NEW YORK – Filipinos in New York City will commemorate the legacy of the movement against martial law at the ground floor offices of the Local 1199/SEIU United Health Workers East in Manhattan on 310 West 43rd Street between 8th and 9th Avenue in Times Square on Feb. 21 from 1-5 P.M.
The event, sponsored by the NY Committee for Human Rights (NYCHRP), is called “PAGPUPUGAY: A Tribute to Anti-Martial Law Activists and Commemoration of People Power I.” It will highlight the 23rd anniversary of the People Power uprising which led to the downfall in 1986 of the 21-year dictatorship reign of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
“We are giving a fitting community tribute through song and poetry to the men and women who defied fascism with courage and honor both in the Philippines and abroad, particularly in New York City,” said Ramon Mappala, a member of the NYCHRP.
“There was a very strong anti-martial law movement of Filipinos and non-Filipinos here. We cannot let that rich history be forgotten. We must remember it and teach our youth of today our lessons as these types of struggle continue,” added Mappala.
Mappala, a former student activist, participated in the historic campus protests in the 1970s, popularly referred to as the First Quarter Storm (FQS), which culminated with Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law in 1972. He was captured and imprisoned by the Marcos regime and eventually released. Today, he remains a human rights advocate and an independent film producer in New York City.
Bienvenido Lumbera, Philippine National Artist for Literature and a University of the Philippines professor, who himself is an alumni of FQS, will deliver a keynote message. The event is also co-sponsored by Anakbayan New York/New Jersey, a Filipino youth group.