I was a teen during the Martial Law era

I was 15-years-old when Proclamation 1081 was declared by then-President Ferdinand Marcos.


Noemi Lardizabal-Dado My folks seemed overjoyed with the news. The administration did a great job brainwashing so that the old folks of the country were in turmoil and thus thought that Martial Law needed to be declared.

I didn’t know it then, of course. I felt disappointment wash over me when I was told that my essay on “Freedom of Speech” would not be published in my high school magazine. It was supposed to be my first published piece. Even if I wrote another piece, all sorts of magazines were banned then.

I felt a bit alarmed that any house could be raided for “subversive materials.” Any reading material might be “subversive” to the eyes of the military.

Dad was wise; he started buying books and magazines that were pro-Marcos. But all of these inconveniences were insignificant to me.

As a teen, the first thing that came to my mind was “Now what can me and my friends do for fun?”

The author (first from left) and her friends during the Martial Law years. This was what we were faced with:

1. A curfew of 12 midnight was imposed. 2. A gathering of five people or more needed a permit from Camp Lapu-lapu.

How could we ever party now? During those days, mixed parties, watching movies, and hanging out in our homes was our idea of fun. No shopping malls existed then to frolick in, except for the neighborhood grocery store. Of course, there was the beach but that's mostly for family events.

My fears didn’t last long. Me and my classmates learned to adapt to this new situation. How did we do it?

1. The class president or the secretary procured the necessary party permit from the Camp.
2. Parties started at exactly 7:00 p.m. 3. Dancing commenced soon after. 4. At 11:30 p.m. we left the party just so we could beat the curfew.

Then, we became more innovative. Wessie Quisumbing, whose family owned Norkis Trading, had a basement in their office which could becom pitch dark if the curtains were drawn. “Betcha by golly wow!” we shrieked at Wessie’s offer.

This prompted our parties to start at 4:00 p.m. and we grooved the night away to the 70′s disco-soul music of The Intruders, Three Degrees, Gloria Gaynor, The Trammps and Barry White.

“Theme from ‘Shaft’” by Isaac Hayes with its high-hat, disco stomp beat was a favorite for years. As long as we were watchful of the curfew and got our party permit, Martial Law proved no killjoy

If there was one valuable lesson that Martial Law taught me as a teen-ager, it was the ability to make productive use of my time; to be organized and be punctual. Time and party planning were of the essence.

Me and my friends had to maximize our precious time in order to enjoy the limited party hours. We learned to tame the time monster.

You might be surprised at how much you can get done. The real reward for us was that we were less stressed and more happy even under adverse situations. – KDM, GMA News

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a 55-year-old mother of three kids and the editor of Blog Watch. This entry originally appeared in her blog on September 20. We are re-posting it here with her permission.



Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Pagasa: Drought may worsen
    Pagasa: Drought may worsen

    The drought in 12 already dry areas in the country is expected to worsen as the summer season peaks next month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday. In an advisory, PAGASA said the provinces of Albay, Bataan, Batangas, Biliran, Cavite, Cebu, Ilocos Norte, Leyte, Misamis Occidental, Pampanga, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur will continue to receive “way below” or “below normal” rainfall in May. PAGASA defines …

  • Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea
    Maximum restraint for Phl troops in West Phl Sea

    The military has advised its pilots conducting surveillance in the West Philippine Sea to exercise maximum restraint even if they are being bullied by Chinese troops. Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said all actions of the pilots should be consistent with the declaration of conduct signed by claimant countries. Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said the Philippines should remain on moral high ground when it comes to the territorial dispute. A …

  • MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami
    MMDA simulates rescue march after quake, tsunami

    The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday led the annual rescue march from Quezon City to Manila, giving rescue volunteers a glimpse of possible scenarios if the metropolis is hit by a strong quake or is inundated by a tsunami. Cora Jimenez, MMDA general manager, said 700 volunteer rescuers walked from the Quezon City memorial circle to the Bonifacio monument in front of the Manila city hall to simulate a response-exercise to a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. Renato Solidum, …

  • Islamic State threatens Mindanao, Phl tells Asean
    Islamic State threatens Mindanao, Phl tells Asean

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario bared yesterday before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reports of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threat to the Philippines through the Black Flag Movement in Mindanao. Speaking before ASEAN foreign ministers, Del Rosario said the ISIS threat to Philippine security is real rather than imagined because of the Black Flag Movement’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. …

  • ‘Chinese reclamation affecting Phl’s energy security bid’
    ‘Chinese reclamation affecting Phl’s energy security bid’

    China’s occupation and buildup of its military structures in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea is causing the country’s top energy official to get the jitters as the encroachment is seen as a huge dent on the Philippines’ efforts to achieve energy security. “It is a concern but if we don’t bring it to the United Nations, where will we bring it? We cannot bang heads with them,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla told The STAR in an interview over the weekend. The US Energy …

  • Phl to Asean: China getting de facto control
    Phl to Asean: China getting de facto control

    The Philippines yesterday urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to unite and stop China’s massive reclamation in disputed waters as it will give China “de facto control” over the area and cause $100 million in marine wealth losses annually. At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting here, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told his counterparts that the situation in West Philippine Sea had worsened just a year after the Philippines began to draw international …

  • Gov’t spends P11.8 M for Noy’s Asean trip
    Gov’t spends P11.8 M for Noy’s Asean trip

    The government has allotted about P11.8 million for President Aquino’s attendance at the 26th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia from April 26 to 28. “President Aquino’s participation to the 26th ASEAN Summit is important as the region gears toward the creation of an ASEAN community, which is envisioned to provide new opportunities for the peoples of this region, including the Philippines,” Ochoa said in a statement. He was with …

  • Mary Jane: Shun drugs, get legit recruiters
    Mary Jane: Shun drugs, get legit recruiters

    As Mary Jane Veloso held on to vestiges of hope that her life might be spared, she thanked Filipinos for their support and had some pieces of advice.  Efforts to save Veloso from the firing squad continued after Indonesian authorities issued the notice of execution to the Filipina worker who had written four letters – including one for President Aquino – expressing hope that justice will prevail and her gratitude to her countrymen. Veloso’s relatives arrived in Nusa Kambangan Island on …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options