September 12, 2018

The Philippine Signs

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation launches this digital archive section in its website, with the publication Signs.

Signs was circulated during the final years of the Marcos dictatorship and had a total of 37 issues before it morphed into another form. Other publications circulated at this time were the We Forum, Malaya, Veritas, Mr and Ms, Sic of the Times, and Who, the University of the Philippines’ Philippine Collegian, and the Catholic Church’s Various Reports, Signs of the Times and Ichtys, and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ Update. They were later collectively called the “mosquito press,” because by their small bites they stretched and broke the limits of the regime’s censorship rules. The underground press, to which belonged mostly clandestine national and regional newsletters such as Ang Bayan and Liberation defied Marcos censors from day-one. They provided reliable information about events happening in the country in the midst of the regime’s efforts to ram its rosy propaganda down the people’s throats.

Bantayog acknowledges the courageous efforts of the people and groups behind these publications, who lived through their commitment often at the risk of loss of incomes, security, profitable careers, and worse, imprisonment or even death. They gave life to the people’s struggle for the right to a free press, free speech, and free expression under the brutal dictatorship.

Searchable versions of these publications that defied Marcos censorship will soon be available.

Signs is published by Crossroads Publications Inc. the Editorial Board at that time was composed of Bishop Antonino Nepomuceno, OMI, Fr. Benigno Mayo, SJ, Fr. Pedro Arguillas, MSC, Fr. Primo Racimo, Laura Ocampo, Atty. Felicitas Aquino, Dr. Levi Oracion.

Ma. Sophia L. Bodegon was the editor, with Ibarra C. Mateo and Celine Claire B. Reyes as staff writers. Contributing photographer was Alberto Marques, Ma. Ceres P. Doyo was the chief of correspondents, Nes Jacinto on production, Ram Flores for editorial assistant, and Edgardo del Val was the business manager.