This is a book about the heroes and martyrs of the Filipino people’s resistance against the martial law dictatorship that ruled over the country during the terrible years between 1972 and 1986. These were exemplary women and men who lived and died for the sake of freedom and justice in the Philippines.
In recounting their lives, this book hopes to keep their memory alive, and to remind the present and future generations that the Filipino is worth fighting for.
Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation was established in 1986, soon after the regime of President Marcos ended with his flight from Malacañang Palace. Since then, the Foundation has been honoring those who dedicated themselves to the anti-dictatorship struggle with extraordinary commitment and sacrifice.
Nearly 300 names are now etched on the Wall of Remembrance at the Bantayog Memorial Center in Quezon City. They were chosen at the end of a process of nomination, validation and deliberation, which included personal interviews and site visits.
The 113 short biographies included in this first volume are those of the heroes and martyrs whose names were inscribed on the Wall of Remembrance from 1992 (when the annual recognition ceremony was first held) to 2000. A second volume, comprising succeeding sets, will follow.
Work on the publication of these materials began in 2006, and a completed version – what might be considered the first edition – was launched the following year. Insufficient resources allowed the Foundation to publish only very limited copies of that edition.
We thank the National Historical Commission of the Philippines under the leadership of Dr. Ma. Serena I. Diokno for “rescuing” this project and making available the resources that have allowed the publication and dissemination of this book.
Most importantly, this project would not have been possible without the assistance and support of the families of the heroes and martyrs.
“Ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo” – this is the message that these fellow human beings are telling us today: we, the living, are the recipients of this gift of life and love. It is for us, and we must try to be worthy.
(This introduction was written by former Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation Executive Director, Board Secretary, and long-time Trustee Nievelina V. Rosete. She passed away in June 10, 2015.)