Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

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.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

  • 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.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

  • 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.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

  • 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.

Shocking Facts about the Philippine Martial Law

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.

Most Memorable Pinoy TV Commercials of All Time  

Most Memorable Pinoy TV Commercials of All Time  

            Most people hate commercials because it disrupts them from watching their favorite telenovelas. However, there are some commercials who have influenced us greatly and did more than just convince us to buy the product, they made the entire nation talk about it for months and even years.

I present to you the Philippines’ most iconic commercials and the stories behind them:

Tender Juicy’s “Good bye Carlo”

                “Good bye Carlo” became popular for its sweet and humorous story of a chubby little girl who tried to get rid of her love for TJ hotdogs in order to lose weight and impress her crush Carlo (played by a young Patrick Garcia). But in the end, she chose her love for hotdogs and so she writes a goodbye letter to her beloved Carlo while she eats another piece of TJ. It’s a simple yet entertaining commercial that captured the attention of both young and old because it was both relatable and nostalgic. We rarely get these kinds of commercials nowadays.

Sprite’s “I Love You Piolo”

                The commercial that rose Toni Gonzaga to stardom, Sprite’s “I Love You Piolo” hit teenage girls and some moms like a tidal wave. And why wouldn’t it when it stars the heartthrob PioloPascual? Plus, Toni’s funny acting won the audiences as well and up until now, she is still advertising the popular beverage. 

Coca Cola’s “Coke Beat”

                “Gets mo na, gets ko na! Ahhh! Coca Cola!” Everyone in my elementary school knew how to do the Coca-cola beat song and if you didn’t, you’re not one of the cool kids. I cannot tell you how many hours my cousins and I spent perfecting the beat. It was so catchy and popular that it even sparked a local urban legend. It says that one of the girls who appeared in that commercial died on an accident and anyone who does her parts of the beat will die as well. But it didn’t scare us from doing it every recess!

PLDT’s “Suportahan Taka”

                This commercial is a love letter to every child struggling to make their parents proud. A story of a medical student struggling to find the courage to tell his father that he wants to shift to Fine Arts and he does not want to be a doctor like his father wanted him to be. When he finally got the courage to ask, his father unexpectedly replied with “Kung saan ka masaya ti, suportahan taka”. The first time my dad saw this commercial, he teared up a little because it reminded him of his own father. I guess that’s the winning recipe of this commercial, simple yet it tugs on your heart strings even up until now.

McDonald’s “Lolo” aka “Karen Po”

                This is probably the most memorable commercial of my generation. Who could ever forget the “Karen po” dialogue and the heartwarming burger cutting scene? This commercial was highly praised for its very relatable characters. Created by Leo Burnett, this commercial won the Philippines its first ever Gold in a prestigious competition besting other Asian commercials. The best part of this commercial is the love of a grandfather who, despite his failing memory still remembers his favorite granddaughter, Karen.



#Throwback Manila

                Have you ever wondered how Manila looked like thirty or fifty years ago? My father used to say that Tondo wasn’t always the slum-filled area like it is now and the Manila Bay was once the best bay in all of Asia. The old Manila is a mix of different cultures from our Malay ancestors to the Spanish influence, it’s a beautiful city of diversity.

Here are some old pictures of Manila and the stories behind them:

Binondo, Manila in 1800’s

#Throwback Manila

 Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world established in 1594. It is located across the Pasig River and is the center of commerce among Filipino and Chinese merchants. Before World War II, Binondo was the center of a banking and financial community which included insurance companies, commercial banks and other financial institutions from the UK and the United States. The place was called the “Wall Street of the Philippines” located along Escolta.

Wash Day at the Pasig River, 1920

#Throwback Manila

  The Pasig River once served as an important means of transport before Manila got overly populated. It was the city’s lifeline and center of economic activity. After World War II, massive pollution invaded the city. Soon, people stopped using the water of the river in the early 1960s, then fishing became prohibited in the 1980s because of its extremely polluted state. It was considered biologically dead in 1990.

University of Sto. Tomas in 1927

#Throwback Manila

                One of UST’s first name is The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines or La Real y Pontificia Universidad de Santo Tomas de Aquino, La Universidad Católica de Filipinas in Spanish which later simplified to University of Sto. Tomas.  It was established in 1611 and located within the walled city of Intramuros. It’s the most earthquake-proof building in Manila.

Araneta Coliseum in 1960

#Throwback Manila

Amado Araneta purchased a 35-hectare land in Cubao, Quezon City on the year 1952. Its construction began in 1957 and it was officially finished in year 1959 by Chinese-Filipino architects and Engineers. Now known as the Smart Araneta Coliseum, it is one of the world’s largest covered coliseum with a 23,000 square meters of floor area. It was publicly opened in the 1960 with the construction budget of Php 6 Million.

Escolta, 1900

#Throwback Manila

 Escolta is one of the oldest streets in Manila. It was created in 1594 with its name derived from the Spanish word ‘escoltar’ which means to escort. The residents of this street were mostly Chinese merchants, that’s why it was lined-up with shops and became the city’s central business district. It hosted then Manila’s tallest building which is the Manila Stock Exchange. However, businesses in the area began to decline in the 1960s as business owners started transferring to Makati.

5 Best Asian Films You Need To Watch

             If you think Hollywood makes the best movies well think again because Asia also has a lot of cinematic gems that will inspire you, scare you and touch your heart.  So have a break from the old Hollywood glam and have some of the best and critically-acclaimed Asian films that you won’t regret watching:

Japan’s Battle Royale

                Think Hunger Games is cruel? You haven’t seen anything yet not until you’ve seen Battle Royale. This is basically where Hunger Games got its plot and it’s seriously gorier and more psychologically damaging. Battle Royale is about a bunch of school students who went on a field trip to hell. They were sent to an island to fight and kill each other until only one survives. Kind of like Physical Education except with knives, guns and rocket launchers and the best student will be the last one alive. This movie is more than just a killing spree bonanza. It also explores human behavior and how much are we willing to do to stay alive.

Korea’s Miracle in Cell No. 7

                Koreans are known for their tear-jerking movies and love stories but nothing can be quite as heartwarming as Miracle in Cell No. 7. It’s the story of a mentally challenged father who was wrongly accused with rape and murder of a little girl. He was then detained in cell no. 7 where the ruthless criminals were. His lovely and smart daughter snuck in to prison to be with him and changed everyone’s lives. Years later, she tried to clear his father’s good name. It’s a story that is sure to make you cry buckets no matter how old you are.

India’s 3 Idiots

                Bollywood has a lot of movies made each year but 3 Idiots is probably one of the most popular of them all. It’s a story of three engineering students and the lessons they learned in life as they study, love and get into trouble. If you’re looking to be inspired to pursue your lifelong dreams, this movie will definitely give you the right motivation. Oh and bring a bucket because it’s also a sob fest!

China’s The Flowers of War 

                War films are often action-packed and full of thrilling scenes but this one is different because it will make you cry and think about the movie for days. It’s a historical war drama film starring Christian Bale who disguises himself as a priest in order to put the women to safety during the infamous Rape of Nanking that took place when Japan invaded China. This movie broke my heart and the fact that the events that have been portrayed in this film are nothing compared to the actual experience of the Chinese in the hands of Japanese soldiers is even more heart-wrenching. Though this movie got a lot of bad reviews for allegedly being ‘historically incorrect’, I say it’s the impact that counts.

The Philippines’ Magnifico

             The story of Magnifico is truly an unforgettable one. This is one of the very few Filipino movies that made my cry so hard I even feel sad every time I remember it. Magnifico is a boy from a poor family whose kind heart and innocence helped his community and his family to be better in life. Jiro Manio’s unparalleled acting skills as Magnifico will definitely drive you to tears as he worked alongside veteran actors. This movie won several awards outside the country because of its sentimental and inspirational content. There are a very few Filipino movies with this much heart and I hope someday we’ll see another Magnifico on the big screen.


How to be a Better Filipino


“You must be the change you want to see in the world”

                                                               – Mahatma Gandhi

                It’s so hard not to blame the government with all the difficulties our country is experiencing right now. Issues like the pork barrel scam, poverty, and China bullying us, the urge to yell profanity at the President is hard to resist. However, we fail to realize that running this country towards a better future is not just the job of the government. We are also responsible in making this country a better place to live in. And I believe that we can if we only allow the change to start within ourselves. You want a better Philippines? Then become a better Filipino!

But how does one become a better Filipino? As hard as that might sound, it’s actually pretty easy once we learn to admit our faults. All we have to do then is get rid of all our bad habits and follow these tips:


  • Teach yourself and everyone you know about the art of Discipline


                “Kaya di maunlad ang Pilipinas kasi walang disiplina ang mga Pilipino.” My grandfather used to say as he drank up his 5th bottle of beer. Discipline here in this country is very hard to see because most of us do not know what it means to be a disciplined person. It’s not just about following orders or not littering or behaving. Discipline is standing up against the wrong, the bad and the destructive. Discipline is knowing when something is appropriate or not. Discipline is knowing your place in the society and doing whatever you can to contribute to its progress.




                 What is the main cause of road accidents and road-related violence? It’s not what, it’s who. Car accidents happen because most drivers cannot follow simple rules or better yet, they don’t even know the first thing about road safety. What is so difficult about staying in your lane, no u-turn, one way only etc.? They’re not written in Chinese or Japanese, right? Plus, as a driver you should know your responsibilities when you’re behind the wheel because every time you drive, there are always lives at stake. If you cannot recognize the amount of responsibility you have, you should not drive. As for those who love to jaywalk and are too damn lazy to use the overpass, you’re gambling with your life every time you play hit or miss with fast vehicles. Avoiding the overpass just to make time is not worth dying for.


  • Complaining does not solve anything

              Every time I see statuses on Facebook condemning corrupt politicians,it makes me wonder if they truly care or at least know about the issue they’re complaining about. Too many people just join in on what’s trending and are just content with complaining online. If you’re going to complain, make sure that you’re doing something about it. Make sure you are worthy of your opinion. After all the government does not read your Facebook posts nor they care about your political statuses. What the country needs are people who, instead of complaining, are out there doing something to help instead of endlessly criticizing people that won’t even listen.


  • Be Positive About Your Country


           Our country had been down on the dumps way too many times and everyone knows it. We’re a third world country and most of the population is poor. Our government is stealing from us and bigger countries are bullying us. It’s hard to be proud and say that you’re happy to be a Filipino but do you really have to be so negative about it? Do you really have to wish the USA would just adopt us? Do you really believe that there’s no hope for us? Do you really have to kick your own country down just because you can’t take it anymore? That’s a typical Filipino attitude. Always ready to take the easiest way out. The truth is, we’re the only ones who can get ourselves out of poverty. Not the USA, not the government or the President, it’s just us. Imagine if every Filipino right now, rich or poor, suddenly realize that the only way to improve the economy is to improve ourselves first, things would change so fast! It is the lack of patriotism and optimism that’s keeping us poor.


                This country is not perfect and so are we but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything to make our lives better. Our poverty and problems should push us to be better and not drown us in shame. We must be the change that we want to see in the Philippines and that change should start within us.

A Jeepney on a Perpetual Traffic Jam


                The other day I got stuck in one of the most unbearable traffic jams in my years of being a commuter. I was inside this jeepney with six other people and we were all sweating like pigs because of the heat. Our jeepney barely moved at all. We’ve been on the same spot for 15 whole minutes and as a person who has a lot of experiences when it comes to heavy traffic jams, I kept my calm and tried not to worry so much. The heat was over 40 degrees and it was making all of us impatient. Another 15 minutes have passed when one passenger decided to just get off and walk. The driver then suggested the same thing to us since we were somewhere “near” the terminal anyway, according to him. I didn’t know the place that well enough to walk but I couldn’t stand the heat inside. Everyone alighted the jeepney so I did the same and I thought I’d see the terminal in 5 minutes tops like what the driver promised but I thought wrong.

                I didn’t know exactly how far I’ve walked but I finished listening to like, 15 songs before I reached the terminal. Anyway, as I was walking, All I can think about was WHY was I walking and WHY was the traffic heavy in this part of town and on a freaking Saturday night? If it was Friday, sure, I would understand but it was a Saturday and class hasn’t even started yet for most students. I thought of a lot of possible scenarios of what may have caused the jam. Maybe there was a collision? An accident? Or maybe there was a murder that took place on the far side of the road? Or maybe, some TV production was shooting a show or something and there was a famous actor there. I was  determined to find out the cause of the traffic jam so I kept on walking, looking forward for an answer. However, when I got to the place where all the cars seemed to get stuck, I saw nothing. There weren’t an accident, or an actor or dead bodies. There were just a bunch of cars who couldn’t get through because the other cars took two lanes instead of just one. None of the cars wouldn’t want to give way and everyone wanted to get ahead first. The source of the problem was non-existent. It was just the motorists and their unbelievable ability to be incredibly selfish. When I passed by that place of chaos, the road was incredibly wide. No traffic at all. You can even play hopscotch on it.

                I got angry because it was completely idiotic. I walked so far just because some idiot driver couldn’t stay on his lane and decided to make his own and others followed suit. That’s just so typical selfish Filipino attitude. Then as I was fuming, I realized something. The whole experience describes the present condition of our country. This is why the Philippines is not moving forward. This is the reason why we are STILL a third world country.

                We’re all inside this big jeepney and our driver, the President, though he’s trying, can’t do anything about it but sit and wait for the car in front of him to move a tiny inch. And we, the passengers resolve to complaining and getting angry for not knowing the reason why we’re stuck in traffic. The driver can’t even explain it either. There’s a car who’d take two lanes to get ahead and the others will follow his corrupt and wrong example with the goal of getting ahead too. We, the people who cannot afford cars, get stuck way behind. So, I realized that the more we stay in that jeepney, HOPING to move forward, the more we are dooming ourselves in poverty. Unless we gather our courage and strength to alight the jeepney and move forward by ourselves, we can never get away from that traffic jam. We’ll be stuck there for hours, cursing the government and the heavens for giving us such a hard time and never get anywhere.

                Our country is stuck in a perpetual traffic jam and we all need to get off the ride and start walking. We’ve been trudging on the wrong direction for too long, sitting and doing nothing but complain. We must make our own path to progress and not follow someone else’s. It’s going to be a long journey to success so we all better start walking right now.


The Commuter Commandments

                I’ve been a commuter for years and as such I have experienced a lot of unpleasant things simply because most commuters forget what it is to be a considerate human being. So to slightly remedy that if not put a stop to it completely, here are some commuter commandments that we all should live by:

  • Thou Shall Be QuietThe Commuter Commandments

 Whether you’re chatting with your friends or talking on your cell phones, it’s important to be quiet whenever you’re in a public transport whether it is a bus, a jeepney or the train, etc. It might be fun for you to laugh and talk like no one’s listening but it’s so annoying for the rest of us who just wants to get from point A to point B without punching someone on the throat

  • Thou Shall Move When Told to Freaking MoveThe Commuter Commandments

 This is a major problem whenever I ride the bus to work, especially during the rush hour. People closest to the door just won’t move the hell out to the back of the bus. I don’t know why it is so important to stay there when they’re not even about to get off the bus. When the ticket guy tells you to move, move it so other passengers can get a chance to ride! Don’t be selfish.

  • Thou Shall Not Expel Nauseous GasThe Commuter Commandments

 Have you ever experienced sitting or standing close to someone and then they just fart? I did and it was the most horrible 60 seconds of my life. Imagine being in a cramped space with more than 50 people and then someone just casually lets out gas. I really thought I was going to die at that moment and I am not even exaggerating. The worst part is the perpetrator wouldn’t even apologize. I know sometimes it’s hard to hold it in but for the sake of everyone inside the air-conditioned  bus, please for the love of God do not kill us all.

  • Thou Shall Not Hog The SeatThe Commuter Commandments

 If you’re a guy and you insist on sitting with your legs widespread like there are giant dragon eggs between your legs, you should be thrown off the bus. Okay, let’s say you do need some space in that area but come on! Why would you take most of the seat when your seatmate paid for it, too? That’s just rude. If you want to sit like the freaking king of England, then go ride a taxi!

  • Thou Shall Offer Your Seat To the Elderly, Pregnant Women and PWD sThe Commuter Commandments

 I can’t believe I had to put this as a commandment when it should just be common sense. Most guys don’t feel too compelled to give up their seats for the ladies. Fine, we understand. But please for the love of all things bright and beautiful; offer your seats to the elderly, pregnant women and persons with disabilities! It’s not even an option, that’s human decency we’re talking about. I know we’re all tired from commuting and the traffic but giving up your seat for these people and hearing them say ‘Thank you’ will wipe off your exhaustion away.

                So there you go, the five commandments for every commuter. If we all follow these commandments, none of us would feel cranky even on Monday mornings! Happy trip!