Students ‘wake up’ to martial law through exploration tours | Inquirer News
50th anniversary of declaration

Students ‘wake up’ to martial law through exploration tours

Ferdinand Marcos Sr. image from Martial Law Museum website. books. STORY: Students ‘wake up’ to martial law through exploration tours

A video of President Marcos declaring martial law in 1972 is one of the many images that people can access at the interactive website of Ateneo de Manila University’s virtual museum. (Screengrab from www.martiallawmuseum.ph)

MANILA, Philippines — Gabriel (not his real name), a Grade 8 student from a public high school in Quezon City, could not recall learning about the history of martial law in the Philippines when he was still in elementary.

It was only on Saturday when he, along with 49 other high school students, joined the first batch of “[email protected] Lakbay Aral” organized by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Tanggol Kasaysayan, and the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) and listened to some anecdotes from historians, journalists, and martial law survivors about the two-decade authoritarian rule of the late ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

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The students visited historical places like the University of the Philippines Diliman, ABS-CBN, Tatalon community, and Bantayog ng mga Bayani that bore witness to the “struggles of the people during the dictatorship until its fall in 1986.”

“I found that many teachers and students stood up [for their rights] during that period,” Gabriel said, adding that his most important takeaway from the event was that “we should never immediately believe what is being said on social media, especially when these did not undergo thorough analysis.”

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Vladimer Quetua, ACT chair, said that the curriculum shapers in the education system “tend to avoid, tone down or muddle” discussions on martial law “purportedly to steer clear of any controversy with the government.

“We teachers, however, try to keep with our duty of teaching truth, social justice and human rights through educational activities such as this lakbay-aral (field trip),” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, weeklong film screening, photo exhibits, lectures and mobilizations across the nation are set to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law this week, as martial law survivors, progressives and artists vow to protect its memory even with a sitting Marcos in Malacañang.

For Sept. 21 — 50 years after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s father and late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared martial rule in the Philippines — progressive groups like Carmma, Project Gunita, [email protected], Active Vista, Akbayan, Bayan, and Karapatan have lined up various activities commemorating the stories and victims of the brutal 21-year rule.

These activities, they said, were part of their promise that this would not be the last martial law commemoration in the country as the Marcoses and their allies seek to erase or revise evidence of the family’s abuses during their 21-year reign before they were deposed in a bloodless revolt in 1986.

Some groups like ACT and Tanggol Kasaysayan started early during the weekend, as they held a bike tour across key spots of resistance during martial law.

At the same time, progressive group Akbayan also led a similar bus and walking tour of sites related to the resistance against the Marcos regime.

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The Ateneo de Manila University’s Arete Art Gallery also opened the tandem exhibitions by artists Rick Rocamora and Edgar Doctor, which showcase documentation of personal experiences and family stories during martial law.

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Marcos defends martial law, admits abuses ‘like in any war’

Bayan rebuts Marcos Jr.: Martial law unnecessary; your dad just power hungry

Builder of martial law museum wants budget secured

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