Filipino historians launch countdown to Martial Law 50th anniversary

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Members of the alliance Tanggol Kasaysayan officially launched a countdown of the 50 days leading up to the 50th anniversary of the September 1972 Martial Law declaration.

The alliance, fully known as Alyansa ng Mga Tagapagtanggol ng Kasaysayan, consists of historians, teachers, researchers, students, and history enthusiasts who advocate a nationalist and progressive view of history. The alliance was relaunched in 2019 to “combat the rampant historical revisionism and widespread disinformation by the Marcos camp.”

The convenors called the online 50-day countdown campaign, “Singkwentakda”, which started on August 3. Every day until September 21, the campaign will feature a Martial Law book and highlight notable quotes from the list of 50 academic works, published memoirs, novels, and children’s books.

Additionally, it will present a historical timeline of the Marcos years from the perspective of ordinary Filipinos.

“A People’s Timeline of Martial Law History” will serve as an alternative historical timeline that the alliance hopes will be useful to researchers once released to the public.

Unlike usual chronologies focused on political events, the said timeline will be an online database of economic, cultural, religious, and environmental events that influenced Philippine society during the Marcos years.

Finally, the alliance announced that it will launch a book of essays in September. This will include works by academic historians and personal recollections of those who fought the Marcos dictatorship.

“The book is a testament to the continuing fight against historical forgetting,” Tanggol Kasaysayan lead convenor Francis Gealogo said. “It will act as a link connecting generations of activists and progressive scholars.”

The alliance named the launch “TIPON”, a term that represents collective action as well as the gathering of relevant materials to combat historical distortion.

TIPON likewise introduced Tanggol Kasaysayan’s four clusters: Organization and Membership, Public Discourse Engagement, Academic Discourse Engagement, and Special Events and Commemoration.

Tanggol Kasaysayan also announced the formation of its youth wing, Tanggol Kasaysayan-Kabataan.

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