Today in world history – Philippines remembers Marcos’ Martial Law

365108015_f37f2becfa_m.jpgSeptember 21, 2007 is the 35th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law by the then President Marcos. I mention this because I was in the Philippines at that time (yup I’m older than 35). I don’t really remember much anymore as I was a kid then but what I do remember is the fear that suddenly engulfed everyone in the country.

People were hording money. People were moving to other countries. People were silenced. People became more powerful. People were confused. My parent”s solution to all of this was different I think – it was education. Lots of it. From becoming more street smart (learning karate was a requirement) to languages to co-curricular activities, we were busy learning anything and everything and learning some more. My parents were taking their respective doctorate programmes at that time, a sibling was getting an MD, another an MBA, so our home environment was filled with enriching discussions from philosophy, social anthropology, medicine, business and other social sciences. Reading an encyclopedia was just part of a day’s routine. They would instill in me and my siblings a belief system that I hold very dear and I could still hear my parent’s voices in my head saying “Everything else in the world can be taken away from you but never your education, the knowledge you’ve acquired through lifelong learning and the academe, you have to have as much of it as you can.” This may be one reason why my career is surrounded by some form of education – whether running a corporate training environment, lecturing at NYU or Columbia, running global programmes on instructional competencies, or speaking at conferences. Education has become an important legacy that have been imprinted in me by my forebears and with much gratitude, I must say. I believe in the power of knowledge and how it trumps fear. As I read about today’s events in the Philippines, I remember what my parents have taught me and hope to continue the heritage through my writing and continued education.

2 comments to Today in world history – Philippines remembers Marcos’ Martial Law

  • Thank you for your kind words Rosa. I’ve been back to Manila since (in fact my latest trip was just a couple of months ago) and it has changed quite a lot. I recommend a visit whenever you are able as its always good to see where our roots have taken us.
    You have a great site.
    Best wishes,

  • Aloha Robin, I didn’t realize this 35-year marker was upon us until reading this. [I arrived at your blog via a link you included for me in your Rebuzzing Ubiquity post.] Like you, I was living in the Philippines at the time, and it was unsettling and unfortunate, rendering some severe body blows to the country, so much so that I hesitate to refer to it as an anniversary. I have not been back there since, and I often wonder how – or if – the healing has happened.

    Being there then, I know how extraordinary your parents were, blessing your life with the value of learning, and creating a life of optimism and hope for you. I invite you to visit with me and my co-authors at some time, because like you, we “believe in the power of knowledge and how it trumps fear.”

    I also took a moment to read your bio Robin, and I congratulate you on what you have learned. I am sure your parents are quite proud of you.
    With aloha ~ Rosa