It was a bright and sunny February afternoon in 2021. I walked to UP Diliman to breathe in some fresh air and to see some lush greenery.
Upon arriving at the Oblation Plaza, I was totally stunned. The Quezon Hall appeared to be fortified with a massive barricade. Seeing the art installation "Barikada" by the multi-media artist Toym Imao made me realize that the message being conveyed by the exhibition is more important now than ever.
"Barikada" is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Diliman Commune during the darkest time in the Philippine history. Made out of repurposed materials— including old furniture and bamboo — the installation bleeds a bag full of message for us Filipinos in these trying times.
Amidst the age of uncertainty and injustice, the Oblation stands tall behind the "Barikada" as a reminder for us to defend academic freedom, to uphold democracy, to reject historical revisionism, and to live by the truth in this post-truth world.