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UPLB to rename building steps in honor of martial law activists

/ 06:18 PM March 07, 2017
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The marker renaming the steps in honor of its martial law activists or those killed, tortured, or forced to disappear because of their fight against a dictatorship. Artists Manny Garibay and Lito Mondejar collaborated on the marker. PHOTO BY ALEX BALUYUT

The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) is set to rename the steps of its Humanities building to the “Hagdan ng Malayang Kamalayan” to honor its fallen activists on March 9.

The event was an initiative by the UPLB College of Arts and Sciences and the Los Baños community represented by the Bantayog Convenor Project Group. The renaming of steps in honor of its martial law activists, or those killed, tortured or forced to disappear because of their fight against a dictatorship marks the first step in establishing the UPLB Bantayog Project.

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A marker, collaborated by artists Emmanuel Garibay and Lito Mondejar, will be inaugurated in the afternoon of March 9.

“There is a growing consensus of UPLB alumni, students, faculty and non-academic personnel, as well as concerned citizens from Los Baños, on the role and significance of UPLB in shaping the country’s democratic space,” lead convenor of the UPLB Bantayog Project Filemon Nolasco said in a statement.

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UPLB was the first univesity in the country to build a student council during the martial law under Nolasco’s leadership in 1978.

“During this time of dissent in our country’s history, we organized and mobilized thousands of people in Southern Tagalog to oppose the dictatorship. We paid the price of freedom when a number of UPLB-based activists were detained, tortured, and martyred by a cruel regime,” he added.

Among the UPLB activists already entrenched in the Bantayog Memorial Center are Jessica Sales, Risalina Ilagan, Cristina Catalla, Gerardo Faustino, Alysius Baes, Rodelo Manaor, Manuel Bautista, Ma. Leticia Ladlad and Modesto Sison—their lives are what the Bantayog Project seek to commemorate and celebrate.

The UPLB community, led by Nolasco, recently organized a Convenors’ Group to recognize the courage of the UPLB community during critical periods of dissent and to memorialize its fallen heroes.

The Convenors’ Group proposed the Bantayog ng Kagitingan sa Hardin ng Gunita, both a physical monument and a long-term program supporting the documentation and study of local contributions to national history.

“We need to remember our history as a community, and to recognize our strength to change our nation’s narrative,” Nolasco added. RAM

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TAGS: Activists, humanities, Martial law, University of the Philippines-Los Baños, UPLB
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