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Freddie Aguilar’s Anak hits the airwaves again amid Ivler case

Nagdaan pa ang mga araw at ang landas mo’y naligaw… (The days have gone by and your path has gone astray…) The familiar song about a delinquent child has once again hit the airwaves more than three decades after it was composed by Freddie Aguilar. When the folk singer-composer wrote the award-winning Anak – a song that would later earn him worldwide recognition – Freddie did so to offer an apology to his parents for pursuing a wayward life.
ANAK. The popular song about a wayward child composed by Freddie Aguilar (left) is again being played on the radio amid the case of his nephew Jason Ivler (center), son of book writer and artist Marlene Aguilar (right). Photos from GMA News, PEP.PH
Owing to the song’s universal theme – teenage rebellion, among others – Anak became a hit, here and abroad. Besides securing third place in the 1977 Metropop Festival, the song was later translated into various languages. Little did the songwriter know that Anak would ring true for his nephew, Jason Aguilar Ivler, more than three decades after Freddie wrote the song. Implicated in two separate killings, Ivler – son of Freddie’s sister Marlene Aguilar-Pollard – was apprehended and arrested after a shootout with agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). “It is a very sad day for the whole family," Freddie said in a short text message sent Tuesday night to GMANews.TV regarding the incident. However, the singer refused to make any further comments regarding recent circumstances befalling his nephew, who suffered from gunshot wounds after Monday's firefight. Ivler is currently confined at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. “When everything is clear, I will give my piece. At the moment, the family (has chosen) to keep silent," Freddie said. At ang una mong nilapitan, ang iyong inang lumuluha… (And the first one you approached was your crying mother…) Although Freddie and his family chose to keep the sadness to themselves, Jason’s mother remains unable to hide her grief. “I’m still traumatized. I have not slept. I have not eaten. My heart breaks beyond words," Marlene said while at the NBI headquarters in Manila on Tuesday. Marlene was detained for one night at an NBI holding cell owing to obstruction of justice allegations when she failed to turn over her son to the police. The 28-year-old Jason had no intention of giving himself up to authorities when NBI agents on Monday morning rushed to his mother’s residence at Blue Ridge Subdivision in Quezon City where he was hiding. For two months, Jason was able to evade the police who had tracked him down for allegedly shooting to death 27-year-old Renato Victor Ebarle Jr. last November 18 in a road rage incident. The victim was a son and namesake of an undersecretary for the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff. Jason resisted arrest when NBI agents found him hiding in his mother’s house. The agents said Jason, armed with an M16 Armalite rifle and a .45-caliber pistol, acted like “Rambo," firing bullets in the air, which hit NBI agent Ana Labao in the chest and chief of the NBI Special Action Unit Angelito Magno in the right thigh.

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The violent incident is not the first for Jason's mother. Marlene appears to have been living in grief and danger even before her son was accused of committing a crime. In her essay, Free to Choose, Marlene said she raised her two sons alone for more than 20 years after her husband passed away due to “sudden death" five years into their marriage. She also claimed that she was no stranger to violence as she witnessed for many times the ugly, dangerous side of life. “In Manila, we lived in a neighborhood surrounded by dangerous gangsters and killers who went in and out of prison like they were going food shopping. It wasn't rare to hear them shoot at each other at night. So as a little girl my mother taught me to hit the floor when I heard gun shots," she said in her essay. “I remember going to school one morning, seeing a pool of blood in front of my house because members of the local gang had a terrible fight that evening. One man was stabbed to death during the encounter. And there I was six years old, poor, hungry, staring at death early in the morning on my way to school. Violence was not only in my home, it was everywhere," she further related. She also said that her father, a former police chief and boxer, “died in my arms when I was 16." "And after his death, I sought more danger and violence," added Marlene. At ang tanong, “Anak, ba’t ka nagkaganyan?"… (And the question is, “My child why did you become like that?") It seems danger and violence will continue to plague Marlene’s life. The mother of the alleged criminal has continued to defend her son, insisting that Jason is innocent of the crime. In her interviews with the media, Marlene said she was ready to bite the bullet for her beloved son. “No matter what my son did, I love him with all my heart and soul." Marlene’s behavior towards Jason is perfectly understandable, according to Miriam College professor Jesus Enrique Saplala who specializes in criminal psychology. Saplala said parents in general have the tendency to be protective towards their children. “When a parent hears his or her child has done something bad, the first reaction would be to ask the child what he or she has done. The following reaction would be to protect and defend his or her child," he said. Saplala, however, said that after some time, a parent usually gets over the initial reaction and emotion, eventually leading into a “cognitive phase." “After the first reactions, there will be respect for whatever decision there is. The logic comes in, and most for most parents, this is the time they turn over their child to authorities," Saplala explained. According to Saplala, there is no clear-cut answer as to when a parent would be ready to give up a child for a wrongdoing. “Sometimes, the logic is lost. Why this happened in this case, that’s something only Marlene can explain." - ARCS/RJAB Jr./GMANews.TV