etc. I mean...

This was what happened in the late 70's. I was in grade 1 and cartoons especially robots were something new and very exciting for me and I guess the entire country. It should be understood that Voltes V also included the adults among its audience. 

To understand where I'm coming from it is better to have a little understanding of what TV was like during those years, as far as I could remember (opinions may vary). TV during martial law was pure un-adulturated crap. 

Voltes V: The robot that scared the hell out of a dictator.
This may sound far off today but during martial there were no programs in the afternoons; TV signs off only to re-air after the children had their afternoon naps! 

Most programs were Sampaguita, LVN, etc movies, children shows, Students Canteen, and censored news. Lifestyle programs were banned because it might (I supposed) motivate Filipinos to ask about their deplorable poverty stricken condition.

Read news paper from that era and you get an idea of what I'm talking about.

The most horrible thing was Marcos' omnipresent face on TV. If the president of the Philippines wanted to say something he made sure that he was heard: all TV and radio station would simultaneously broadcast his pronouncements, no exceptions. Orwell's Big Brother in the flesh.  

Where was I...Hmmm back to the phenomenology of Voltes V

The technology, the ships, the bolting together of five ships to form one super robot, the drama, and the battles scenes,  these left deep impressions on me. I realized there's a whole new universe out there, fantasies, a new dimension where my imagination could run wild. There could be infinite numbers of life and civilizations out there, in space. There could be intergalactic interplanetary wars happening there. Earth could someday be threatened ... 

My notebooks were filled with spaceships and robot drawings... and it... hmmm... Voltes V was my first sci-fi experience and it started my fascination with the genre. 

Daimos: This one is memorable for its love story between
Erica of the Brahmins and Richard of Earth.
Of course, today's sci-fi are more concerned with science than fiction which makes it quite difficult to read. I still go with the classics. I remember an anecdote about how Stan Lee thought of exposing Bruce Banner with gamma rays which resulted to him becoming The Hulk. "...gamma rays sounds good. But I don't know a thing about gamma rays or science at all, but it sounds good." An accurate science is good but the details discourages the non-science educated readers.

Anyway, back to Voltes V...

And like any normal children, I imitated the battles scenes and engaged role playing games with other kids based on Voltes V story line as we saw and interpreted it that time.

Mazinger Z: memorable for the parody of its theme song:
Koji kabuto kili-kili baho, ayaw maligo binato ng tabo...etc.
And also Sayaka's, his partner lady robot's,
thermonuclear missile boobs.
Though the opening theme was in Japanese, the martial tune hooked me and up to now, next to Lupang Hinirang, it was the most memorable marching tune I ever heard. Well, to tell the truth, the only reason that prevented me from putting Voltes V theme ahead of the National Anthem was the fact that Lupang Hinirang was hammered into my consciousness from my kinder year and has been continuously being so daily since then.

When the government heard the English Voltes V theme being aired on Philippine TV, Marcos and his propagandists realized something: Subversive! 

It was like what happened to Rizal's novels during the Spanish era. When the Spaniards read it, they understood the allusions and, the novel's theme and  identified the who's who and a very little literary critical skills was needed to understand what it's all about. They had Rizal executed and his books banned. 

But this was different but might not be that different at all.  It did not have to do with allusion but with illusions and delusions: Marcos was paranoid. Though according to Bongbong Marcos, the reason his father banned Voltes V was because of its violence. But we all knew this was not the truth, violence happened everyday in the most inhuman way and blatant manner in the country that time. The real reason: Marcos was threatened by the animes. 

Grendizer. Watched a few episodes but left no mark

Here's the English lyric:

Someday the sons of light shall fill the earth
The morning of Justice shall have come to its birth
So,we'll all wave our banners high 
and free through the air
For the love and glory we then all shall share...

Marcos, maybe, felt that this song might become the next "Bayan Ko". Hmmm...


The cancellation disappointed me and I guess many of my generation as well.

I felt hmmm...deprived, violated..of course it was more disappointment but as I grew older, the cancellation became topics of talks and hypotheses and theories were given. 

Mekanda Robot
But there was the hope that Steve, Big Bert, Mark, Jamie and Little John would come and my contemporaries longed of the day when Voltes  V would come back from among the clouds to come back for his fans and to claim his TV airtime. It did happen in the late 80's and early 90's, but once again freedom was threatened by a dimwit politician who wanted Voltes V bolted out of TV, again. But, freedom has been won and the Filipino nation did not allow the travesty of interplanetary-interreality freedom to be strangeled again. The politician was trapped in the Phantom Zone of political inanity.

I was fourteen when Marcos fell from power. Too young to care about politics but old enough to understand that something has changed. 

OOhhhhhhh...I forgot, I am thinking about the possibility of seeking damages for depraving me and my generation of a part of our childhood...RA 7610 maybe...well I have to look if the law is retroactive...hmmmmm. 

Gotta consult a human rights lawyer first.

I'm hungry and its already lunch...running out of juice...

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