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Remembering Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos was president longer than anyone else, and wielded power absolutely far longer than anyone else; his rule marked a clear break in many respects, from the evolution of power and institutions prior to him; and has affected the development of politics and government ever since.


  1. The American Lew Gleek once wrote this provocative summary of the political culture that, he argued in one of his books, produced Marcos --and which Marcos mastered:
  2. The Philippine political culture is… personalistic but violent, religious but superstitious, corrupt but tolerant, hierarchical but distributionist, solicitous of form but not of content, legalistic, but careless of equity, media-obsessed and nationalistically vociferous with respect to rights but negligent to obligations.
  3. What is a leader but the product of his times, and the molder, or influencer, of them? To delve into both is to explore not only our national, but our individual, political psyches.
  4. I. Marcos in Retrospect

  5. The biodata of President Marcos is available in the Presidential Museum and Library website:
  6. I once wrote a two-part essay on Marcos in restrospect: it was an attempt to try to synthesize what his life represented, and will continue to represent, long after those who recall him, are gone.
  7. II. Contemporary Accounts

  8. Below, a book cover reproducing Marcos' favorite portrait of himself: by Manansala. It was a gift to Marcos from Hans Menzi. It disappeared from the Palace during the EDSA Revolution but is said to have been recovered by the Marcoses recently. It is always instructive to see a person as they wanted to be seen. 
  9. The pre-martial law Free Press covered Marcos extensively: first, supportive, then, antagonistic, towards him. The following articles give a sampling of the coverage Marcos received --and the issues of the day-- from 1965 to 1972.
  10. III. Martial Law to EDSA

  11. As the articles above chronicled, Marcos the veteran eventually became Marcos the expected Autocrat, a sinister poseur as I.Z. Izon's editorial cartoon lampooned him to be: