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31 Real Martial Law Stories From People Who Experienced It

"As a kid, my favorite was Voltes 5. It went off air because the plot was about overthrowing a bad ruler."

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It has been 44 years since former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, so we asked people from Facebook, Twitter, and revisited the hashtag #RPNonFiction and collected stories from that era. Here's what we got.


"Tumahimik nga kayo baka marinig kayo sa labas, barilin kayo" - My mom whenever we voice out our political opinions, loudly #RPNonFiction



My mom was humming a protest song as a kid, too young to understand. Lola made her promise to stop—"baka damputin tayo." #RPNonFiction


Marcos shut down Manila Times; Daily Mirror; Manila Chronicle; Manila Daily Bulletin a day after ML proclamation #RPNonFiction


#RPNonFiction My father said if you want to be a writer you have to be ready to either get bribed or get killed. We studied science instead.


My dad used to be a young journalist who went into hiding in the mountains during the onslaught of this era. He used to say they even got to interview Noynoy himself but later burned any evidence of it. My mom, on the other hand, walked the streets in protest.

Rochy Galvan via Facebook



My grandfather hid in a hollowed out tree trunk for a day as they were dragging out people from his village in the province. #RPNonFiction


My mother and my lola had to go to Manila from Bicol to ask for rice from her uncle because there was no food in the province #RPNonFiction


UP history professor told me about this nun who protested during martial law. she was abducted & forced to BJ five soldiers #RPNonFiction


#RPNonFiction Isa sa paraan ng pagtorture ay pagpapasok ng tingting sa butas ng ari ng lalaki. Sarap no?


My teacher can never have children. She was repeatedly raped during Martial Law, once with a broomstick, once with loaded gun. #RPNonFiction



My lola, with her hands held tight by a couple of militarymen, was forced to write down "Marcos" during '86 Nat'l Elections #RPNonFiction


My mom was just 10 years old when her dad was shot straight in the head during Martial Law. #RPNonFiction


#RPNonFiction mom had a friend back in college who was abducted and two days later her body was returned in a sack with tape on her mouth.


Tatay's 1982 autopsy shows 9 gunshot wounds, most fired close range- 5 chest & stomach, 2 right arm, 1 on each leg #RPNonFiction #NeverAgain


I attended elementary school at #SanBeda in #Mendiola. Sometimes tear gas would get in our classrooms. #RPNonFiction



My uncle, a labor and human rights lawyer, was forcibly disappeared on May 11, 1977. He is still missing to this day. #RPNonFiction


Uwi ka na, Tito. #RPnonfiction #neveragain


Bumababa ang attendance ng klase niyo, tapos nung nadampot ka, nag-reunion kayo ng class mo (pati prof ha) sa kulungan #RPNonFiction



Students at UP then cannot speak of the Marcos administration because soldiers dressed as students, waiting for their salvage #RPNonFiction


i was confused when i found out salvaged really means "rescue/recover" because it meant something totally different growing up #RPNonFiction


Ok so my lolo and lola both have gunshot wounds from the ML era. Neither of them were activists, just citizens walking home #RPNonFiction


My young aunt was dangerously ill, and they couldn't bring her to the hospital because of the curfew. She died in her home. #RPNonFiction


Nung gumuho yung Manila Film Center hindi sila nagrescue ng mga tao. They just poured cement over it, burying workers alive #RPNonFiction


Dad was night student. Described slunking behind parked cars & shadows just to make it home safely after 10. EVERY. NIGHT.🔫 #RPNonFiction


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