It’s been 43 years since former President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law. We’ve learned some stuff about it during our history class at school but my further readings told me that there are many things we didn’t know about it and weren’t taught to us in class. Here are some of the most shocking facts about the Philippine Martial Law:
- Former President Ferdinand Marcos was not the only president to declare martial law. In fact, it was Emilio Aguinaldo who first declared Martial Law making him not only the first president of the republic but also the country’s first dictator.
- Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also declared a Martial Law in Mindanao to investigate the Amputan Clan’s alleged private armies and weaponry.
- Curfew was strictly imposed during the martial law and anyone who is caught walking the streets between 11pm-4am gets arrested and detained by the Metrocom or metropolitan.
- Little kids didn’t get to enjoy watching anime (Japanese animation) like Voltes V, Daimos or Mazinger Z. The government’s reason for banning these shows is that they’re too violent for little children to watch. Other says that it’s because the animes’ stories are about fighting an oppressive villain that’s why the Marcos regime didn’t want kids to watch it.
- Theater became a potent vehicle for political expression. PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association) used their shows to express their sympathies against the government. They also taught local communities about theater.
- Senator Jose Diokno was known to be one of Marcos’ formidable foes alongside Senator Ninoy Aquino. After the successful overthrow of the Marcos regime, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights. However, during Cory’s regime and the infamous Mendiola massacre where the military opened fire and killed 15 farmers, he resigned from his position, disappointed that even after the dictator is gone, not much has changed.
- During Martial Law, Meralco was under the control of the government that’s why the electric bill during that time was incredibly lower than what’s written on our bills today. After the Cory regime got rid of the Marcoses, she gave back the company to the Lopez’ and completely out of the government’s hands.
- Public schools were normally supplied with NutriBun. a high-vitamin bun which was supposedly a complete, all-in-one meal. It only costs five centavos.
- Although his wife Imelda was credited for building some of the country’s finest monuments, she was criticized for personal extravagance. She was called the iron butterfly of Asia because of her ability to make connections with other powerful people fast. She’s also as strong willed as her late husband.
- Imelda Marcos came up with the Green Revolution program which required students to bring and plant seeds and take care of the environment. Aside from this, they are also required to attend news programs.
- After the 1986 people power, not much has changed and the Philippines still remained one of the poorest countries in Asia as opposed to our former title, The Tiger of Asia during Marcos’ regime.
We all have different views about the Martial but one thing is for sure, it did change the entire nation and affected the generation that came after it.