PMHSI founders with Marichu Antonio
Ka Daning and Paolo Camus
Alapaap, Alex Canlapan and MHSI founders
Martial law memorial event
at human rights museum
The Balik-Tanaw: Martial Law at 50 event held on September 23, 2022 at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) was a huge success.
Philippine-Manitoba Historical Society, Inc. (PMHSI) representatives said more than 500 people attended the historic event.
At least 120 students and teachers from Sisler High School, Maples Met School, MET Centre for Arts and Technology and the University of Winnipeg participated in the event.
The event featured a martial law exhibit, a film showing of the Showtime documentary, The Kingmaker, and a cultural celebration to mark the 50th year since the declaration of martial law on September 21, 1972.
According to Nico Bryle Alfafara, co-founder of the PMHSI, they organized the event to ensure the horrors and atrocities of the Martial Law era remain alive in the collective memory and consciousness of the nation and the Filipino community in Canada.
“We are so happy that a lot of young people like me came out to support us and learn about our past,” said Alfafara.
Marichu Antonio and Chris Sorio, both Martial Law survivors, shared their harrowing experiences during the open forum. Both were abducted by the military in the 80’s and were subjected to gruesome torture and abuse. They were also part of a group that won a class-action lawsuit against late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.
“It is very important for the young people to know the truth about our history. It is not right to deny it nor revise it and erase it from our history,” said Antonio.
Filipino-Canadian artists such as Mervin Sison, Jovelle Balani, Hazel Wallace, Paolo Camus, Alex Canlapan, Sean Pacheco, Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos, Alapaap and the Missing Page, performed at the cultural night.
“We are grateful for the love and support that we received from our partners, donors, and members of our community. A big thanks to the CMHR for giving us a safe space to share this dark part of our history and educate our community,” said Jomay Amora-Dueck, co-founder of the PMHSI.