Listen to These Podcasts to #NeverForget About Martial Law

A crash course on history, sans revisionism.

On the 21st of September in 1972, then-President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law in the Philippines. It’s been almost five decades since that dark day, and we commemorate those who fell victim to the atrocities of that time. Some would argue that this historical event is debatable, but how we remember the truth is important, especially in an age of rampant fake news and social media’s efficiency in giving even revisionists a platform. 

Luckily for us, there are local podcasts that delve into Martial Law and help us put things into perspective. So, if you don’t have time to read books on Martial Law (like The Conjugal Dictatorship by Primitivo Mijares) due to your busy schedule, you can listen to these podcast episodes at any time of the day. Educating yourself and the people around you is a process that is made easier with our top picks.

1| Tula Somebody: Pete Lacaba x BLKD and Tula Somebody: Lualhati Bautista x Etta Rosales

By: The Linya Linya Show

Tula Somebody is a podcast that features “Pagbasa sa Panitikang Pilipino” as its main theme. When it comes to Martial Law, two episodes will bring you closer to the literary side of things during these times. The Linya Linya Show host Ali Sangalang discusses with esteemed guests: battle rapper, BLKD, and in another episode, Etta Rosales who is a teacher, activist, and Martial Law survivor. In these episodes, they read poems of Filipino writers, Pete Lacaba (of the renowned protest poetry, Prometheus Unbound) and in another episode, Lualhati Bautista (Dekada ‘70, and Bata, Bata, Pa’no ka Ginawa?).  


In celebration of literature, particularly from the Martial Law era, the works tackled were Lacaba’s “Ang Mga Walang Pangalan” and Bautista’s “Pag-ibig at Paninindigan,” “Babae,” and “Kasal,” which revolve around responsibilities and recognizing the truth of our past. Lualhati Bautista herself even expressed her pride in the youth’s participation in learning about the history of the Philippines and encouraged them to keep up the work in both writings and advocating for Philippine Literature. These episodes are perfect for literature nerds looking for recommendations to expand their historical knowledge and explore writing styles.

2| Nostalgia for the Martial Law Days? What’s that all about? 

By: Teka Teka News

Martial law nostalgia is a strange phenomenon driven by looking at this historical event through rose-colored glasses. Human rights lawyer Rose Tugade joins veteran journalists Roby Alampay and Inday Espina-Verona in discussing social media’s misguided role in distorting history. In emphasizing the line between facts and opinions when it comes to Martial Law, we are all responsible, especially social institutions.

3| Martial Law in the Philippines: Then and Now with Atty. Chel Diokno

By: Woke Up PH

Atty. Chel Diokno shares his personal experiences and Philippine law-based insights on Martial Law in the Philippines during the Marcos dictatorship and now during President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime. This episode, released on the 47th anniversary, also talks about the special powers that led to human rights violations and how the late dictator, with his family, still has remnants of powereven during these times.

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4| Golden age ba talaga ng ekonomiya ang Marcos years? 

By: Usapang Econ

Here is an answer to your burning question, and a contrary to the famous justification that the Marcos dictatorship gave our economy a boost: Was there such a thing as a golden age, economically, under the dictatorship? Young economists JC Punongbayan and Maien Vital discuss the overall economic situation that led to Filipinos still paying off the debt the Marcoses plunged us into. Their discussion is aided by data from international and government sources, debunking common economic myths that were cited in attempts of historical revisionism.


5| The Ninoy Aquino Spy Thriller

By: What’s AP? Araling Panlipunan Rebooted

We all know the basics of the cautionary tale that led to the masses marching upon EDSA, but there were James Bond-esque events that served as omens, like a fake passport and a threatening telegram. Ninoy’s exile in the U.S. is the main discussion between historian Sab Schnabel and history enthusiast Ceej Tantengco. They give an exclusive account of Ninoy’s brother-in-law who was on the same flight, rehashing the ordeal they went through, akin to spy thrillers with themes of danger and suspense. Definitely a different take from other Martial Law-centered podcast episodes. 

6| Habilin

By: Give a Hoot

In just a minute or two, you can learn about a certain hero who fought during Martial Law. In this series, lesser-known heroes are given the spotlight, to make sure that we #NeverForget their legacy. The heroes vary from “a comedian to a beauty queen, a martial artist to a binukot,” and so much more. Simply put, anyone can be a hero. This podcast can also be viewed in an animated video series form on the Facebook and Youtube pages of the Commission on Human Rights. The 12-part series may be useful for adults with short attention spans; it’s especially great for teaching children about history and their rights.



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Marielle Fatima Tuazon
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