July 1971
PIC Magazine
Gerry Gil

                                             Of Among Other Things, the
            Mobilization for Abortion, Rhythm, Condoms, and Ovulation  Suppressants
                                                    or in Short, MARCOS

        Mission: Accelerate the Renaming of the Country after Our Sovereign.  This, in a nutshell, is the task cut out for the hush-hush group I was invited to join last month: we are one of the Sovereign's secret weapons for 1973.  Our task is to keep Our Great Leader in the public eye.  The vehicle (and no pun is intended here) is the Marcos jeep, or at least, the philosophy behind it.
        There is, of course, nothing special about the Marcos jeep except that stenciled on either side are the words: “Medical Assistance to Rural Communities and Other Sectors” whose abbreviation spells the name of Our Great Leader.  The task of our supersecret group is simply to rename as many government agencies as possible in such a way that the acronym spells the sacred name of the Sovereign now gloriously reigning.
        “Even if the Commission on Elections bans all billboards, streamers, and media advertising for the next presidential elections,” the project director boasted, “we will still be able to keep Our Great Leader in the public eye.”
        The first phase of the program will involve the renaming of all military and police units, he revealed.  “The Air Force will be renamed ‘Military Arm Responsible for Covering Our Skies’; the Navy, ‘Military Arm Responsible for Covering Our Seas......
        “And I suppose the Army will be renamed ‘Military Arm Responsible for Covering Our Soil,’” I interrupted.
        “No” he snapped, “we considered that but rejected it because it strongly suggests that the Army is lying down on the job or at least falls down on it.  No, the Army will be known as ‘Military Arm Responsible for Covering Our Shores.’”
        He continued, “The PC [Philippine Constabulary] will be renamed ‘Men Armed to Repress Crime and Organize Security’; all city-police forces will be called ‘Metropolitan Agencies to Restore Calm, Order, and Serenity’; and all municipal police forces will be known as ‘Municipal Agencies to Restore Calm, Order, and Serenity.’  The riot squads will be named ‘Military Administration to Repel the Communist Offensive among Students.’
        “Think of every plane, boat, tank, truck, jeep, trailer, car, and motorcycle bearing the name of Our Great Leader!  Think of every soldier and policeman bearing the name of Our Great Leader on his uniform!  Just think,” he enthused, “everytime there is a rebellion, a riot, a smuggling attempt, a murder, a rape, a robbery, or a theft, people will automatically think of Our Great Leader if they do not do so already!”
        “But surely,” I objected, “not everyone gets to see the Armed Forces and the police.  In fact a lot of people I know do their best to avoid them.”
        “That’s just the first phase.  It will prepare the public to see more and more things carrying the name of Our Great Leader.  We will terminate phase one by getting every single motor vehicle in the country to carry Our Sovereign's name.  All license plates and those luminous red bumper stickers will carry the name of the Land Transportation Commission which will be changed to ‘Ministry Accountable for the Regulation of the Cars on Our Streets.’”
        The second phase of the operation calls for renaming all those agencies which have a lot of branches throughout the country.
        “All schools will be renamed.  Elementary schools will be known as ‘Minor Administration Responsible for Children's Obtaining Skills,’ while high schools will be known as ‘Major Administration Responsible for Children's Obtaining Skills.’  The Department of Health will be dubbed the ‘Medical Agency Responsible for the Care of Our Sick’ we say ‘care’ rather than ‘cure’ because we cannot guarantee cures and the PACD [Presidential Action on Community Development] will be renamed ‘Mobilization of Activities to Raise the Countryside's Over-all Standards.’”
        I shook my head.  “If you want pervasive impact, why not use the mass media?”
        “But we will,”  the project director cried.  “Everytime a radio or TV station signs off, the announcer has to state that the station operates under a license from the Radio Control Board.  Well, the Radio Control Office will be known as the ‘Ministry Accountable for Radio, Communications, and Other Systems.’”
        “Before every single movie, patrons will see the name of Our Great Leader because the Board of Censors for Motion Pictures will be known as ‘Moviegoers’ Academy to Regulate Cinematic Over-exploitation of Sex.’  As for the newspapers, people in the Palace are trying to convince General Hans Menzi to rename the Manila Bulletin and the Liwayway publications ‘Menzi’s Accurate Reporting of the Chronicles of Our State.’”
        Rubbing his hands gleefully, the project director continued, “In any case every magazine will have to carry the name of Our Great Leader.  Every magazine has to carry a sworn statement to the Bureau of Posts on ownership and circulation.  This statement will carry the name of Our Great Leader because the Post Office will be known as ‘Ministry Accountable for Routing Correspondence through Our State.’”
        “Imagine, every single letter and package will be postmarked with the name of Our Sovereign!”
        “Wouldn't it be simpler to just issue stamps bearing his picture?” I asked.
        “That’s been tried,” he sighed, “but it didn't work too well because too many people kept on spitting on the wrong side of the stamp.”  He continued, “The Bureau of Animal Industry will be known as ‘Menagerie of Acclimatized Rams, Chicks, Oxen, and Swine’ and each of these animals  -  except the chickens, of course, but we're trying to see what can be done  -  will be branded with the name of Our Lord and Master.  The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is not enthusiastic about the idea of a six-letter brand.  I admit that it's going to be excruciatingly painful for the animals, but in a cause as noble as ours, certain sacrifices just have to be made.”
        “What about the danger that some unscrupulous person who happens to have the same name as Our Great Leader claims that all the animals are his own?” I asked.
        “If the guy is unscrupulous enough, he’ll try to rustle the animals regardless of what the brand is.  The Golden Buddha did not carry the name of Our Great Leader but that didn't stop a certain judge with the same name from ordering its seizure.  As I said, we just have got to take certain risks and be willing to make certain sacrifices in this noble crusade of ours.”
        Phase three involves renaming all those offices that produce a lot of reports, documents, papers, and official receipts.  “Every single coin and bill will bear the new name of the Central Bank  -  ‘Monetary Agency Responsible for the Currency of Our State.’  Other new names will include ‘Missions Accredited to Represent the Country Over Seas’ for the Department of Foreign Affairs;  ‘Ministry to Amplify Resource, Currency, and Organizational Systems’ for the President’s Economic Staff, and ‘Mandatory Acquisition of Resources Commandeered by Our State’ for the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
        “The Department of Social Welfare will be known as ‘Miscellaneous Activities for the Relief of the Crushed, the Oppressed, and the Suffering’; all relief materials, all clothing, canned goods, nutri-buns, will carry the name of Our Great Leader.  Whenever natural disaster strikes, people will automatically think of Our Sovereign.  The more disastrous the calamity, the more they will be reminded of him.”
        “But I thought phase three involved only those offices that produced a lot of documents, reports, and papers,” I objected.
        “Sir,” he retorted, “the Department of Social Welfare’s output of press and photo releases weighs at least ten times the mass of the relief goods that actually reach the real disaster victims.  It is for this reason that the National Science Development Board (which will come to be known as ‘Miniscule Agency Ritualistically Conducting Operations in Science’) is conducting experiments on the transmutation of press releases into foodstuffs and they hope to achieve a breakthrough by 1973.”
        The project group is also working to enlist the Church in the movement to keep Our Great Leader in the public eye.  “We are going to donate a Bible to every single and married priest, brother, nun, and seminarian.  The catch is, every Bible will be marked  ‘Miraculous Account of the Redemption through Christ Our Savior.’  Can you imagine every preacher reading to his parishioners, ‘Lesson from MARCOS, according to Luke, chapter 4, verses such-and-such to such-and-such’?”
        Another special project is to enshrine Our Lady and Master as the center of attraction in every single town plaza in the country.  “Although a statue of Rizal occupies the central position in almost every plaza, we are going to one-up Rizal.  We will pass a law under which every single Rizal monument  -  from the one in the smallest barrio-must be marked with the legend: ‘Memorial Accorded to Rizal, the Country’s Oracle and Seer.’”
        “You seem to have thought of everything,” I marveled.  “It's almost as if you have no problems at all.”
        “But we do have problems,” he confessed, “but we're working on them..”  He introduced me to the Palace psychologist, a post-menopause woman who acted like a coquettish bobby-soxer, who, he said, would fill me in on the most difficult problem they had encountered.
        The Palace psychologist gigglingly pontificated, “According to a series of psychosexual surveys we have taken and analyzed in the approved Freudian-Pavlovian manner, Our Great Leader's image suffers from an unfortunate identification with the most negatively cacheted aspects of the present anomic situation in general and the guilt-associated aspects of the family planning movement in particular.”
        “Just what the hell does that mean?” I asked.
        Looking at me as if I was a retarded child, the Palace psychologist said, “The statistics clearly shows that the longer Our Great Leader has stayed in office, the more people do not feel that it is possible to support a child under the current sociopolitical system.  A clinically trained person like myself would interpret this to mean that they tend to look on Our Great Leader as a walking advertisement for birth control.
        “When you couple this evidence with the statistics showing that the longer Our Great Leader remained in office, the more crimes against persons were committed, the conclusion is inescapable that a considerable number of people have gone further than birth control.  It seems that there is a growing movement for retroactive contraception.  The most logical object of retroactive contraception would be Our Great Leader but with the battalions of bodyguards he has around him, it would be suicide to try.  Hence many direct their rage and frustration against others  -  and here we get homicide, or against themselves  -  and here we get suicide.”
        “Do you have any ideas on how this problem may be solved?” I asked.
        “Yes,” she giggled.  “First we will rename the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines the ‘Mobilization for Abortion, Rhythm, Condoms, and Ovulation Suppressants.’  Our Leader's name and/or picture will be on every pill, every condom, every jelly, every IUD.  Whenever a couple makes love, they will see the name or picture of Our Great Leader and, especially if the device they use is either a condom or an IUD, they will feel his presence even at the height  -  and in the depth  -   of their ecstasy!
        “We will thus be linking Our Great Leader with the joys of sex: sex without guilt, sex without fear, sex without the bother of having a child!  Just as Pavlov's dogs salivated every time they heard a bell, people will think of making love whenever they see the name or picture of Our Great Leader, whose middle initial will come to stand for ‘Eros!”
        Lifting her arms like a Vestal Virgin making some kind of sacrifice, she crowed, “The people cannot but associate Our Leader and Master with the greatest pleasure known to man.”   I nodded.  “I have just seen the campaign slogan,” I said.  “The President is a pill.”
        The project director beamed at me.  “Well do you have any suggestion?”
        I hesitated.  “Have you thought of a new name for the Department of Public Sanitation?”  I wondered.
        He shook his head.  “It wouldn't be very appropriate, would it, to have the name of Our Sovereign plastered on the side of every garbage can and dump truck.”
        “I thought so,” I sighed, “and yet there's such a marvelous name for it.”
        His face lit up.  “Tell me.  If it's good, maybe we can use it.”   I said, “Manpower Aggregating Refuse, Crap, and Other Shit.”