Martial Law Museum Launch

“What kind of society do we want to live in?” was one of the many questions brought to the fore during the launch of the Martial Law Museum, an educational website come to life by the efforts of several academic and creative individuals from the Ateneo de Manila University. The Martial Law Museum seeks to enlighten the Filipino people about the realities that took place under the Martial Law regime of the late former president Ferdinand Marcos.

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The website was created as a response to several efforts of historical revisionism about what transpired during Martial Law in the Philippines as well as the sudden and unannounced burial of the former president Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB).  The website is comprised of three sections that are part and parcel of the Martial Law Museum’s initiative: Mag-aral, Magturo, Manindigan [Learn, Teach, Take a stand]. The team behind the website hopes to see it become an educational and collaborative network that dispels falsities about the Marcos dictatorship through educational projects and resources.

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The Martial Law Museum boasts several K-12 aligned initiatives, lessons plans, and projects related to the factual recounting of the nation’s history under Martial Law. Many of these are of an interdisciplinary approach, as revealed in the website launch on September 16, 2017 at the Ateneo de Manila University.

One of the lesson plans on the website, as shown to the audience last Saturday by head researcher Joshua Uyheng, is a mathematics lesson plan entitled “Mrs. Marcos’s stolen jewelry auction” which made use of the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding the very same situation in teaching “Multiplication and Division, Foreign Exchange Conversion, [and] the Value of Honesty”.

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The keynote speaker during the launch, former National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Maria Serena I. Diokno, expressed her support of an educational website which “memorializes the shared existence [and] resistance to oppression” and “demonstrates that holes of oblivion [—the act of erasing or turning a blind eye to national memory & lived traumas] do not exist in our country,” referencing the account of political theorist Hannah Arendt on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the German Nazi lieutenant colonel.

Loyola Schools President Fr. Jett Villarin, S.J. spoke as well of the necessity of the Martial Law Museum’s existence in cultivating a climate of truth-telling, courage, and remembering.

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The Martial Law Museum team also announced the Martial Law Museum Awards (MLMA). Project director and Information Design student Robyn Saquin said that the MLMA was a program created to engage with the youth through the arts in order to reveal “the capacity of [the arts] to create conversation [about Martial Law and Philippine history]”.

During the launch, it was revealed that initiatives of the website have branched beyond the Ateneo de Manila University. Project director and Political Science professor Arjan Aguirre said that the website had garnered a number of collaborations with creative and educational partners whose content can be accessed on the website. It was also revealed that a physical Martial Law Museum building is to be built at the Ateneo de Naga University campus.

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Aguirre expressed the hopes of the Martial Law Museum to encourage citizens to actively deepen national memory.

Martial Law Museum project supervisor and Interdisciplinary Studies professor Rofel G. Brion ended the website launch with the question “Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa? [If we do not act, who will act? If we don’t act now, then when?”]

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The Martial Law Museum can be accessed at

Details regarding the Martial Law Museum Awards can be accessed at

Written by Corinne Garcia

Photos by Corinne Garcia