LIST: Martial Law 50th Anniversary Virtual Events

Martial Law 50th Anniversary
The Philippines observes the 50th anniversary of the signing of Martial Law in 1972. Photo collage of virtual events.

Here is a list of virtual events observing the 50th anniversary of the signing of Presidential Proclamation 1081 declaring Martial Law on September 21, 1972, a period documented as the darkest time of Philippine history which suppressed Filipinos’ freedom of speech, assembly, and many other human rights.

The declaration of Martial Law shut down all news media organizations and reopened only those that would not criticize the Martial Law government, while public gatherings were prohibited.

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Nearly one decade of Martial Law rule amid over two decades of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s administration which began in 1965, left an infamous legacy of massive corruption that stopped the Philippines from continuing its status as the Rising Tiger of Asia in the 1960s.

The Marcos era ended in 1986 leaving the Philippines with a debt of $28.26 billion while the Marcos family amassed an estimated 5 to 10 billion dollars worth of ill-gotten wealth.

The darkest era of Philippine history was also assessed by Amnesty International to have harmed:

  • 107,240 primary victims of human rights violations
  • 70,000 people arrested, mostly arbitrarily without warrants of arrest
  • 34,000 people tortured
  • 3,240 killed by the military and the police

The unbridled abuse of political power incarcerated and assassinated Marcos’ political enemies including his rival Senator Benigno “Ninoy”’ Aquino, Sr., the man whose death in 1983 triggered the public outpouring of calls for justice that culminated in the People Power Revolution which ousted the Marcos administration in 1986.

As the Marcos family returned to political power in 2022 through the former president’s son and namesake, various groups have escalated calls for Filipinos and the world to never forget the lessons of the experience of martial law under the Marcos administration.

With the COVID-19 alert on its lowest level, various onsite events commemorating the lessons of the Martial Law rule have been organized by media, schools, and people’s organizations.

For those who prefer to stay at home away from crowds but would still want to participate in the activities, the following are some of the virtual events being held around the 50th anniversary of Martial Law in the Philippines:


The University of the Philippines Department of History presents as part of the UP Day of Remembrance 2022 a public forum titled “SIGWA 2022 Historians Meet: Manindigan sa Katotohanan, Itanghal ang Katarungan” featuring Dr. Rowena Boquiren, Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, Brod. Karl Gaspar, and Dr. Ferdinand Llanes.

  • Date: September 21
  • Public Forum: 3:00-5:00 PM
  • Join via: Zoom, TVUP
  • Register through this link

READ MORE about this event:


Pioneering Filipino podcast network PumaPodcast Teka Teka News episode presents “The Memory Project,” a sharing of how a former television network intern “met hundreds of Martial Law victims in five days” featuring readings of the affidavits of Martial Law victims. The series can also be found via the PumaPodcast Youtube channel.

  • Date: Ongoing until the end of September
  • Listen: Spotify
  • Watch: YouTube


Out of The Box presents ML@50 Video Reels Contest (How to Get Away with Historical Distortion) to spotlight the ways people can recognize and respond to propaganda that aim to distort Filipinos’ collective history.

  • Deadline: Ongoing until September 26, 11:59 p.m.
  • How to Join: Post entries on TikTok or Instagram. Make sure to tag Out of the Box official accounts (TikTok: @ootbmedialiteracy, Instagram: @ootbmedialit), and use the hashtags #ML50 #NeverAgain #MediaLiter8Lahat #OOTBturns8

READ MORE about this event:


The 3rd PITIK BULAG Tagisan Editorial Cartoon Contest carrying the theme “May saysay pa ba ang pagtanggol ng ating kasaysayan?” is accepting entries.

READ MORE about this event:

CHECK OUT these Martial Law history resources available online:

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