More Information
ISBN: 9781783684854
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 12
Publication Date: 28/02/2019
Pages: 230
Language: English

Dark Days of Authoritarianism

To Be in History


The history of the Philippines is a long and complex one but the stories and reflections in Dark Days of Authoritarianism, from remarkable individuals who were willing to stake their lives for freedom, shed light on life under the martial law instituted by President Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 to 1981, and up to the peaceful popular uprising of 1986. This book not only covers the social, economic and political conditions across the country during martial law but also how those conditions affected ordinary people personally and spiritually. Many of the contributions illustrate the strength and determination of Philippine women to create a better society despite being met by great adversity and the importance of Christian faith for sustaining the lives of those who suffered and survived this tumultuous period. This book provides important lessons for a new generation facing the menace of authoritarianism today, wherever they are, to fight for democracy and resist any attempts to diminish people’s freedom.

Author Bios

Melba Padilla Maggay
(Edited By)

A writer and a social anthropologist, Melba Padilla Maggay holds a doctorate in Philippine studies, a Master’s degree in English literature, and a first degree in mass communication. A specialist in intercultural communication, she was research fellow on the subject at the University of Cambridge under the auspices of Tyndale House, applying it to the question of culture and theology. She has lectured on this and other cross-cultural issues worldwide, including a stint as Northrup Visiting Professor at Hope College, Michigan, and Visiting Lecturer at All Nations Christian College in England. As founder and longtime director of the Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture, she was cited for her outstanding leadership in organizing the evangelical Protestant presence at the EDSA barricades during the February People Power Uprising in 1986. As a social anthropologist, Dr Maggay is resource speaker and consultant on culture, social change, and development issues. A frequent speaker and participant-expert in international conferences, Dr Maggay travels widely and has had cross-cultural experience in over forty countries on all five continents.


This book will humble, encourage and enlighten all who continue to struggle today in the Philippines and in other parts of the world with political repression and the non-fulfilment of political dreams.

Vinoth Ramachandra, PhD
Secretary for Dialogue & Social Engagement, IFES

What happened to the Philippine people from the 1970s till now is relevant to the world at large, especially for those struggling in the post-colonial era in Africa, Latin and South Americas, and Asia.

Wing Tai Leung, PhD
Founding President, Lumina College, Hong Kong
Former General Secretary, Breakthrough Youth Ministry

This is actually a global phenomenon. It’s a book urgently relevant.

Marcelo Vargas A.
Centro de Capacitación Misionera, Bolivia, Latin America

Three decades after the ruthless rule of Ferdinand Marcos ended, this diverse collection of personal essays gives a revealing and timely insight into the dark days of martial law in the Philippines, the subsequent “peoples’ power revolution” and ongoing consequences in the 21st century for the first Southeast Asian nation to declare itself a democratic republic. These are important stories of struggle, resilience and faith amid a convoluted interplay of ideological politics and social change.

Rev Tim Costello, AO
Chief Advocate, World Vision Australia

The longing for freedom and for social justice lie deep in the human psyche. This moving book tells us the story of true events in the Philippines, and how different groups sought to bring about change. In particular, it shows how committed Christian men and women can seek the good of their society, the power of prayer, and the grace of God. A prophetic voice for our times.

Rose Dowsett

Dark Days of Authoritarianism: To Be in History is simply a remarkable work. Its style – testimonies and reflections of people from diverse social and professional backgrounds and divergent ideological commitments from a very dark period in the history of the Philippines – make it a compelling read. It is amazing how their story mirrors our story in the dark days despotic rule in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.Dark Days of Authoritarianism is relevant today, not least for us in Africa, who, like the Philippines, are faced with the resurgence of authoritarianism.

Bishop David Zac Niringiye, PhD
Author and Civic-Political Activist
Senior Fellow, The Institute of Religion, Faith and Culture in Public Life

Table of Contents

  1. By Way of a Prologue
    1. Melba Padilla Maggay
  2. Part I: Years of Authoritarian Rule
  3. 1 – The Awakening of Miss Goody Two Shoes
    1. Elizabeth Lolarga
  4. 2 – Life under Authoritarianism: Why It Should Never Happen Again
    1. Mary Racelis
  5. 3 – The NatDem Front: A Historian Looks Back
    1. Fe B. Mangahas
  6. 4 – Truth in a Revolution: Notes from the Underground
    1. Mario I. Miclat
  7. 5 – A Peek from behind the Bamboo Curtain
    1. Alma C. Miclat
  8. 6 – Uncle Sam behind the Scenes: A View from the Corridors of Power
    1. Willie B. Villarama
  9. Part II: Days of People Power
  10. 7 – Snap Elections 1986
    1. Melba Padilla Maggay
  11. 8 – Seventy-Five Long Hours
    1. Adrian Helleman
  12. 9 – Onward, Soldiers of Faith
    1. Rolando Villacorte
  13. 10 – Diary from the Barricades
    1. Melba Padilla Maggay
  14. 11 – The Darkest Moment
    1. Rolando Villacorte
  15. Part III: The Morning After: Views from the Margins
  16. 12 – Thoughts on the Aftermath
    1. Willie B. Villarama
  17. 13 – A Nonviolent Revolution
    1. Adrian Helleman
  18. 14 – On Historical Babies, Paradigms and Miracles
    1. Melba Padilla Maggay
  19. 15 – A Gift for Millennials
    1. Mary Racelis
  20. Epilogue: Putting an End to Our Unfinished Revolutions
    1. Melba Padilla Maggay
  21. About the Contributors


Elizabeth Lolarga

ELIZABETH LOLARGA is a journalist, poet and teacher. She finished her journalism at the University of the Philippines Diliman and fine arts at UP Baguio. She is the author of Catholic and Emancipated, a compilation of selected essays published by the University of Santo Tomas, and of three poetry collections in limited editions: The First Eye, Dangling Doll: Poems of Laughter and Desperation and Big Mama Sez: Poems Old and New.
Ms Lolarga used to teach English and creative writing to high school students at the Community of Learners Foundation in San Juan City. She is a member of the Baguio Writers Group and the Philippine Center of International PEN.

Mary Racelis

Mary Racelis is Professorial Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ateneo de Manila University, a well-known research scientist and a specialist in urban poverty, development, social policy and civil society. She was former director of the Institute of Philippine Culture.
She joined the Ateneo faculty in June 1960, the first woman professor in the college. Fr Frank Lynch, S.J., then starting both the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology (DSA), invited her to be among his first staff members.
Dr Racelis was born in Manila in 1932 of a Filipino father and American mother. She received her elementary education in the Philippines, and finished high school and college in New York at Cornell University in Sociology and Anthropology in 1954. She returned to the Philippines with her husband, Helmuth Hollnsteiner, in 1955, and completed her MA in sociology at the University of the Philippines in 1960. In 1975, De La Salle University awarded her a doctorate in the social sciences ,em>honoris causa. In 2003, the Ateneo de Manila University awarded her a doctorate in humanities honoris causa.

Fe B. Mangahas

FE B. MANGAHAS taught Philippine history and music history at the University of the East, and Philippine history and women’s studies at St Scholastica’s College, Manila. She obtained her degrees in music and history from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, and her MA in history from the Ateneo de Manila University.
She served as Chair of the Department of History, St Scholastica’s College, and was member of the board of commissioners of the National Historical Commission (NHCP) and the board of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW); and she headed the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Women’s Program. She is author and co-author of textbooks on Philippine history and social studies. Her essays on women and babaylan feminism are a significant grounding of feminism in Philippine culture and history.

Mario I. Miclat

MARIO I. MICLAT is an awarded fictionist, poet, essayist and translator. He served as dean of the University of the Philippines Asian Center and retired as UP full professor and Associate of Likhaan UP Institute of Creative Writing. He has been given lifetime achievement awards, including the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for fiction in English and Filipino, and Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan of the City of Manila. He has won the Gawad CCP, the Palanca Awards for Literature and UP Centennial Professorial Chair Award and UP Press Centennial Publications Award. His books include ,em>Secrets of the Eighteen Mansions, long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and Beyond the Great Wall, National Book Awardee for biography.
He served as director of the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino of the UP System from 1996 to 2001 and as head of the National Committee on Language and Translation of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA)

Alma Cruz Miclat

ALMA CRUZ MICLA is a freelance writer and retired business executive. She is president of the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, Inc. (www.maningning. com) which has held the Maningning Miclat Trilingual Poetry Awards (Filipino, English and Chinese) during odd-numbered years since 2003 and the Maningning Miclat Art Award during even-numbered years since 2004.
She is the author of the deluxe book Soul Searchers and Dreamers: Artists’ Profiles, a compilation of articles published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Arts & Books section and other publications. She is co-author with Mario I. Miclat, Maningning Miclat and Banaue Miclat of Beyond the Great Wall: A Family Journal, which was granted a National Book Award for biography in 2007. She co-edited Fairground: A Literary Feast with Gemino H. Abad, and is a contributor to The Writers’ Wives edited by Narita Gonzales and The Fallen Cradle edited by Agnes Prieto and Ricardo de Ungria.

Willie B. Villarama

WILFRIDO “WILLIE” VILLARAMA, a former Congressman (2001–2004) and vice governor of Bulacan (1972–1980), served a number of cabinet ministers in various capacities, most notably as chief of staff and assistant minister to Labor Secretary and then Senator Blas F. Ople, and subsequently Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
An astute politician, he was secretary general and campaign manager of Buhay Party List, the political arm of El Shaddai, the largest Catholic charismatic movement in the country, and was instrumental in its winning three seats in the 2004 election.
He holds a degree in Political Science from Ateneo de Manila, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, an MBA from Xavier University in Ohio, and a master’s in Community Development from the University of the Philippines. As a public servant, he is a Career Executive Service Officer (CESO 2).
Active in politics and civil society, he continues to advocate for Christian engagement in the political arena and sits on the boards of various NGOs, civic and religious organizations, including the Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture.

Adrian Helleman

ADRIAN HELLEMAN served as a pastor in British Columbia before being called to serve as a missionary-teacher in the Philippines. He received a ThM from Calvin Theological Seminary and a PhD from St Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. He and his wife, Wendy, later taught philosophy at Moscow State University in Russia, and then philosophy and theology at the University of Jos in Nigeria. They have also lectured in Canada, the United States, South Africa and Tanzania.
For most of the year, he lives in Toronto with his wife. They have three adult children: a daughter and son living in Toronto and another daughter near Boston. They have five grandchildren.

Rolando Villacorte

ROLANDO VILLACORTE was a journalist and freelance magazine writer who started out as news correspondent for The Evening News in the early 1950s. Besides The Real Hero of EDSA, he has written two other books, Baliwag Then and Now and The Philippine Constitution, which were adopted as textbooks for high school and college students. He won first prize in an essay contest sponsored by the International Labor Organization and the Philippine Management Association of the Philippines. As well as receiving a cash prize, he went on a study tour of vocational rehabilitation centers in various European countries. He had previously toured similar institutions in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore under ILO auspices.
He has edited a number of community newspapers in Quezon City, and for more than ten years he served in the QC government as PRO-researcher- translator and subsequently as head of its barrio government office. His civil service also included a two-year stint at the Malacañang Press Office as chief research and special projects officer during President Diosdado Macapagal’s tenure.

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