Read all about it: Know the truth from the myths | Inquirer Lifestyle

Read all about it: Know the truth from the myths

This compilation covers a wide range of testimonies and writings on what life and governance were like during martial law. It includes two books by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos himself, the brains and implementer of martial law, as well as a book compiling the letters and other writings in prison of opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the first to be arrested when martial law was declared.


The others are anthologies on the state of Philippine media and the situation in Mindanao and on what made lives complicated during martial law—subversives’ lives, conjugal partnerships, cronyism and even dancing with the dictatorship.



  1. “Dream of a Reformed Society.” Written by Ferdinand Marcos himself, it presents the “political philosophy” behind Marcos’ decision to establish a “revolutionary” New Society. It is a compilation of Marcos’ speeches, starting with the one he gave when he declared martial law. The speeches cover the period September 1972 to April 1974. Published in 1974 by the National Media Production Center, it is available online through Amazon (



  1. “The Filipino Ideology.” Published by the Marcos Foundation in 1985, just before the Edsa People Power Revolution. Here Marcos attempts to define the ideology that would serve as guide in the “historical imperative” for a better society. The essay also cites the different sectoral achievements of the reform programs in numbers.



  1. “Testament from a Prison Cell.” First published in 1984, it includes the writings of Ninoy Aquino while he was a political prisoner, smuggled out page by page by Cory Aquino and her children during their visits to his prison cell. Includes touching letters for his family and poems about solitude. Published by Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation. Available online through Amazon (


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  1. “Waltzing With a Dictator.” Based on interviews and previously classified documents, it reports on how and why five American administrations supported Marcos. Written by investigative reporter Raymond Bonner and first published by Times Books in 1987 in the United States. The book is available online through Amazon (


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  1. “Not On Our Watch.” Anthology published in 2012 so that “our children would know of us” by 13 campus reporters and editors circa 1969-1972 of the group LEADS-CEGP 6972 Inc., which stands for League of Editors and for a Democratic Society-College Editors Guild of the Philippines 1969-1972. Born of the first reunion of the group in 40 years, the book is available online through Amazon (


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  1. “Turning Rage into Courage: Mindanao Under Martial Law, Volume 1.” Remembrances of 38 Mindanaoans of what life was like during martial law. Also includes a collection of poems and a compilation of reports and writings. Edited by Carolyn O. Arguillas and published by MindaNews Publications in 2002.


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  1. “Philippine Press Under Siege.” The book is an attempt to document 12 “libel” and/or “subversive” cases against journalists during the martial law period. It includes a reprint of the “dangerous writing” that brought about the forced resignation, firing, blacklisting, arrest or detention of journalists, the padlocking or sequestering of a newspaper’s printing plant and the filing of multimillion-peso libel suits or subversive charges against writers, editors and publishers. Published by the National Press Club of the Philippines and the Committee to Protect Writers, 1984.


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  1. “Some are Smarter than Others.” The book is an updated version of the 40-page pamphlet first published in 1979. It provides details of the wealth of Marcos and his “cronies” as well as the how this wealth grew into an empire overseas. It concludes with an analysis of the dismal results of the recovery efforts of the succeeding Aquino government. Authored by Ricardo Manapat and published by Aletheia Publications, 1991. Available online through Amazon (




  1. “Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years.” In taking their respective paths in life, the Quimpo siblings paint a nuanced picture of what it was like to struggle during the years of and after the Marcos dictatorship. One sibling disappeared; another was killed by a trusted comrade-turned-traitor. Several were detained and tortured by the military. Published in 2012 by Anvil Publishing, the book is available through National Bookstore by special order and online through Amazon (


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  1. “The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos I.” The book was authored by Primitivo Mijares, a newspaperman and Marcos aide who defected and became a whistle-blower on the corruption and abuses of the Marcoses. Mijares disappeared shortly after he wrote the book. His son was later murdered. Published by Union Square Publications in 1976, and reprinted in 1986. Available online through Amazon (


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  1. “Ang Mamatay Nang Dahil Sa ’Yo: Heroes and martyrs of the Filipino people in the struggle against dictatorship” 1972-1986 (Volume 1). The book is a collection of 113 biographies of individuals who made the supreme sacrifice of their own lives in the fight for freedom. “Read their stories and understand what it means to make history,” writes National Historical Commission of the Philippines chair Maria Serena Diokno in the preface. Available at the Sen. Jovito Salonga Building, Bantayog Center, Quezon Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. Compiled by: Nita del Rosario and Jackie Cobrador, Inquirer Library; and Marielle Medina, Eline Santos and Minerva Generalao, Inquirer Research


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To young Filipinos who never knew martial law and dictatorship

In old Marcos photo, fantasies of Bongbong following in dictator’s footsteps