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Autobiography

Testament From A Prison Cell

Benigno S. Aquino

1984

Testament From A Prison Cell

Benigno S. Aquino

This brief but moving testament of one man’s convictions–a man self-described as “a humanist, a democrat and a romantic”–was written in a prison cell by one of the first political opponents to be arrested and held in military detention after Marcos established his totalitarian regime in the Philippines on September 22, 1972. Five years after his arrest, Aquino was sentenced to death by firing squad. What is presented here is Aquino’s elegant, reasoned defense of his political views (Christian Socialist), his outline for an ideal society (freedom of the individual is all-important), and a family history of patriotism (both his father and grandfather were “imprisoned for serving the Filipino people”). Bleeding through the text’s rationale and legalese is a current of unabashed passion from a man who believed in his cause.

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Aquino, Benigno S. Testament from a Prison Cell. Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines: [Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation], 1984.

Silent War

Victor N. Corpus

1989

Silent War

Victor N. Corpus

Colonel Victor Corpus’ Silent War provides a first-hand and honest look into the challenge of communist insurgency in the Philippines and submits his views on how it can be defeated. It is the first book ever written on insurgency by a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines based on his own inside view of the enemy, by a man who actually lived and fought on the side of the insurgents and who, in fact, became a member of the Central Committee, the highest policy-making organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines, which was a major threat during the reign of Ferdinand Marcos.

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Corpus, Victor N. Silent War. Quezon City, Philippines: VNC Enterprises, 1989.

Awakening of Milbuk

Arthur Amaral

2015

Awakening of Milbuk

Arthur Amaral

Arthur Amaral was a Passionist Priest deployed to Baranggay Milbuk, a logging community near Barangay Malisbong along the coast of the Celebes Sea in Mindanao. The book shares an account of the violence that encroached into the area with the escalation of conflict between the Philippine Government and the Moro National Liberation Front. Amaral, using alternate names in his recounting of events, accounts for the ambush of logging employees in 1974, among them indigenous Manobo Peoples working for the American Weyerhaeuser Corporation. He then narrates the arrival of Philippine Military forces in their defense, and signs of retaliations made against the Muslim population that would manifest as the Malisbong Massacre. He also shares his attempts at documenting and raising awareness on the same matter – conducting an inquiry among Muslim civilians in nearby evacuation centers and contacting the Associated Press.

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Amaral, Arthur. 2015. “Awakening of Milbuk.” Bloomington: AuthorHouse.

Ascending the Fourth Mountain: A Personal Account of the Marcos Years

Maria Virginia Y. Morales

2021

Ascending the Fourth Mountain: A Personal Account of the Marcos Years

Maria Virginia Y. Morales

A deeply moving and personal book by Virginia Morales who dedicated her life to the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship and to political and social change in the Philippines. Morales’s memoir chronicles her childhood and genealogy through her early life in Mindanao, to her move to Manila for college and the ups and downs of her political marriage. This book deftly links the personal and the political as the author herself writes, “I have learned that unless we see our lives against the backdrop of history, our own remains puny, dull, and insignificant. It is only against the backdrop of history that we understand the context of our lives and the period in which we lived.”

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Morales, Maria Virginia Y., Ascending the Fourth Mountain: A Personal Account of the Marcos Years, Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2021.