Last week, Imee Marcos made headlines when she claimed to have been “too young” to be linked to the 1977 death of Archimedes Trajano, a student activist who had raised concerns regarding the then-presidential daughter’s appointment as head of the Kabataang Barangay. Many were quick to point out that Marcos was already 21 years old, by all accounts an adult, at the time. And timing, in this case, is everything, as this all occurred during her father’s ruthless dictatorship.
It’s worth noting as well that Marcos has recently been elected senator. For anyone who’s ever had to study martial law in elementary school history classes, especially anyone who had actually lived through it, it should be puzzling, if not outright troubling and maddening. With ill-gotten wealth, censorship, the complete disregard of human rights, and other crimes and tragedies too heavy to name, the memories and lessons of the Marcos regime shouldn’t have led us here.
In the five books listed below, you’ll find stories both fictional and true-to-life about what life was like during martial law from many different points of view. Seek them out and take them to heart — it’s important that we keep educating ourselves and each other and reflecting on what we learn.