I believe what frightens most people about militant activism is that it embodies and demands a devotion so utterly blind, a perspective so singularly narrow-minded that it eclipses all reason and logic in favour of what is basically a violent fantasy. This narrow focus - this eclipsing of vision - is necessary to militant activism's survival as any distraction or deviation from it is to weaken the militant activist's resolve, and if and when this happens in the field of battle - be it on the streets or in the jungle - it likely means detainment and/or death.
Directed towards poetry, this blind devotion and eclipsing of reason and logic begets poems that are often resistant to critical input, resistant here more often than not not meaning impervious but instead ignoring, or more accurately, unlistening - most militant activist poetry refuses to listen to criticism, specifically criticism of/on craft, as craft is by and large a middle class artistic concern, unfortunately not a concern of the militant activist poet, the militant activist poet's concern being propagation and endurance of the message, and the message is almost always resist. This does not mean that militant activist poetry is without craft, only that it has its own standards of craft, and these standards don't necessarily align with the burgis vanilla university understanding of craft, that is, of craft in service of art. So what is it exactly that's important in militant activist poetry?
I think I find some of it in Ericson Acosta's "Ika-anim na Sundang: GABUD," what to me comes across as an elegy, a mournful prayer ritually recited by the gravesite of fallen comrades. The image is grim and gritty, a macho fantasy: a group of soldiers re-pledging their allegiance to the cause as they sharpen their war knives in the dark, keeping them sharp for the taut pink necks of the fat and bountiful oppressors. The poem doesn't specifically mention the dead, but they are certainly invoked, reassured that their lives have not been wasted as the persona strives to reassure the living that what they're fighting for is indeed worth fighting for, indeed worth dying for, and that they will die fighting the fight, and it says these things boldly, plainly, with steely conviction, without any uncertain terms.
Which to me is what is ultimately important in militant activist poetry, what it brings to the table of Philippine Literature - militant activist poetry's concerns are more practical: it sees poetry as a tool, a means to an end, and the end is to inspire, provoke, and educate the most number of people possible in the quickest most legible way possible, of craft in service of medium for the message, thus its preoccupation with imagery and statements that lead to easy sentiments of love and hate. In a way, it is where Romanticism lives on without shame, irony, or sarcasm, where earnestness is rewarded not with money or medals or fellowships, but with the assurance that somehow someday there will be peace, but in the time that there isn't, you may die, but take comfort: someone else will pick up your knife, sharpen it, and bring it to battle once again; take comfort: you will not die in vain.