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Marcosian Propaganda

Kasaysayan ng Lahi parade (1974)

National Media Production Center

2021

Kasaysayan ng Lahi parade (1974)

National Media Production Center

On 7 July 1974, the Marcos administration staged a massive parade called “Kasaysayan ng Lahi (History of the Race).” Through floats, dances, and reenactment, the spectacle portrayed a particular framing of Philippine history, starting with the “stone-age” Tasaday and reaching its apex in the declaration of Martial Law and the subsequent establishment of the New Society. The parade inaugurated the Folk Arts Theater, which was constructed in a record 77 days to serve as venue to the 1974 Miss Universe pageant. “Kasaysayan ng Lahi” involved around 22,000 participants, including 50 tribal groups. In attendance were Miss Universe candidates, as well as “international guests from neighboring countries, and from Mexico, Spain, the USSR, the USA, Israel, Italy and England.”

The parade was directed by Lamberto Avellana, with musical direction by Lucrecia Kasilag and Andrea Veneracion, and choreography by Lucrecia Urtula. Key segments were led by Presidential Assistant on National Minorities Manuel Elizalde Jr. (ethnic), Assistant Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora (Oriental), Maj. Gen. Fidel Ramos (American), Maj. Gen. Fabian Ver (Japanese), and Assistant Executive Secretary Guillermo de Vega (Old and New Society). “Kasaysayan ng Lahi” was also made into a documentary film which was narrated by Avellana himself, as well as a book released by the National Media Production Center.

Note: The opening sequence of this digitized version was patched with newer landscape footage, perhaps due to degradation of the source copy. To see the original footage, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo3wkRu3POw.

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National Media Production Center, “Kasaysayan ng Lahi with Lamberto Avellana,” uploaded by Rewinder Channel, YouTube video, 48:31, August 21, 2021

Kabataang Barangay rally on 5th anniversary of Martial Law (1977)

AP Archive

2015

Kabataang Barangay rally on 5th anniversary of Martial Law (1977)

AP Archive

The Marcos children were vital to mobilizing a new generation to support their family’s administration. On September 21, 1977, the fifth anniversary of Martial Law, a massive rally was staged at Quirino Grandstand in Luneta by the Kabataang Barangay (KB), the youth arm of the dictatorship created two years earlier. Here President Ferdinand Marcos addressed an estimated 400,000 youth from 50 schools, colleges, and universities around Manila. In a long speech he claimed Martial Law’s success in social and economic development, and announced a new referendum that will not only affirm his leadership, but also set the stage for the possibility of the first national election since 1972 and a shift to the parliamentary form of government. He exhorted the youth to step up in support of the government, emphasizing the slogan: “Makialam, Ikaw ang Bagong Pilipino (Get Involved, You are the New Filipino)”.

The Daily Express reported that prior to their father’s arrival at the venue, the Marcos children Imee, Irene, and Bongbong led around 300,000 youth in calisthenics. Imee, KB national chair at 21, then led the rehearsals for chanting the new KB slogan, as seen in this clip. “Pagdating ng erpat ko (when my dad arrives), we’ll raise our hands in clenched fist and cry ‘Makialam (Get involved),’” said Imee. Bongbong, 20, acted as his father’s understudy, waving to the crowd in the manner of his dad. Later that day, President Marcos and his children recognized 15 outstanding KB members and formations at the Parangal sa Bagong Pilipino Awards held at Malacañang Palace. The next month, Marcos issued PD 1229, which called for a national referendum on December 17, 1977, with the question: “Do you vote that President Ferdinand E. Marcos continue in office as incumbent president and be prime minister after the organization of the Interim Batasang Pambansa as provided for in Amendment no. 3 of the 1976 Amendments to the Constitution?” The New York Times reports on December 17 that year: “In what has become almost an annual ritual under the martial-law regime here, Filipinos voted today on whether to continue President Ferdinand E. Marcos in office. There have been four previous referendums since Mr Marcos declared martial law in 1972, and he has won each by at least 87 percent…. If the vote is yes, he will remain as President and will also become Prime Minister indefinitely under what is officially described as a new parliamentary form of government. If the vote is no, he will nevertheless remain as President and will also retain the post of Prime Minister until a new interim National Assembly is elected. But because only he can determine when that legislative body will be formed, he in effect cannot lose in the referendum. He abolished the old Congress when he declared martial law.”

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AP Archive, “SYND 23 9 77 Marcos Announcing Elections at a Youth Rally in Manila,” YouTube video, 1:20, July 24, 2015

Producing Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Scholarly Author

Miguel Paolo P. Reyes

2018

Producing Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Scholarly Author

Miguel Paolo P. Reyes

Miguel Paolo Reyes’ article is an interesting study with compelling evidence proving that President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ books were not only ghost-written for him but also contained traces of self-plagiarism (e.g. content republished from previous works). Reyes also discusses how the Marcos books were widely distributed during its time and how, up to the present-day, these materials continue to fulfill the goals of the Marcosian propaganda machine.

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Reyes, Miguel Paolo P. “Producing Ferdinand E. Marcos, the Scholarly Author.” Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints 66, no. 2 (2018): 173-218. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/697640

The Myths of the New Filipino: Philippine Government Propaganda During the Early Years of Martial Law

Joseph P. McCallus

1989

The Myths of the New Filipino: Philippine Government Propaganda During the Early Years of Martial Law

Joseph P. McCallus

This article examines the propaganda efforts of the Philippine government during the first years of Martial Law, including issues of myth-making and what it means to be Filipino.

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McCallus, Joseph P. “The Myths of the Filipino: Philippine Government Propaganda During the Early Years of Martial Law,” Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society 17, no. 2 (1989): 129–48.

IMELDA: A Story of the Philippines

Beatriz Romualdez-Francia

1992

IMELDA: A Story of the Philippines

Beatriz Romualdez-Francia

This book is a biographic review of Imelda Marcos that delves into the Romualdez Family, her origins, rise to power and exile to Hawaii. The author of the book herself is Imelda’s niece and a member of the Romualdez Clan, taking note of the family’s dynamics and even factions in opposition to the first lady (of whom she was a part of, and jailed for, during the Martial Law Years). Researchers can look to this book as a unique position within the discussion of Martial Law, specifically in the personalities intricately tied to the regime and their perspectives within the matter.

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Romualdez-Francia, Beatriz. “IMELDA: A Story of the Philippines.” (3rd ed.) Metro Manila: Solar Publishing Corporation, 1992.

The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos

Primitivo Mijares

2017

The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos

Primitivo Mijares

Conjugal Dictatorship is a book by Primitivo Mijares who, before his defection from the Marcos government in 1975, was the dictator’s chief propagandist as chairman of the Government’s Media Advisory Council. Hence, the book provides a firsthand account of the Marcos regime’s excesses, its lies and its machinations to consolidate power. Conjugal Dictatorship is a classic work that takes its readers back to the dark years of authoritarianism where graft and corruption ran rampant and human rights violations were committed with impunity. Mijares disappeared one year after publishing the first edition of this book, last seen boarding a flight from Guam to the Philippines with General Fabian Ver. His son Boyet was kidnapped and murdered a few months later. The Ateneo de Manila University Press republished the manuscript in its current edition in 2017.

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Mijares, Primitivo. The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2017.