EVENTS | On this day, September 21, remembering Martial Law

September 21, 2017 - 8:21 AM
Revisit history with Martial Law-themed films, plays and concerts staged today, September 21, till end of the month.

On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the Philippines under Martial Law. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the proclamation, the country still remembers this dark part of history by presenting Martial Law-themed films, plays, art exhibits today and throughout the month.

Pista Rizalina: Film Showing
2 p.m.; 5 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.
Tanghalang Manuel Conde, Cultural Center of the Philippines
Pasay City

Part of this festival on human rights are film screenings that tackle stories of people during Martial Law. Image sourced from Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Facebook page.

Three films are being showcased on this day: Chito Roño’s Dekada ‘70 at 2 p.m.; Mike de Leon’s Sister Stella L at 5 p.m.; and Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil’s of Indigo Child at 7:30 p.m. Admission on the festival is free but on a first come first serve basis. For more information, visit the CCP website.

Pista Rizalina: Pagsambang Bayan The Musical
8 p.m.
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philippines
Pasay City

‘Pagsambang Bayan was first staged in 1977 and is known as an iconic anti-martial law play. The play is back on the sage as a musical presented by Ang Tag-ani Performing Arts Society. Image sourced from the CCP website.

This remake aims to take the audience back to Martial Law days, and also to reflect on the burning issues of today including extrajudicial killings.͟ The cast is led by led by Pinoy rock music stalwart Cabring Cabrera of Datu’s Tribe and internationally-acclaimed tenor Dondi Ong. Ticket price is at Php500. For more information, visit the CCP website.

Makibaka! Don’t Get Takot!
9 p.m.
Pineapple Lab
Makati City

Improv group SPIT tackles the themes of peace and freedom in their show. Image sourced from SPIT’s Facebook page.

SPIT celebrates the freedom of each individual to stand up for their beliefs through this show. Admission fee is at Php300 but those who joined the protest rally on the same day will be given a 50% discount. For more information, call (+632) 834-5736.

Martial Law Week: Salà sa Sala
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Leong Hall, Ateneo De Manila University
Quezon City

Organized by Development Society of the Ateneo (DevSoc Ateneo) together with Martial Law Museum (MLM), and Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), Salà sa Sala is a week-long commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Martial Law. Image sourced from Development Society of the Ateneo’s Facebook page.

As part of the week-long event, a talk in remembrance of the victims and fallen heroes, and in hope that history will not repeat itself will be led by Lisandro Claudio, a historian, professor, and writer as well as Atty. Vicente Baltazar Jr, the Head Technical Support Division of Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB). For more information, visit the Development Society of the Ateneo’s Facebook page.

History of the Underground
7 p.m.
Cine Adarna, UPFI Film Center, University of the Philippines Diliman
Quezon City

Watch this documentary on Martial Law created by Sari Dalena and Keith Sicat. Image sourced from Cine Adarna’s Facebook page.

According to Dalena, the documentary aims to have a deeper understanding of how our nation has been shaped in the last 45 years by exploring the life and times of activists, intellectuals, and revolutionary leaders prior and during Martial Law. Admission is free. For more information, visit Cine Adarna’s Facebook page.

Martial Law Noon… At Ngayon? A Millennial Throwback
8 a.m. to 12 noon
Bantayog ng mga Bayani
Quezon City


Balay Rehabilitation Center in partnership with HR Online Philippines, and International Studies Society (ISSOC) of Mirriam College commemorates Martial Law through a retelling of real stories from the dark era. Image sourced from Balay Rehabilitation Center’s Facebook page.

Human rights victims of Martial Law will be sharing their stories at this gathering. Those joining the event is encouraged to bring witty placards. For more information, visit Balay Rehabilitation Center’s Facebook page.

A Game of Trolls: A Martial Law Musical
Through September 30
PETA Theater Center
Quezon City

Revisit history and learn from its lessons through this protest play by PETA, supported by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation and DAKILA. Image sourced from PETA’s Facebook page.

This protest play follows the story of Heck, an internet troll working for an online pro-martial law campaign. As ghosts of Martial Law haunt him, he was forced to reflect on his actions. For more information, visit PETA’s Facebook page.

Buwan at Baril sa Eb Major
September 26 and 27
Philippine Education Theater Association
Quezon City

Originally staged during Martial Law in 1985, the play reminds us of the hardships under dictatorship and the people’s struggle for freedom. Image courtesy of Freedom from Debt Coalition.


Written by Chris Millado, Buwan at Baril sa Eb Major follows the story of eight different individuals and their narratives during Martial Law. Although staged decades ago, the story serves as a cautionary tale in light of social issues faced by the country today. For more information, call (+632) 9211-985.