The Marcos dictatorship plunged the country into overwhelming debt, countless human rights violations, and consequences still being paid for today and for generations to come. But how do we begin to talk to kids about Martial Law?
Enter “Habilin,” a 12-part series about ordinary Filipinos who fought for freedom and democracy and empowered others. Each episode is available in both video and podcast format. It is produced by The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, Sandigan Para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan (SAMASA), and the Give a Hoot podcast.
“Habilin” features Filipinos from all walks of life, including a beauty queen and a nun. Sister Mariani Dimaranan, Lazaro Silva, and Lumbaya Gayudan are names kids may not be familiar with. Still, in two minutes, they can hear about their moments of awakening and heroism.
Elma Tangente was a “binukot,” a young Visayan noblewoman chosen by her tribe to be sheltered from the public eye. But after they were forced out of their land by the military, she joined the guerilla movement and became a principal organizer, bringing together different communities against the dictatorship.
The episode on Armando Palabay tells the story of an Ilocano living in a community that was a Marcos stronghold. However, Palabay and his brother saw that it was vital to help people see the truth behind the propaganda. So they told their classmates about the injustices and staged protests as poems, plays, and songs.
“I hope young Filipinos understand that they, too, can use their voice to stand up against injustice and oppression,” says Tricia Aquino, producer of Give A Hoot and chief content officer at PumaPodcast, the award-winning podcast production company behind the series’ sound design.
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“I hope ‘Habilin’ helps them learn our history, so that they can, in turn, tell the stories of those who fought for democracy.”
The Martial Law Museum provides a teacher's guide for the Habilin video series, which is recommended for Grades 7 to 12 or students ages 13 and up. Find the guide here.
Listen to the “Habilin” podcast series on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. The animated version is also available on the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines’ Facebook and Youtube pages.