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5 Simple Ways to Let Your Teen Learn More About Martial Law
  • Photo from cnnphilippines.com

    There has been a fair share of revelations this election season, but the one that took us by surprise was the conflicting views many people have of Martial Law. In this video, these young voters even call the period as the "golden age." Make no mistake--Martial Law was one of the darkest moments in our country's history. It is not fiction or propaganda. You will not recognize the freedom you enjoy today if you were living during that era. 

    There is an obvious need to change the way Martial Law is being taught to kids in schools, starting with the textbooks they use. Thankfully, the petition to properly educate kids about the Martial Law is not falling on deaf ears. As early as March this year, the Department of Education (DepEd) released a statement that stressed its commitment to "to allow for more in-depth and enriched discussion on Philippine History, which will include the Martial Law period" in the Araling Panlipunan curriculum guides for Grades 5 and 6 students. 

    In an interview with Inquirer.net, DepEd secretary Armin Luisto said that instead of just using textbooks, the kids particularly high school students, will also be taught how to look for other primary sources of information about all the events that happened during Martial Law. The kids will be taught to reflect on the events that happened then and arrive at their own informed opinion on the matter, he added. 

    What other parents are reading

    There are many factual and reliable sources about Martial Law. We've compiled a few that we hope you will find useful to read with your tween or teen. 

    Read non-textbook books

    Isang Harding Papel

    In this Smartparenting.com.ph article, we suggested a book entitled Isang Harding Papel that is geared towards kids as young as eight to nine years old. Known writer and illustrator Pol Medina, Jr. also discussed Martial Law in his Pugad Baboy comic book series.

    watch now

    On a more serious note, investigative journalist Raissa Robles also recently released a book Martial Law: Never Again about the atrocities during the era. 

    Watch history-inspired films

    There are many documentaries, such as Batas Militar , that covers the infamous ill-gotten wealth and the numerous human rights violations committed by the dictatorship. Mainstream classic movies such as Sister Stella L and Dekada 70 also provide rich storytelling about what life was like during Martial Law. Try the ones in this list

    Photos speak a thousand words

     flickr mass rally


    A protest march is held by a coalition of “more than thirty civic, religious, labor, student and activist groups" and a crowd of 30,000 at Plaza Miranda. The protest receives prominent coverage from newspapers, radio, and television. (Photo from Philippine Free Press via Presidential Museum and Library)

    Martial Law is widely documented in the media. One resource you can access now is the Presidential Museum and Library Flickr account. It compiles newspaper and magazine clippings, images, and editorials that illustrate the events that led to President Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, up to the restoration of democracy during the People Power Revolution of 1986. It isn't comprehensive, but it offers a quick peek into the hardships and courage Filipinos displayed to overthrow a dictator.

    flickr plaza miranda


    A mass rally organized by the Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties (MCCCL) is held at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo. It is headed by Senator Jose W. Diokno and the National Press Club, led by Eddie Monteclaro of the Manila Times. Speakers at the program denounce the reported plan of Marcos to declare Martial Law via Oplan Sagittarius. (Photo from Philippine Free Press via Presidential Museum and Library)

    What other parents are reading

    Take a field trip to its museum (soon)
    The Freedom Memorial Museum inside the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City is currently underway. The museum is a resource center as well as a tribute to the men and women who risked their lives to defend human rights and Filipino freedom against the dictatorship. When built, it will also be a venue for workshops, conferences, and artistic presentations about the martial law period, human rights, and justice. One of the exhibits will include the People Power Experiential Museum that was put up in Camp Aguinaldo last February. 

    Go modern
    It's also promising to note that efforts to educate the kids about Martial Law goes beyond the four corners of a classroom. Gabe Mercado and his brother Paolo, who were teenagers during the Martial Law Era, are spearheading the development of an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience about Martial Law. VR lets viewers be part of the video via seeing it in the point of view of the victims—all you need is a smartphone, Internet connection, and a relatively inexpensive VR Google Cardboard. We're already excited about it even if it is in its very early stage.


    Want it short and sweet? This infographic should help. 



    Finally, this six minute video separates fact from fiction about life under the Marcos regime.

    What other parents are reading

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