UPAA-W VOH Presents Martial Law – Facts & Implications

A virtual symposium sponsored by the Asuncion Miteria Austria Value Our Heritage of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Wisconsin (UPAA-W) was held last October 8th, 2022


In September 1972, then-Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. declared Martial Law. In January 1981, Martial Law was lifted but Marcos retained most of his powers. 

Guests May Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani Foundation https://bantayog.foundation/ and Mark John Sanchez,  Author and Assistant Professor of Asian Studies Vanderbilt University https://as.vanderbilt.edu/asianstudies/people/sanchez.php were the guests of honor at the UPAA-W symposium called “Martial Law-Facts and Implications”. Together they talked about the impact of this decree and the Marcos dictatorship on Philippine Society. They also spoke about social, economic, and political dynamics at that time – the shiny infrastructure projects, the mounting national debt, and their long-lasting effects. 

Sanchez also shared the works being done by scholars here in the United States to analyze and shed a light on this time of Philippine history. Rodriguez shared the work being done at Bantayog and why it is important and her personal story that stirred all attendees. Feedback from attendees mentioned that the discussion was both educational and inspiring. 

The panel discussion was moderated by Beaver Flores, a UPAA-W member and a communication skills instructor at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, WI. The Asuncion Miteria Austria Value Our Heritage Committee (AMA-VOH) of UPAA-W organized the event. Committee members include Roselle Rogers, Beaver Flores, Fe Visaya, and Committee Chair Cream Pepito. AMA-VOH is an annual event sponsored by UPAA-W to help educate the community on Filipino culture and heritage. Amid the Covid pandemic, AMA-VOH went virtual starting in 2020. Ike Pahm, a UPAA-W board member, provided website support for the event. 

Symposium Recording



Executive Director, Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation

May Rodriguez is the Executive Director of the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani Foundation. May was a third-year student at the University of the Philippines when Martial Law was declared.  She is a survivor of Martial Law and has also documented hundreds of cases of Filipinos who underwent inhumane treatment during the Marcos regime. 


Author and Assistant Professor in Asian Studies, Vanderbilt University

Mark John Sanchez is an Assistant Professor in Asian Studies at Vanderbilt. Mark teaches courses on Asian American history, Cold War Asia, and Southeast Asian diasporas. He is currently working on a book that focuses on the transnational roots of the anti-Marcos movement. The book highlights the ways that grassroots Filipino activists led the formation of a transnational movement and traces how local activists engaged with rights-based organizations, religious groups, the U.S. education system, pro-democracy activists, and leftist groups.

For questions, please email valueourheritageUPAAW@gmail.com