On September 21, 1972, Proclamation No.1081 was declared in the Philippines by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. The declaration placed the entire Republic under Martial Law.
The former President's basis for placing the entire Republic under Martial Law was due to ensuing communist insurgency and a foiled assassination attempt of his former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile (present Senate President). President Marcos promulgated several General Orders following the decalaration of Martial Law. And these General Orders became the basis for the mass arrests of political opponents, activists and insurgents and the cessation of all group actions.
I was barely 11 years-old and in the 4th grade of the intermediate curriculum. There was multitude of eccentric sensibility and the unfamiliarity to comprehend the complexity of situation. There was fear and hatred. For me who does not really know what is in the offering, I was simply watching how the circumstances unfold.
During the span of time under Martial Law, I vividly recall leading and reciting in front of the class a prayer entitled "Prayer For The Nation" composed by the incumbent President. It was a very well-composed prayer. It enbodied hope and aspiration for a strong nation.
I am already in my middle-age and yet I can still recall the Martial Law era. Not much has changed before and after. We are still under the rule of corrupt officials. We still cry for freedom. Too much freedom has entail conflict. We still demand our rigths are being abused. Criminals are more daring and lurks infinitely. Our standard of living continue to deteriorate. The masses remain the cellar-dwellers. Justice is no longer a viable discipline to have faith with. Politics has become a medium of evil.
I am not a Marcos loyalist nor have I affiliation with any political party. I only claim that Martial Law under the former President has contributed immensely to my evolution and discovery.
Excerpt of the famous prayer;
"Father of all mankind, we ask you to look down upon your people, and fill our hearts with your spirit, that we may have the grace and the wisdom to look into ourselves, and in so doing see our weaknesses and our strengths.
So many of us have lived in corruption, greed and violence, forgetting that this nation - or any other nation - cannot survive and grow and prosper unless we learn to live as brothers, striving not for our selfish ends, but for the common good.
Give us strength to rebuild our lives, leaving forever our selfish, corrupt and derelict ways. Make us see what we are and what we could be, open our eyes, our minds and our hearts to do the things that need to be done, and the things that we can do to make this rich and beautiful land a joy and comfort to all our people.
We have set for ourselves great and never-ending tasks; stand by us in our labors and teach us not to weary nor to lose faith, neither to seek rewards beyond what is just but rather to see in our work the full measures of our own reward and to see in it the full expressions of ourselves.
When the day’s toil is ended, teach us to look to the morrow’s labor as a part of our continuing sacrifice; bring us not to the temptation of luxury, ease, nor privilege; nor to the blandishments of power or comfort that corrupt, but make of us a sturdy race, self-reliant, cheerful and upright.
Teach those who lead to act with firmness but with humility, with humility but with wisdom, with wisdom but with justice, and with justice but with compassion, and teach those who follow the true duties of being men and being members of a community of men.
Cleanse us of our anger, our bitterness, and our recriminations of the past, spare us the doubts and anxieties of the present, and purify us for our sacrifice so that we may raise a people who will be their own strength today, and their own warranty against the future."
Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos