SEPT. 21 marks the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, and true to form, media organizations have been calling the Eggie Apostol Foundation to request permission to use footage from our landmark video documentary “Batas Militar.” Political science and history students doing research on martial law have been reaching out to us as well.
Our reply has always been that they are welcome to use the footage they need for their own video productions, provided that they run the acknowledgement “Footage from ‘Batas Militar’ courtesy of the Eggie Apostol Foundation” preferably as a runner every time the footage appears onscreen.
In the midst of this renewed media interest in martial law, it occurred to me that almost all of the researchers who were getting in touch with us by phone or by e-mail, particularly those from national television, were born after 1986. Were it not for the Eggie Apostol Foundation’s education reform advocacy, I would have been appalled at their very superficial appreciation of the impact of martial law on Philippine society and culture.
As it is, I am the least bit surprised because I know for a fact that history is not being taught as it should be in our schools. I recall that at one conference on the Department of Education’s Schools First Initiative with then Education Secretary Butch Abad, the late Mario Taguiwalo was outlining how DepEd would strengthen instruction in English, science and math as these were seen as critical 21st-century competencies.
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