From 12 to 1 p.m. on Sept. 21, a din could be heard in UP Diliman (UPD) as the campus observed the 51st year of declaration of Martial Law.
Faculty, staff, and students from all over UPD came out to participate in Noises and Voices of Memory and Dissent (Noises), a one-hour “noise-making” event to commemorate the historic event.
UPD College of Music (CMu) staff and students led by Dean LaVerne C. de la Peña converged at the CMu lawn and played traditional ethnic instruments. Others marched around the college and played different musical instruments at the CMu lawn, while some rhythmically banged drain pipes.
Over at the UP Theater, the UP Theater Complex (UPTC) and the UPD Information staff came out to participate, holding signs that read “September 21. We will never forget.” The small bells of the old Carillon displayed at the UP Theater lobby were rung briefly, in remembrance of the time when the UP Carillon was used as a watchtower during the First Quarter Storm.
Academic units and other UPD offices held similar activities, culminating in a grand rally in front of Palma Hall and Quezon Hall where protesters gathered to hear stories of past heroism and current concerns from UPD and college officials such as UPD College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Dean Maria Bernadette L. Abrera. Some participants then headed off to Liwasang Bonifacio in the city of Manila to join a mobilization that included different sectors of Philippine society and headed by victims of martial law.
Online, many of the official social media accounts of various units, including UPD’s own official accounts, changed their profile pictures to black or a black and white image and uploaded a special 61-minute video containing references to events from the Martial Law era and the rampant censorship by the Marcos dictatorship.
In a memorandum issued on Sept. 18, UP President Angelo Jimenez hoped Noises will “demonstrate that the University will continue to be a bulwark of academic freedom and human rights in the light of attempts at historical revisionism and red-tagging to suppress dissent.”
The Day of Remembrance was established in 2018 to commemorate the UP community who stood at the forefront in resisting Martial Law during the administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. The entire country was placed under martial rule by Marcos on 21 Sept. 1972.