Man-Made Environmental Disasters

Whether directly or indirectly, intentional or unintentional, through negligence or even with due diligence, humans are especially skillful at creating disasters, a truth that is quite evident throughout history. As follows are but some of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history.

Love Canal Toxic Landfill


During the 1940s, Hooker Chemical and Plastics Corporation used Love Canal, a sparsely populated area located in Niagara Falls New York, as a chemical dump site lining it with impermeable concrete. However, residential and school constructions in the 1950s resulted in many breaches of the protective lining, gradually seeping out toxic wastes into the soil polluting the groundwater and the air. Of the 240 buried chemicals that had been identified, eleven were suspected carcinogens, notably benzene, which can cause serious health problems. According to a report, the residents were stricken with a disturbingly high rate of miscarriages, birth defects, nervous disorders and cancers. Love Canal has become a testimony to one of the greatest human blunders and of the constant need for seeking environmentally safe ways of managing toxic waste.

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster


In 1986, one of the reactors of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine exploded due to an experiment gone horribly wrong, reactor design defects and total disregard of safety measures. Considered to be the worst ever nuclear power accident, the explosion spewed out large amounts of radioactive particles that spread over parts of western former Soviet Union, Europe, and eastern North America. It caused major economic losses and raised serious environmental concerns that include the long-term effects of radiation exposure not only on peoples health but also on the regions agriculture, food consumption, aquatic systems, and flora and fauna. Birth deformities and respiratory-related deaths among the very young and the elderly have been estimated to be in the tens of thousands and are believed to be attributable to this particular event.

Bhopal Disaster


A dangerous chemical reaction occurred when water leaked into a storage tank of Union Carbide resulting in an explosion that released around 43 tons of methyl isocyanate, a highly toxic gas, contaminating the air and water of the city of Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh in 1984. Primary causes of what can be regarded as one of the worst industrial environmental disasters on record included safety rules leniency and lack of equipment maintenance due to cost cutting measures. Around 20,000 have died due to exposure in the next 20 years since the tragedy; and still more than 100,000 are being poisoned and suffering from debilitating diseases today due to inadequate cleanup.

Prestige Oil Spill

Image sourcePrestige was the name of a Greek-ran single-hulled oil tanker that did not live up to its name. In 2002, the tankers seaworthiness was so severely compromised by bad weather that the captain sought to dock at nearby harbors. But the Spanish, French and Portuguese government refused to allow its entry into their ports for fear of contamination of their coastlines. The ship eventually split in two and sank off the Galician coast gradually spilling 74,000 tons of heavy fuel oil into the sea. More than half of the 1,000 beaches along Spanish and French Atlantic coast were affected; about 100,000 birds died particularly the Guillemot, Razorbill and Puffin; and coral reefs, many species of sharks and other marine life are still slowly being poisoned. The spill is the largest environmental disaster in the history of Europe.

Baia Mare Cyanide Disaster

Gold cyanidation is a very common metallurgical process that uses cyanide, a highly poisonous substance, for extracting gold from mineral ores. This highly controversial method enables miners to remove the last remnants of gold and silver from discarded mine tailings. In 2000, a rupture from a defective tailings dam of a gold mining operation of the Australian-Romanian joint venture AURUL in Baia Mare Romania sent tons of heavy metal wastes and around 120,000 cubic meters of water saturated with cyanide into the Somes, Tisza and Danube rivers resulting in massive devastation of aquatic life, especially in neighboring Hungary and Serbia. Thanks to speedy response of the Romanian authorities, no casualties were reported except for a few children who were hospitalized for eating fishes from affected rivers. Shortly after the accident, cyanide levels were found to be 700 times and 300 times above pollution standards in nearby river water and in Hungary, respectively. Copper and zinc concentrations exceeded the pollution threshold many times as well.

Southern Leyte Mudslide

In February 2006, a deadly rockslide-debris avalanche befell my fellow Filipino compatriots in Southern Leyte province of the Philippines following more than a week long heavy rains and a minor earthquake measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale causing widespread destruction and loss of life. Loose rock and soil debris buried the mountain village of Guinsaugon in the town of Saint Bernard including an entire elementary school of around 250 students in session. Around 200 had been confirmed dead but more than 1,500 are still missing to this day. Deforestation of the area by illegal loggers and extensive mining in the area three decades earlier had taken its toll, and together with the heavy rains and earthquake created the perfect combination for such a disaster to happen. Indeed, this was a very disturbing result of irresponsible exploitation of the earths natural resources.

Agent Orange

Between 1961 and 1971, during the Vietnam Conflict, the United States military under its Herbicidal Warfare Program sprayed more than 10 million gallons of Agent Orange, a potent defoliant and herbicide containing dioxin, over large areas of South Vietnam to destroy forests and crops that provided cover for Viet Cong guerrillas. Dioxin exposure, whether directly or indirectly through ingestion of food grown on affected soil, has been linked to a variety of cancers, blood and nerve disorders. Increased occurrence of birth defects, infant death, mental retardation and childhood cancers in the area have been noted. This herbicide is still causing indescribable sufferings to war veterans and civilians more than 3 decades after the conclusion of Vietnam War.

Landmines

Landmines are devices designed to explode in the presence or contact of any moving object. There are around 100 million of these explosive devices entrenched into the ground during conflicts all over the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, South America and Africa. They are not only murderers and maimers of innocent civilians long after conflicts have ceased; they have also contributed to the destruction of wildlife, resulting in disruption to a regions ecological balance. Due to fear, arable lands are left untilled, depriving people of livelihood. In time, their corrosion and possible leakage of heavy metals and toxic substances will pollute rivers and degrade soil.

Global Warming

Global Warming is one issue that has raised much concern today. There is no longer any question about whos to blame for our current predicament. There is mounting evidence that human carelessness toward nature have resulted in the increase of the Earths average temperature due to steadily rising concentration of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, since the Industrial Revolution took effect in the late eighteenth century. Not only that, global warming has dreadful consequences, which have become more apparent in recent years; they include rapidly melting polar ice caps that cause sea levels to rise; increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events (floods, droughts, super typhoons, etc); mass specie extinctions; and widespread epidemics, among others. Although not all these events can be directly traced to global warming, but many scientists are convinced that they will become more frequent, should the worlds temperature continue to increase.

The History Of Pencils

Pencil History: The Earliest Forms of Self Expression

Did you know that modern pencils owe it all to an ancient Roman writing instrument called a stylus? Scribes used this thin metal rod to leave a light, but readable mark on papyrus (an early form of paper). Other early styluses were made of lead, which is what we still call pencil cores, even though they actually are made of non-toxic graphite. But pencil history doesn’t stop there…

Graphite came into widespread use following the discovery of a large graphite deposit in Borrowdale, England in 1564. Appreciated for leaving a darker mark than lead, the mineral proved so soft and brittle that it required a holder. Originally, graphite sticks were wrapped in string. Later, the graphite was inserted into hollowed-out wooden sticks and, thus, the wood-cased pencil was born!

Nuremberg, Germany was the birthplace of the first mass-produced pencils in 1662. Spurred by Faber-Castell (established in 1761), Lyra, Steadtler and other companies, an active pencil industry developed throughout the 19th century industrial revolution.

Pencil History: America Expresses Itself

Early settlers depended on pencils from overseas until the war with England cut off imports. William Monroe, a Concord, Massachusetts cabinet-maker, is credited with making America’s first wood pencils in 1812. Another Concord native, famous author Henry David Thoreau, was also renowned for his pencil-making prowess.

Click here to learn more about famous pencil people through history.

The American pencil industry took off when The Joseph Dixon Crucible Company (now Dixon Ticonderoga) and more pencil manufacturers started getting into the act and, towards the end of the 19th century, New York and New Jersey hosted several factories established by prominent German pencil manufacturers, including Faber-Castell, Eberhard Faber, Eagle Pencil Company (later Berol) and General Pencil Company.

The first mass-produced pencils were natural and unpainted to show off high-quality wood casings. But, by the 1890s, many pencil manufacturers started painting pencils and imprinting them with brand names. There’s an interesting story behind how the familiar yellow pencil came to be.

Click here to find out why pencils are yellow.

Pencil History: Following the Wood

Early American pencils were made from Eastern Red Cedar, a strong, splinter-resistant wood that grew in Tennessee and other parts of the Southeastern United States. To be nearer to the source, Northern manufacturers migrated south and set up wood mills until, eventually, the greatest concentration of U.S. pencil manufacturers had established factories in Tennessee. To this day, U.S. producers are primarily concentrated in the South.

By the early 1900s, however, additional sources of wood were needed. Pencil manufacturers turned to California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, where they found Incense-cedar, a species that grew in abundance and made superior pencils. California Incense-cedar soon became the wood of choice for domestic and international pencil makers around the world.

To ensure the continued availability of Incense-cedar, forest workers have carefully managed the stands of trees, and timber companies have committed to harvesting Incense-cedar on a sustained-yield basis. “Sustained-yield” means that the annual growth of the forest is greater than the amount harvested from the forest. Forests managed on a sustained-yield basis are abundant and healthy, and will continue to provide wood for people and habitats for animals for generations to come.

Pencil History: A Global Industry

The history of the pencil industry includes a great number of important companies and brands from around the world. Many now have factories globally. Factors contributing to the challenging impact of globalization, resulting in a great shift of pencil production increasingly being concentrated in Asia over the past 20 years, include:
• The reduction of trade barriers
• The introduction of containerized shipments of goods overseas
• The comparative differences in raw material costs between countries
and the lower cost of transporting people and information around the world.

Saucy Seaside Postcards

A stay at a British holiday resort always involved a look at the postcard racks outside the shops that lined the seafront.

As a young lad the scantily clad women on the cards were eye opening and as a slightly older young lad, the innuendoes were well worth a titter behind the card rack. Of course you didn’t pick one of those to buy, not in front of mum and dad; you chose a nice view of the resort. Then you took it back to where you were staying to write out to send to your friend back home.

If you were feeling kind, the message usually was “Having a nice time, wish you were here.” However if you were that way out, and wanted to remind him that he wasn’t on holiday while you were then it would be, “Having a fantastic time. Wish you were here?”

By the time you were into your teens then inevitably you’d be bold enough to pick and send one of the saucy ones.

During the holiday season I’m sure delivering the mail gave the postman a bit of a giggle.

The Benny Hill type humour reflected British humour that was popular in the late fifties, sixties and seventies and seen in the popular “Carry On” series of films.

They usually contained buxom women, hen pecked husbands and “courting” couples, and always the innuendo or double entendre.

The postcard first appeared in the mid nineteenth century.

In “A brief history of the picture postcard” by Judith & Stephen Holder (FRPS) they write:  “The creation of the postcard by Dr Emanuel Hermann in Austria on 1 October 1869 set in motion a revolution in the communication of the ordinary message of no especial importance, the private note, the mundane or jolly remark, the ‘wish you were here’ – indeed any short note for which no real ’security’ was required.

Almost all the main developments in the artistic designs of Postcard art originated on the continent, in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. The two main exceptions which developed in Great Britain were the Comic card and to some extent the Real Photograph cards of social, industrial and village history.”

Jonathan Duffy (BBC News Online) quotes from a book by Collector Tom Phillips.

“They were classless, and the limited space was a blessing to those with poor spelling or without much to say. “

In an essay in 1941, the renowned author George Orwell wrote:

“Who does not know the ‘comics’ of the cheap stationers’ windows, the penny or twopenny coloured post cards with their endless succession of fat women in tight bathing-dresses and their crude drawing and unbearable colours, chiefly hedge-sparrow’s-egg tint and Post Office red?”

“In general, however, they are not witty, but humorous, and it must be said for McGill’s post cards, in particular, that the drawing is often a good deal funnier than the joke beneath it.”

Donald McGill ,was one of several notable illustrators, who among others included Tom Browne, John Hassall, Bruce Bairnsfather and Alfred Lees.  Unfortunately for McGill he was the unlucky one.

In the 1950’s there was a public morals backlash and Watch Committees were set up in seaside resorts. This led to the 81 year old McGill being prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act of 1857, and several of his cards being destroyed.

These are some of them:






They seem somewhat tame by today’s standards. It was enough however to cause confusion to the shop owners selling them and to cause several printers to cease trading.

After a couple of years this “do-gooder” attitude subsided and the illustrators and printers were back in business.

How are postcards faring in today’s “techno” climate?

In a recent survey the broadcaster ITV said that the number of postcards sent has dropped by 75 per cent. It showed that 67 per cent of those surveyed used emails or photos while on holiday, to keep in touch with family and friends.

And Donald McGill?

In 1994 the Royal Mail brought out a set of commemorative stamps featuring McGill’s postcards.


So Mr. McGill eventually had the last laugh.

Self portrait of Donald McGill.

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler

The 2008 Tom Cruise movie “Valkrie” tells a story on how a military conspirational group led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg planned to assassinate German dictator and fascist Adolf Hitler. This attempt was not the first plot to kill Hitler. Here are some of the most notable plots.

The 2008 Tom Cruise movie “Valkrie” tells a story on how a military conspirational group led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg planned to assassinate German dictator and fascist Adolf Hitler. This attempt was not the first plot to kill Hitler. According to National Geographic, there were 42 discovered plots to kill Hitler and none was successful. Here are some of the most notable plots.

Maurice Bavaud (Munich, 9th November 1938)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Maurice Bavaud

 
Being a Swiss Roman Chatolic citizen and having attended Saint Ilan Seminary in Brittany France, Bavaud believed that Hitler was a thread to mankind and most importantly to Chatolic church in Switzerland and Germany. Bavaud became obsessed with the idea of killing Hitler and planned to do the assassination himself.

Bavaud planned to shot Hitler when marching in a parade called “Reichskristallnactht” in the city of Munich on 9th November 1938 . By posing as a Swiss reporter, Bavaud managed to get a VIP seat. Unexpectedly, Hitler changed his marching position to the far end of the street instead of in the middle. Bavaud tried to pull out his gun from inside his pocket but just when Hitler marched past him, the entire bystander reached out their arms for the Hittler’s salute, thus hindering Bavaud from taking the shot. But even if he made the shot, it would have failed anyway since the distance between him and Hitler was too wide to make the shot deadly.

After his first failure, Bavaud tried to follow Hittler’s move in order to get close enough to him. His attempts were never successful. Finally he ran out of money and took a train trip to Paris without buying ticket. The conductor turned him over to the police. Upon the discovery of the gun amongst Bavaud’s belonging, the police turned him over to the Gestapo. Swiss government had done nothing to save him. On 14th May 1941, Bavaud was beheaded by guillotine.

 Georg Elser, (Burberbraukeller, Munich, 8th November 1939)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Georg Elser

Image via DamnInteresting

Elser was a German citizen who was afraid that Hitler would bring devastation to Germany. He had no religious motive, instead he mainly concerned about labour issues. Elser despised restricted worker’s freedom, poor working condition and low wages. His skill as carpenter and previous working experience in a watch factory gave him the ability to build a wooden time bomb.

Elser planned to assassinate Hitler when giving annual speech in Burberbraukeller, a large beer hall in Munich, which was one of the gathering places of Nazi Party. Elser got this idea when he was attending the 1938’s Nazi gathering in that place and noted that the event was poorly guarded. In November 1938 Elser came to Munich and managed to stay inside Burberbraukeller. Every night he crawled into a hollow space behind a column where Hitler would give his speech. His bomb was so carefully made. Until today it is still consider a work of art. On 5th November 1939, the 50 kg bomb was completely installed. Elser set the bomb to explode at 21.20 on 8 November 1839.

Unexpectedly, in the last moment, Hitler decided to take late night train to get back to Berlin as Munich Airport was closed due to bad weather. Consequently he had to end his speech at 21.07. Thirteen minutes earlier than anticipated. At exactly 21.20 the bomb exploded killing 8 people and injuring more than 60 others. Elser’s assassination plan that would have changed history was failed. At the time of explosion, Elser was already on his way to Switzerland. He was arrested by the police when trying to cross the border. Elser was transferred to Munich and interrogated by Gestapo. He finally confessed. He was shot to death in 1945 only three weeks before the end of war in Dachau concentration camp.

Polish Army (Warsaw 5th October 1939)

In September 1939 Hitler’s troops invaded Poland. Polish Army, however, managed to continue their underground activity during the war. The underground army planned to assassinate Hitler during a Victory parade in Warsaw by planting a bomb in Square Charles de Gaulles. The bomb failed to explode.

Soviet Inteligence (1940s)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Olga Checkova

Image source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olga_Chekhova

The soviet recruited Olga Checkova, a Russian-born actress who fled to and gain recognition in Berlin, as spy. Checkova was recruited due to her good relationship with Hitler. Soviet intelligence asked Checkova to introduce Hitler to two assassins. The plan was abandoned when the Russian started to win the war.

Foxley Operation (1944)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Hitler’s Berghof.

Image source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berghof_(Hitler)

British Government through its Special Operation Executive (SOE) also planned to assassinate Hitler. The SOE first planned to put bombs in train that Hitler travelled in. This plan was abandoned because Hitler’s train schedule was never predictable and too irregular. The second plan was to poison Hitler’s food and beverage while he was travelling by train. Once again, this plan was abandoned as the SOE would require an inside man. The third plan which was considered the most acceptable was to assign a sniper to shot Hitler.

From a prisoner of war who had been part of Hitler’s security guard, the SOE obtained information of Hitler activities at the Berghof, a vocational place regularly visited by Hitler. It was revealed that at 10 AM everyday, Hitler would take his private walk around the woods, unguarded and out of sight of sentry posts. A Nazi flag visible from a nearby café was put up every time Hitler was there. The SOE planned to send 2 men wearing a German uniform by parachute into the area surrounding the compound.

Although Churhill favored the plan, not all SOE’s executive supported it. Many still believed that with the war almost over, it would not be a good idea to assassinate Hitler. Killing Hitler would make him sort of a martyr to some Germans and Nazism would probably live on. No decision was reached and the plan was never executed.

Henning Von Tresckow (1941 – 1944)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Henning Von Tresckow

Image source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henning_von_Tresckow

Tresckow came from a Prussian noble family with long military tradition. He didn’t like the cruelty shown by Hitler’s regime in particular when Hitler started the mass shooting towards Jewish woman and children. Tresckow made numerous attempts to kill Hitler from 1941 – 1944.

In August 1941, Tresckow and his cousin Schlabrendroff planned to kidnap Hitler when travelling to Heeresgruppe Mitte. The plan failed because of high security. On March 1943 Tresckow concealed a plastic bomb in a package purportedly contained cognac bottles and tried to place it in Hitler’s Condor plane. The bomb failed to explode because the luggage compartment where the package was located was not heated. The low temperature had prevented the bomb from detonating. Schlabrendroff retrieved the package from the plane to prevent the discovery of the plot. A week after this failed plot, Tresckow made another attempt to blow Hitler. This time, the execution of the plan was on the hand of Gersdorff, Tresckow’s friend and ally.

Rudolf von Gersdorff (March 1943)

Gersdorff intended to do a suicide bombing. He carried 8 ounces C2 bomb and hide it in his pocket. He was a tour guide when Hitler visited Zeughaus Berlin to inspect Soviet captured weapons. His plan was to throw himself around Hitler after Hitler made his speech and blew the bomb that would surely kill them both. The bomb was set to explode within 10 minutes after the detonator was activated. Unexpectedly, Hitler ended the tour sooner than expected. Probably because he felt Gersdorff,s anxiety. Gersdorff managed to diffuse the bomb in a public lavatory. He evaded suspicion and become one of few German Military anti Hitler plotter who survive the war.

Claus Von Stauffenberg (20 July 1944)

Eight Most Notable Unsuccessful Attempts to Kill Hitler
Claus Von Stauffenberg

Image source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henning_von_Tresckow
Born into an aristocrat Catholic family; Stauffenberg felt uneasy towards Hitler’s ill-treatment of Jews. Finally, his personal sense of justice and religious morality made him turn against Hitler.

Stauffenberg named his assassination plan “Valkrie Operation”. This is perhaps the most famous plot to kill Hitler. Stauffenberg planned to conceal two bombs in a briefcase and put it in the briefing room in Wolfsschanze, one of Nazi’s Headquarters, when Hitler held a meeting there on 20 July 1944.Because there was not enough time to arm the second bomb before the meeting began, only one bomb was successfully carried into the briefing room. Stauffenberg placed the briefcase as close as possible to Hittler and hurriedly excused himself. Unexpectedly, after his exit from the room, Colonel Brandt moved the briefcase away from its intended position.

The bomb exploded. Stauffenberg watched the explosion and convinced himself that no one could have survived the blast. He was wrong. He was in Berlin to initiate a military coup against Nazi’s leaders when he heard the news that Hitler suffered only minor injury. Scientist believes that the existence of windows on the walls of the meeting room had reduced the power of explosion. Moreover, the wrong placement of the bomb caused a heavy and solid oak conference table to form a shield that protected Hitler. Modern computer simulation shows that if only the second bomb were also used, the blast would have killed Hitler. Stauffenberg was shot to death.

Besides the above attempt, there are still numerous plots to kill Hitler, from bombing to poisoning. Although all have failed, it shows the world that not all German citizens or their military supported Hitler’s conduct and ideology.

Tiananmen Square 2

A Moral Fight to an Unreasonable End.

In 1989, the people of China were fighting the injustice of their communist government in Tiananmen Square. Their rights were being oppressed and they wanted the ability to run their own lives. The students at the protest had elected representatives to speak up against their communist leader. They wanted China to accept the reforms they protested for, but more than that they wanted the rest of the world to realize that China’s communist government was ruining the country. The protestors of Tiananmen Square used reasonable means of protesting to gain the rights that they did not have because they were never trying to harm anybody in their process of achieving freedom. To gain these liberties, the people protested together at Tiananmen Square, wrote petitions against the government, and went on a hunger strike.

The first way that the college students of China protested against their government was by gathering at Tiananmen Square. First, in April 17, 10,000 students had met up at Tiananmen Square to protest. This shows that so many people of China wanted a change in government and that the government was ruling unfairly. They were not trying to harm anybody by gathering together. They were only there to mourn for the death of Hu Yaobang and to protest for a democracy. Also, these students began to sing hymns that had lyrics that fought communism and promoted democracy. This portrays the fact that the people were so propelled by their beliefs of a need for democracy that they were compelled to sing out their feelings for a new government. Once again, they were not trying to kill anybody with their singing. They were only trying to let out their emotions to the world to let others know what they desired. Finally, the students carved out a giant statue that stood for liberty and democracy. This reinforces the fact that they wanted a democratic government because they were trying to mimic the Statue of Liberty to get the rest of the world and the US to notice their plea for a fair government. In the end, the government did notice their protesting, but the people of China did not gain anything out of it. They were only massacred later on for their insolence and betrayal against the government even though the students had not tried to harm anybody.

The second thing the students did was to make petitions and posters to protest against the government. Petitions are a moral way to call against the injustice of a nation because nobody is harmed in doing so. First, on the first day of the gathering at Tiananmen Square, the students immediately began to make a petition of demands that they wanted. It was a way to get the world to realize that so many people wanted a change in government. Second, the students began making posters and banners that called for freedom, democracy, and enlightenment. They hung them up on the imitation Statue of Liberty to attract the attention of the government. They also wanted the people of the world to see those banners and realize how badly the people of China wanted a democracy. Finally, on May 9, the students petitioned for the freedom to report the protest to the world. They wanted to tell everybody that the government was oppressing them. None these tactics worked because they angered the government and ended up being slaughtered in their own protesting grounds.

Finally, the students that were protesting went on a hunger strike. On May 13, the students began a hunger strike in order to get the government to meet with them. In a sense this was an unmoral tactic to force the government to notice them because they were risking human lives, but the end justifies the means and their reason for a hunger strike was moral. Then on May 14, the students were allowed to talk to the government leaders because the hunger strike convinced the government to talk with them. Unfortunately the negotiations failed and the students were left with nothing. They had a chance to make changes to China, but a stubborn Communist Government prevented them from doing so. Finally in May 18, Li Peng tried to stop the students from their strike, but the students won’t stop their protesting and the government prepared for martial law. The length of the hunger strike most definitely forced the government to take extreme means to stop the strike. After all, if the government let the people die from starving themselves, the international press would print bad reviews on China to the rest of the world. This means that the people of China brought the massacre upon themselves when they tried to protest by the means of a hunger strike.

The student protestors at Tiananmen Square were never trying to harm the government from the start because that would not have solved anything and that means that the protestors’ tactics of fighting for their cause was just. All three of their tactics to protest against their government were moral, but going on a hunger strike brought about their protest’s failure. The government could not afford the deaths of human lives that they would not be able to cover up later, so their final resort was to use martial law. Although the protestors used just ways of fighting, the government they were fighting only did whatever it could to stop the protesting.

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Chinoy, Mike. “Two Decades in the Heart of the Dragon: China Live.”

This book told me that on the students sang hymns to try to protest for a democracy (185), and that on April 17 the students began their petition of demands for the changes they wanted in their government (188). Also it told me that on May 9, the students tried to petition for the freedom to report about the protest to the world. And finally, it said that the students made posters and banners that had freedom, democracy, and enlightenment written on them (190).

Peng, Li. “Li Peng and Others Meet Representatives of the Fasting Students.” Tiananmen Chronology. 18 Dec. 2008 .

This site told me about all 3 of the specific examples on the tactic of hunger strike. It said that the people began a protest on May 13 to try to meet the government, that on May 14 the students talked to the government, and on May 18, Li Peng tried to stop the students’ hunger strike.

Secondary Sources

“‘History written in Blood.’” Hong Kong Alliance. 18 Dec. 2008 .

This site told me that on April 17, ten thousand students had gathered at Tiananmen Square to protest and that by April 18, there were tens of thousands of students there. Also, it told me that they had made an imitation Statue of Liberty to protest against their communist government.

10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Mesopotamia

These are some of the strangest facts involving the worlds first civilization!

1. Mesopotamian Religion did not believe in the after-life. They believed that all good and bad people go under-ground as ghosts and eat dirt.

2. Their religion also believed that they were servants of god. If you were to ask a person today why they are here they would say because god loves me. Back in Mesopotamia they would say to be a servant of the gods. Talk about population control!

3. Mesopotamia invented the wheel, plow, irrigation systems and the sailboat!

4. Priests would read the livers of chickens or lambs to see what the gods wanted for sacrifices.

5. Priests controlled the irrigation systems and also had more power than the king and queen!

6. Mesopotamia was the very first civilization.

7. The Mesopotamian king ordered the construction of the Hanging Gardens for his wife because she grew up in the mountains and was homesick!

8. Mesopotamia was made up of individual City-states controlled by different powers. They would eventually attack each other and end up under 1 ruler. The people would retaliate and go back to being city-states. This process was repeated many times.

9. Each City-state had its own god!

10. In the Mesopotamian religion there are 4 main gods of Earth, Water, Air and the Heavens. And there were 3,000 lesser gods and each represented an everyday item like a pickaxe. If you were mining and the pickaxe slipped and fell on your foot, the god of the pickaxe hated you!

So there you have it.  The Egyptians were not the only super interesting civilization in the ancient history.

The Mortuary Temple of The Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut

A thousand shades of sandy-brown. Only two miles from the Nile and all hint of green is gone. It is easy to see why the ancient Egyptians called the desiccated ground either side of their narrow fertile strip the Red Lands, from which our word ‘desert’ is said to derive. And since the sun set in the west the western desert was the land of the dead. Here, on the opposite side of the Niles from the great cities lie complexes of tombs and mortuary temples, none more spectacular than the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, the Pharaoh Queen.


View of the mortuary temple complex

Hatshepsut was one of the few female pharaohs, reigning for about 21 years up to 1458 BC, in the period of ancient Egypt known as the New Kingdom, the time when the Egyptian Empire grew to its greatest extent. A daughter of the old pharaoh Thutmose I by one of his main wives, she married one of her half brothers as his main wife, bolstering his claim to the throne (he was the son of the pharaoh by a minor wife). Her husband / half brother became Thutmose II but he soon died and his son by a lesser wife became the official pharaoh, Thutmose III, with his Hatshepsut as regent because he was still a child.

Hatshepsut seems to have become rather fond of power and soon styled herself pharaoh instead, holding onto the throne even when her son reached the age of majority. Apart from being one of the few female pharaohs, she is famous for sending a large trade expedition to the ‘Land of Punt,’ which brought back many different exotic goods, illustrated on the walls of the temple.

 

The inscriptions from her time aren’t detailed enough to say for definite where Punt was, but leading contenders are Somalia and Ethiopia, with Arabia as another possibility. What is definite is that during her time Egypt was rich and well connected in trade. Wall paintings of piles of goods make it clear what a variety there was to be had for those with the wealth.

 photo 2Hatshepsutboatpainting.jpg

Wall painting from the temple of piles of grave goods

Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple nestles at the bottom of the cliffs that separate the Nile valley from the high desert plateau beyond. It is built in a series of layers, each a large open square, leading up to the main buildings right up against the cliffs. These consists of a long central open corridor with statues of Hatshepsut in the form of the god Osiris and several individual temples to the side.

The main corridor, with statues of Hatshepsut in the form of the god Osiris

It was common for pharaohs, who claimed to be half divine by birth and to ascend to the divine when they died, to depict themselves in the form of gods. Nothing illustrates the quiet alien concepts of their religion and philosophy more than this. Imagine the fuss nowadays if a ruler depicted himself or herself in the form of a god!

One should remember that this is a mortuary temple and not a tomb. Hatshepsut was never buried here. This place was where she would have been prepared for burial and where, for years afterwards, priests would pray for her soul. The concept is similar to a medieval king dedicating a chapel and paying for a priest to sing masses for his soul after his death.

What is truly astonishing about the place is colour of the painted wall carvings, dulled only slightly by the passing of three and a half millennia. One moment, the centuries seem to lie lightly, the merest veil of fine Egyptian gauze separating now from then. The next, the full weight of all those years hits you, and you gasp with wonder.

Ancient Warriors: Nine Deadly Weapons Blast From the Past

Those ancient warriors may not have been the most subtle fighters around, but they they sure had some bad-ass weapons. I guess for the ancients, desperate times called for desperate measures, as you will see from these murderous military weapons.

  1. Triple Morning Star


    This Ancient Weapon known as the Mace comes from the Medieval Age. This weapon was very deadly and consisted of a wood or metal shaft with a mounted head of bronze, copper, wood, or steel. The mace was carried and used by both foot soldiers and Calvary men. Maces were very effective in battle and could puncture even the heaviest of armor. This was a barbaric weapon and left battlefields filled with torture and blood.

  2. Hawaiian Throwing Axe


    This Hawaiian Throwing Axe was a deadly hand held weapon that could be used at both short and long range. This weapon was made out of wood and shark teeth had the power to take men’s limbs off. This weapon was mainly used when opposing Hawaiian armies closed upon each other. They were then thrown at the opposing troops to help soften enemy ranks before close combat. They could also be used in hand to hand combat and had the muscle to rip open skin as if it was butter. This was a very dangerous weapon and is not something you would want to go up against.

  3. Hunga Munga


    The Hunga Munga is an African tribal weapon that is way ahead of its time. It is a handheld weapon and contains a metal pointed blade with a curved back section and separate spike near the handle. This weapon was used in fighting between African tribes and was often times throw in a rotating motion causing deep wounds and even death. Its variation of blades allowed it to be used as more then a weapon. It was used as a tool in farming and even in building structures. It was a great all around tool and has been found all throughout Africa. Today you may have seen the Hunga Munga in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy uses it once in a while to fight off evil demons that she faces.

  4. Throwing Star


    The throwing star known as the shuriken which means “a dagger hidden in a palm” were used and invented by the Japanese. The stars had much variation in the shape; some were shaped like a star and thrown with spin, yet others were needlelike and thrown like a throwing dagger. These daggers couldn’t penetrate armor, but the ninjas, who used them, usually didn’t fight armored opponents. Venom was normally used with the shuriken.

  5. Caltrop


    The Caltrop is a weapon made up of two or more sharp spikes or spines arranged so that one of them points upward from a stable base. Caltrops serve to slow down the proceeding of horses, war elephants, and human troops. It was said to be particularly effective against the soft feet of camels. These were very painful if stepped on and were spread all throughout battle fields. They also were deadly because if stepped on it would cause a bad infection that would cause a slow agonizing death. They also have been used in modern times. In the Vietnam War the Vietcong put them into booby traps. If an American soldier was punctured by one he died from infection almost 90% of the time.

  6. Crossbow Pistol


    This 17th Century Crossbow was way ahead of its time and is very cool. This crossbows look like an early form of a pistol and was very powerful. This hand held crossbow was both accurate and effective but it just was too hard to reload. Because of this it was not used very often in battle and was used more for target practice. Another problem with this weapon was making the arrows which was to time consuming especially if they were just going to get lost in battle. Overall this weapon was still badass and really shows what type of technology and ideas the 17th Century had.

  7. Trebuchet


    A trebuchet is basically a high powered catapult and had many uses in ancient times. Mainly used as a weapon it had enough power to break through castles and destroy towns. It was first used in the 16th Century. Rocks, dead horses, dead people, and dead animals were all used as ammo. In the 16th and 17th Century when plagues and diseases were looming over civilizations plagued bodies were thrown by the trebuchet into enemy territory. The bodies decomposed passing the plague to the enemies slowly killing them. This is one of the first forms of biological warfare.]

  8. Ancient Rocket Launcher


    In the 14th century, the Chinese invented rocket-launchers. These were weapons which shot arrows with rockets attached near the tip into the air toward the enemy. Also in the 14th century, multi-stage rockets were made. When the rockets near the front of the device burnt out, they lit fuses for the second-stage rockets at the back. The bombs the Chinese used in the 17th century were made of gunpowder wrapped in paper and had a fuse covered in gunpowder.

  9. Ancient Flame-Thrower


    The Chinese invented the continuous flame-thrower in the tenth century. In the picture above we see the tank standing on four legs, with the pump and device above it. Because the Chinese invention of a double-acting Piston-bellows was used with this device, a continuous stream of flame could be emitted. The metal used was brass. The Flame-Thrower was used in naval or boat combat and allowed the Chinese to easily set enemy ships on fire and sink them on the spot. It was a great technology and has been used ever since.

Christopher Columbus and the Genocide of the Taino Nation

Obsessed with finding a sea rout to Asia and the Far East, Columbus set out on his ‘Enterprise of the Indies’ in 1492, backed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.  However, instead of finding a rout to the rich trade in the East, Columbus and his crew discovered the New World, and soon set about subjugating and murdering the local population and removing the vast wealth from the land.

Columbus discovering the New World.  Image Source

A small colony was established in Hispaniola consisting of thirty-nine of his crew, the rest returned to Spain with Columbus along with gold, spices and natives taken as slaves to be given as gifts for his royal patrons.

The following year, he led a second expedition comprising of seventeen large ships and one and half thousand new colonists, arriving in the Americas a month later.  By the time he got back to Hispaniola, his men there had been slaughtered by the locals and a second colony was founded.

Columbus punished the local tribe, known as the Taino, severely.  He enslaved many and executed many more; according to Ward Churchill, former professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, by 1496, the population had been reduced from as many as eight million to around three million.

On his third expedition, he explored the region before returning to Hispaniola in 1498 where he had left his brothers in charge, Diego and Bartholomew.  Conditions there were in decline so he stepped up the terror campaign against the Taino, ruling with an iron hand causing resentment from the colonists and local chiefs alike.  Complaints of his brutality got back to the Spanish monarchs and in 1500 they sent a Chief Justice to bring him and his brothers back to Spain in chains.

Columbus in chains.  Image Source

However he was released on his arrival and allowed a fourth and final expedition, which he conducted with the same brutality as previous ones.  By the time he finally left in 1504, the Taino had been reduced to around 100,000 people arguably making Columbus a war criminal by today’s standards and  guilty of committing some of the worst atrocities against another race in history.

Some were killed directly as punishments for ‘crimes’ such as not paying tribute to the invaders.  Many who could not or would not pay had their hands cut off and were left to bleed to death.  Columbus and his men are documented by the chronicles of Las Casas, know as Brev’sima relaci-n,  to have partaken in mass hangings, roasting people on spits, burnings at the stake and even hacking young children to death and feeding them to dogs as punishment for the most minor of crimes. The Spanish masters massacred the natives, sometimes hundreds at a time for sport, making bets on who could split a man in two, or cut a head off in one blow.

Taino people being tortured by the Spanish.   Image Source

Defenders of Columbus argue that a large amount of the victims were killed by disease however they fail to recognize that most of these diseases were caused by poor living conditions in forced labour camps.  Deprived of their crops and fields, many fell prey to dysentery and typhus, were worked to death or were left to starve to death.

After his death his terrible legacy would live on, by 1514, a census showed only 22,000 Taino remained alive.  By 1542 there were only 200 remaining and after they were considered extinct, as was becoming more and more the case throughout the Caribbean basin.

In around fifty years Columbus and those that followed him had all but eliminated a population of around fifteen million people.  This process was just the start and an estimated 100 million people were wiped out by Europeans in the so called ‘civilisation’ of the Western Hemisphere making the discovery of the New World the start of what was arguably the worst case of mass genocide in history.

Anarchism: The First Great Terror

The Propaganda of the Deed.

At a time when we are often warned of the heightened threat of global terrorism and of the drastic measures required to combat it, it is worth remembering that the use of terror to achieve political ends is not a recent phenomena. At the turn of the 19th century there was a political ideology that perceived murder and assassination, not as the means to an end, but as a path to salvation. Anarchists would make their mark on political history through propaganda by deed. Here I highlight just a few of the most notorious deeds, of what was to be the first great terror.

1)  I March, 1881, Tsar Alexander II of Russia is blown apart by a bomb thrown by Ignacy Hrnywiecki (see related article) of Narodnya i Volya (The People’s Will).

2) 11March, 1892, the French anarchist Ravachol (related article) bombs the Lobau Barracks in Paris.

3) 10 December, 1893, Auguste Vailant throws a bomb into the French Chamber of Deputies injuring 20 in revenge for the execution of Ravachol.

4) 12 February, 1894, Emile Henry (related article) blows up the the Cafe Terminus in Paris killing 2 and maiming many others in revenge for the execution of Vailant.

5) 24 June, 1894, the Italian anarchist Sante Jeronimo Caserio, assassinates the French President Marie-Francoise Sade Carnot.

6) 8 August, 1897, Michele Angiolillo assassinates the Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Canovas.

7) 10 September, 1898, Luigi Lucheni stabs to death with a needle file the Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary.

Anarchism: The First Great Terror
Gaetano Bresci

Gaetano Bresci

29 July, 1900, Gaetano Bresci shoots dead King Umberto I of Italy.

9) 6 September, 1901, Leon Czolgosc shoots the United States President William H McKinlay, he dies later.

10) 2 September, 1902, Gennaro Rubino attempts to murder King Leopold II of Belgium.

11) Between 25 July and 2 August, 1909, during La Tragica Semana (The Tragic Week) 120 people are killed and many hundreds of others wounded as anarchists battle the police and army on the streets of Barcelona.

12) 14 September, 1911, Dmitri Bogrov shoots dead the Russian Prime Minister Piotr Stolypin at the theatre, as the Tsar sits nearby.

13) 12 November, 1912, Manuel Padrinas kills the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Canalejas.

14) 10 March, 1913, Alexander Schinas assassinates King George I of Greece.

15) 22 July, 1916, a bomb explodes during the San Francisco Preparadeness Day Parade killing 10 And injuring 40.

16) March, 1918, the anarchist revoutionary Nestor Makhno (related article) leads his Insurrectionary Army of the Ukraine to victory over the forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Tsarist White Russian Army.

17) 16 September, 1920, the Wall Street bombing leaves 38 dead and injures more than 400 others.

The often uncoordinated, spontaneous nature of anarchist attacks made them particularly difficult to combat. The fact they seemed to be committed by individuals on their own initiative to right perceived wrongs as they saw them terrified the political elite of Europe and beyond. The quite astonishing number of the ruling class who fell victim to this propaganda by deed explains why. As a ratio of their intended targets the anarchists can claim to be the most successful terror campaign in history, but the absence of an organisation, a strategy, or indeed murder with an end in mind, doomed it to ultimate failure.

The Impact of Industrialization and Urbanization on Indian Tribals

On of the main problems which the Indian tribes face is industrialization of backward areas and consequent urbanization.The government policy of industrializing remote areas has led to the emergence of high-tech industries in tribal belts.The impact of such industrialization is manifold:

Development in terms of economic prosperity might mean doom to the tribal identity.The first and major impact which tribal population faces is in the shape of loss of tribal identity through the establishment of industries.With major tribal tracts being depopulated and herded to new settlements to give space for establishment of factories,tribals are ill-ease in the new environments.Their customs and traditions come under pressure.Due to contact with the town- culture that industrialization brings,and consequent urbanization a revolutionary change in the attitude of tribals can be seen.

Tribal religion is mocked at in the light of more organized religions like Chrisitianity and Hinduism.Magical cures which tribals practicsed have become out of date and look down upon.

Social problems devastate tribals through urbanization.Urban conditions which the industry ushers into the tribal areas will mean introduction of completely alien way of social contact to the population.

Economically the urban culture is highly materialistic.Tribal economic systems will disintegrate in the industrialised environment.With more and more tribal youth adopting to factory culture and skilled labour espousing new avenues to eke out living, tribal modes of cultivation and crafts are steadily declinning.

The benefits of urbanization and industrialization should also  be taken into account.Tribals who were used to depend upon shifting cultivation and lived liked nomads are now settling down.Their children are exposed to better living conditions including education and health care services.Better sanitation means better health to the community.

Cutting Edge Weapons: 10 Unusual Knives, Swords and Blades

By C. Jordan

In this age when we think of weapons, we tend to think of aircraft, electronic guidance systems, bombs and missiles. Sophisticated star wars systems may come to mind or huge warships and aircraft carriers or even chemical or nuclear weapons.

Of course that has not always been the case.

From man’s earliest days the blade has been the basic form of weapon whether for hunting, defence or warfare. For close combat and ceremonial occasions it is still in use today: the dress sword of the mounted officer or the bayonet of the infantry. If you are lucky enough to be Knighted you may even get a tap on the shoulders by the British Queen with a ceremonial sword.

I would like to make it clear at this point, that this article takes no stance on the use of weaponry.

My own beliefs and convictions are not included here. This is a look at some of the non standard, more interesting and curious forms that blades have taken, with historical, geographic and cultural differences. I use the term blade because some of the forms shown cannot be described as knives or swords.

  1. The Kukri

    Some readers may be surprised to find that the image shown is actually modern British army issue. It is issued to one of the most feared units in the British army: the Gurkhas.

    It is their weapon of choice in close combat, rather than the bayonet.

    The story of the Gurkhas is a long and historically complicated one.

    Succinctly: Gurkhas hail from Nepal which was part of India. In its Empire building days, Britain made India one of its colonies. The Gurkhas were seen as brave and heroic fighters who were recruited into the colonial Indian army as a “Martial Race”, a term which meant that they were not classed as mercenaries.

    With the independence of India in 1947 four regiments became part of the British army. Prior to this they have fought in both World Wars and latterly were part of the forces that in the 1980’s defeated the Argentine army in the Falklands and also served in the Middle East.

    The Kukri shown above is the standard army issue with karda and chakmak.

    Traditionally the blade is 12-15 inches (30-38cm) long. The karda is a small accessory blade used for many tasks. The chakmak is unsharpened and is used to burnish the blade. It can also be used to start a fire with flint.

  2. The Shamshir

    The Shamshir is a sabre that is part of the scimitar group of swords.

    Originating in Persia in the 16th century, it was the weapon of the Persian cavalry.

    Somewhat unwieldy and inaccurate in a thrusting stabbing motion, its strength was in its slashing ability. The curved blade which made it unwieldy for thrusting made it dynamic for a downward slashing movement, normally against un-armoured foot opponents. One writer said that “bright shamshirs which fell on the head cleft men to the waist.”

  3. The Khanda

    The Khanda is a straight, heavy double edged Indian sword

    This example clearly shows that the weapon is broader towards the tip than half way down the blade, complete with spike at the base of the handle. Because of its size and weight, this again was a weapon that was more useful for slashing and hacking rather than a stabbing movement.

    It is mainly associated with the Sikhs, Marathas and other clans of the Kshatriya warrior class of India. It is also used in Sikh martial arts.

  4. The Quoit

    The quoit, surely this is a ring of rope used by passengers on luxury liners in days gone by in deck games, or perhaps the ring used in Hoopla on the funfair?

    These pastimes of idling away time do not have much to do with reality.

    The reality was that the quoit was a solid razor sharp ring of thin steel used by the Sikhs of India. (The example above is actually inlaid with gold

    Image sourceSikhs with chakrams, 1844

    The quoit also known as a Chakram measured anything between 5-12 inches (13-30cm)

    This weapon was thrown at the enemy. It was released either vertically in an underarm throw to fall under it own weight on the heads of opponents, or would be twirled around the index finger raised above the head and released.

    It is said that in the right hands it could kill a man at 80 paces.

  5. The Kora

    A somewhat rare and fierce weapon, the Kora served as part axe and part sword.

    This Indo/Nepal weapon was used for fighting and for sacrifice.

  6. The Tang

    A tang on a knife or sword is that part that will be enclosed by the handle.

    This is probably how the weapon got its name. At first glance it appears as if the pointed part is like the tang waiting to have the handle fitted with the parts to right and left being hand guards.

    The tang shown is actually 58cm long and 65 cm wide (23 and 26 inches)

    This is actually a “pole arm”. A shaft fits into the opening in the bottom left.

    It derives from China in the 19th century and consists of a 13cm (5 inch) spear type point with two 33cm (13 inch) blades either side.

    This type of weapon was used by police forces or others who needed to keep crowds in order.

  7. The Ayda Katti

    The Ayda Katti is the national sword of the Coorg of Malabar, the South West coastal area of India.

    It is one of the rarest swords in the Indian arsenal and of a very peculiar shape. It is single edged and is reminiscent of a scythe or other farming agricultural tool. However it is a real weapon and a deadly one in experienced hands.

    The blade of this one is 38cm (15 inches) long and 10cm (4 inches) wide at its widest point with a massive steel bolster.

  8. The Katar

    The Katar, shown in the introduction, is a short punching sword from India. The hand fitted into the grip so that the blade was above the knuckles. It was a weapon used by the Rajput, referred to as “the most valiant warriors of the Indian sub continent.”

    Used in close combat the blades were said to be able to punch through armour.

    The fascinating example above incorporates two small pistols alongside the hand grip. this was used by the Maharatti cavalry. An earlier example of this pistol weapon did not have triggers but was fired by squeezing together the two “swallow tails” at the back, which was attached to the firing mechanism.

  9. The Badek

    The Badek (or Badik) is a knife from Java, Indonesia. It is characterized by its single edge blade with straight back and up-curving edge, and the pistol grip shape handle.

    It measures from 20 to 40 cm in length (8-16 inches)

    It sometimes features in Silat Melayu – martial arts from the countries around the Malay Archipelago.

  10. The Kris

    The Kris or Keris is a dagger that originates from Indonesia and Malaysia.

    The Glenbow museum describes them “Kris knives with decorative scabbards are used throughout Indonesia as weapons and ritual objects, and are part of men’s ceremonial attire. The wavy iron blade of the knife represents a snake in movement and is thought to have power to protect its owner.”

    In the past disputes were settled with this double edged dagger. The more people it killed the more valuable it became.

    There was a superstition that it should not be drawn in the presence of the person who gave it to the owner.

    The kris was also supposed to have a spirit that could be good or bad. The same weapon may be bad for one person but good for another.

Ancient Symbols – The Swastika

(Photo above: Anglo-Saxon cinerary urn with swastika motifs, created between 5th and 6th century, from North Elmham, Norfolk.)

The Swastika is an ancient sacred symbol – upon first glance, the words “Sacred” and “Swastika” seem to contradict each other……we are all painfully aware of the negative Nazi association with this symbol, BUT, we should not forget that this symbol is ancient, it did not start with the Nazi’s and it would be a shame to let it end there, when potentially, analysis could provide a startling insight into human history.

The swastika has been used by many cultures and religions

The Swastika has been attributed with many meanings over time.

Many believe that the symbol originated in the ancient Sumerian civilisation (the cradle of civilisation) 5300 – 1940BC located in modern Southern Iraq – the Swastika symbol has been found on some of the earliest Sumerian pottery ……. but, the earliest discovered use of the Swastika was in and around India during the Neolithic era – the new stone age – 9500 years ago!

The word Swastika is derived from the Sanskrit language – svastika – meaning well being or lucky.
Source

In 1925, Coca Cola launched a brass Swastika shaped lucky watch fob promotion.

It’s possible that the key fob was distributed in Germany just before the 1936 Olympics. The Coca Cola corporation appeared to be one of the sponsors of Hitler’s Third Reich propaganda.

A town in Ontario was named Swastika in 1911 because of a lucky gold strike.
Source


In Great Britain the common name given to the Swastika from Anglo-Saxon times … was Fylfot, said to have been derived from the Anglo-Saxon “fower fot”, meaning four-footed, or many-footed. SWASTIKA STONE ILKLEY – YORKSHIRE

This carved stone on Woodhouse Crag, Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire, England – the carving is thought to date back to the bronze age (2700 – 700 BC).

You may see the swastika symbol regularly – hidden in plain sight – The Microsoft Swastika
Source

The US Navy base in San Diego was required to spend $ 600,000.00 to alter the design of their building in the wake of numerous complaints following the launch of the aerial visualisation tool – Google Earth. From The Daily Kos.

Buddha in Tanzhe Temple in Bejing, China has a swastika on his chest – “A seal on Buddha’s heart”. In the Buddhist tradition, the Swastika was used to mark the beginning of sacred texts. Source

Villa Romana de Tejada in village of Quintanilla de la Cueza, in the province of (Palencia), Spain.

Mosaic floor showing the symbol of a swastica in the Roman City of Sabratha, Libya

Many scholars have attributed the symbol to be a representation of the sun – However, every time I look at a swastika – I see a spinning, spiral armed galaxy – but given the history of this symbol – how could our ancient ancestors know of or have seen a distant galaxy?

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Introduction

Introduction

Journal, the root word of journalism, came from the Latin word diurnal, which means daily. In ancient Rome, brief communiqués were called Acta Diurna, which means Daily Events. Others were called Acta Publica, which means Public Events.

Journalism, the art and science of writing for newspapers, periodicals, radio, television, and online publications, enfolds timely and factual reports of unusual or unexpected events, opinions, or situations that affect man and his environment. These reports are gathered, evaluated, and published, broadcast, or posted on the Web to inform, to entertain, or to influence large number of readers.

The history of journalism started in ancient Egypt when heralds ran to pharaohs with oral reports and when town criers sang important announcements in public places. The first printed newspaper, produced from wood blocks, appeared in Beijing, China in the Seventh and in the Eight Centuries.

When Johan Guttenberg of Mainz, Germany invented the movable printing press in 1450, wider and faster dissemination of news stories were made possible. It also facilitated the exchange of ideas throughout Europe and the spread of the ideas of the Renaissance from 1300 to 1600.

On September 25, 1690, Benjamin Harris, an English refugee, published the Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first American newspaper, in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1783, the Daily Advertisers and the Pennsylvania Evening Post, the first daily American newspapers, were published in Philadelphia.

The Gentleman’s Magazine, published from 1731 to 1907, was the first periodical to use the word magazine that denotes a vehicle of entertaining reading. It contained political essays, poems, stories, and debates and was very influential, serving for example, as the model for the American Magazine of Andrew Bradford and the General Magazine and Historical Chronicle of Benjamin Franklin, the first true American periodicals.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Early Years

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Early Years

The Philippine press, which is committed to the great heritage of libertarianism, is one of the freest, liveliest, and strongest in Asia and in the world. Throughout the ages, it has perpetuated a formidable tradition of service, which is the fortification of our sovereign life.

Its sustainable growth and development provides gratifying and fascinating footnotes of our historical revolutions. It started in 1637 when Tomas Pinpin, the father of Filipino printing, published the Successos Felices, the first Philippine newspaper that antedated Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick for 53 years.

Pinpin, who learned the art of printing from Father Francisco Blancas de San Jose, the parish priest of Abucay, Bataan and founder of the Dominican-owned printing press in Binondo, Manila and in Pila, Laguna, devoted his 14 – page newspaper to the raids of Muslim pirates in the country.

Hojas Volantes, with the title Aviso Al Publico, was distributed for mass readership in the Philippines and acted as town criers of Spain in the country on February 27, 1799. Although it appeared intermittently in the next 50 years, it was only on August 8, 1811 when the Spaniards put out the Del Superior Govierno, the first regularly issued newspaper edited by Governor General Manuel (Mariano?) Fernandez Del Folgueras. It gave news about the Napoleonic invasion in Spain and was a potent weapon in the fight for emancipation. It ceased publication after 15 issues over a six-month period.

Published on March 25, 1821, El Ramillete Patriotico was a liberal and audacious newspaper. It was sarcastic and sometimes unbridled in its speech of degenerating personalities. Another newspaper, El Noticioso Filipino, was published on July 29, 1821.

La Filantropía, a weekly newspaper dealing with current issues from Europe and the arrivals and departures of vessels in Manila, was dedicated to the “welfare of the people in the language that is not offensive to the sane moral of the public.” Printed in papel de arroz (rice paper), it first appeared on September 1, 1821 and ceased publication in 1822. It was followed by El Filantropo, a relatively small newspaper that lasted a year, and the Noticias Compiladas de los Papeles Publicos de la Peninsula both in 1824.

Founded by the Real Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais and edited by Luis Barreto, Jose Azcarraga, Manuel Azcarraga, Marcelo Azcarraga, and Jose Nicolas Irastorza in 1824, the Registro Mercantil de Manila was a monthly newspaper that worked for economic prosperity and political independence, but ceased publication in May 1833 because of lack of financial support and regular subscribers. El Noticiero followed it in 1838.

In 1843, Gregorio Tarrius, the Administrator of Posts, founded the Semanario Filipino that published business news from Asia, Europe, and the Archipelago. It was renamed El Amigo del Pais in 1845, but ceased publication in April 1847. La Estrella, a weekly newspaper founded by Agustin de la Cavada y Mendez de Vigo on October 4, 1846, became a daily newspaper on February 1, 1847, but was suspended in January 1849.

La Esperanza, the first daily newspaper filled with long discussions about religious, scientific, historical, and philosophical subjects, was also founded by Agustin de la Cavada y Mendez de Vigo, was edited by Felipe de la Corte y Ruano Calderon, and was published by Miguel Sanchez on December 1, 1846. It also published official and commercial news and advertisements.

When El Diario de Manila was founded on January 1, 1848, La Estrella and La Esperanza ceased publication and relinquished the monopoly to the Boletin Oficial de Filipinas, the daily government organ from 1852 to 1860. However, when the latter was renamed the Gaceta de Manila by a Royal Order on May 18, 1860, El Diario de Manila reappeared in September 1860.

Edited by José Felipe Del Pan, El Diario de Manila became not only the best-edited newspaper, but also one that had long, prosperous, and continuous circulation until 1899. Its editorial staff included José de la Rosa, Manuel Garrido, Manuel Marzano, Lorenzo Moreno Conde, Francisco Ramos Borguella, Francisco de Paula Martinez, and Antonio Vazquez de Aldana.

El Instructor, 1849; El Despertador, 1849; Diario de Avisos y Noticias, 1850; El Observador Filipino, 1851; Boletin Oficial de Filipinas, 1852, and El Commercio, 1858, followed the Diario. The latter, not an example of correctness, tidiness of language, and civility in reasoning, was an afternoon newspaper edited by Soler Ovejero, an army officer.

A fortnightly that opened a new era in the history of Philippine journalism because it had sustained its reviews, sketches, biographies, news about the country, and literary and scientific sections, the Ilustracion Filipina was published on March 1, 1859 and ceased publication on December 15, 1860.

Published on February 26, 1861, the Gaceta de Manila, a weekly government newspaper that published official documents and announcements, ceased publication on August 8, 1898. It was followed by the Revista de Noticias y Anuncios, 1861, La España Catolica, 1862, and La España Oceánica, 1862.

With the slogan “Religious Unity,” El Catolico Filipino was founded by Father Pedro Pelaez and was published by Father Mariano Sevilla on February 1, 1862. Though it was the first religious newspaper in the country, Fray Agapito Aparicio charged it as a political newspaper masquerading beneath the cloak of religion. El Correo de Filipinas was published in 1863.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Revolutionary Period

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Revolutionary Period

by Alixander Haban Escote

The supreme quest for freedom and independence started in Barcelona, Spain when La Solidaridad, a fortnightly edited by Graciano Lopez-Jaena, financed by Dr Pablo Rianzares, and supported by the Comité de Propaganda, was published on February 15, 1889. With the policy to champion democracy and liberalism, to expose the real plight of the country, and to work peacefully for economic and social reforms, the newspaper published not only news, but also articles and essays about the Philippines and its people.

As editor of the newspaper, Lopez-Jaena did not receive any monetary compensation, but was given free meals, lodging, clothing, and modest pocket money. In 1891, he collected his articles and speeches and incorporated them in his book entitled Discursos y Articulos Varios.

In writing for the newspaper, Filipino reformists used pen names: Antonio Luna, Taga-Ilog; Jose Ma. Panganiban, Jomapa; Domingo Gomez, Romero Franco; Clemente Jose Zulueta, Juan Totoó; Jose Rizal4, Laong Laan and Dimas Alang; Marcelo del Pilar, Kupang, Plaridel, and Maitalaga; Mariano Ponce, Naning, Tikbalang, and Kalipulako, Eduardo Lete, Pedro Paterno, Jose Alejandrino, Isabelo delos Reyes, Antonio Ma Regidor, among others. Ferdinand Blumentritt5, a Bohemian scholar, and Miguel Morayta, a Spanish historian, also worked for the newspaper.

On October 31, 1889, Lopez-Jaena passed the editorship to Marcelo del Pilar, who left his family in the Philippines, went to Spain, and literally gave his life for the newspaper. Del Pilar became the moving spirit of the reform movement and contacted progressive Europeans who would fight side by side with Filipino reformists.

In the next five years, Del Pilar, put out the newspaper despite of affliction, deprivation, and starvation. The newspaper ceased publication in Madrid, Spain on November 15, 1895. Apolinario Mabini had written Del Pilar about the difficulty of raising funds and the added obstacles of getting copies into the Philippines.

Two months and three days later, that was on January 18, 1896, Ang Kalayaan, the official revolutionary newspaper of the Kataastaasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Highest and Most Respectable Society of the Sons of the People) founded by Andres Bonifacio6 and Emilio Jacinto, was published under the editorship of Pio Valenzuela. Printed with 2 000 copies, it exposed the inhumane and indignities of civil guards and Spanish friars and called for a bloody revolution against Spain. To deceive the Spaniards, the founders and the editor made it appeared that the newspaper was printed in Yokohoma, Japan, that the Japanese were in sympathy with the Filipino people, and that the editor was Marcelo del Pilar, who at that time was in Madrid and at the eve of his death.

The first issue of the newspaper contained a supposed editorial of Del Pilar, which Jacinto actually wrote. It greeted the people and wished them solidarity and independence and offered them his life and all he have for the good of the Filipino people. There was also an article by Jacinto and Valenzuela’s Catuiran, which described the cruelties of the Spanish friars and civil guards of San Francisco del Monte on a helpless village lieutenant. It also contained Bonifacio’s Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa that expressed the oppression of Spain and encourage the Filipino people to liberate their country; and Jacinto’s Manifesto that urged the Filipino people to revolt against Spain and to secure their liberty.

Bonifacio, Jacinto, and Valenzuela wrote under their pen names: Agap-ito Bagumbayan, Dimas-Ilaw and Pinkian, and Madlang-Away, respectively. Jacinto was about to publish the second issue when the Spanish authorities discovered the Katipunan. The newspaper, then, abruptly ceased publication.

On the other hand, Clemente Jose Zulueta, an enterprising writer, disappointed bibliophile, and later official researcher in the archives of Paris, Madrid, and Mexico, edited and published La Libertad on June 20, 1898. However, Gen Emilio Aguinaldo7, ordered the suspension of the newspaper because of not applying for a license through his offices. The July 4, 1898 decree stated, “While abnormal circumstances to the war still prevail, all publications, without permission from the government are strictly prohibited.” Aguinaldo confiscated the printing paraphernalia of the newspaper, which was operated by Asilo de Huérfanos, an Augustian orphanage in Malabon.

Probably the most read, most famous, and most important newspaper of the revolution was La Independencia. Gen Antonio Luna, the Commander in chief of the Army of Liberation of the First Philippine Republic, together with his brother Joaquin and a few friends, founded it. Its first issue appeared on September 3, 1898 and its last issue appeared on November 11, 1900. Like Ang Katipunan, the newspaper also concealed its place of publication and declared that it was published in Manila when it was actually published in Malabon. It used the same printing press that the La Libertad used. It had four pages, with one page devoted to advertisements, and contained news stories, with the foreign articles taken from the newly circulated the Manila Times.

La Independencia editorial staff was composed of highly liberate men and women who, most of them, wrote under their pen names: Antonio Luna, Taga-Ilog, director; Salvador Vivencio del Rosario, X and Juan Tagalo, editor in chief; Jose Abreu, Kaibigan, Cecilio Apostol, Catulo, Mariano del Rosario, Tito-Tato, Clemente Jose Zulueta, M. Kaun, Fernando Ma. Guerrero, Fluvio Gil, Rafael Palma8, Hapon and Dapit-Hapon, staff writers; R Regidor, Jose Palma, Rosa Sevilla, Luis Guerrero, Mariano Ponce, Manuel Guerrero, Rianzares Bautista, Apolinario Mabini, Leon Ma. Guerrero, Florentina Arellano, Ferdinand Blumentritt, Epifanio de los Santos, Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, contributors; and Felipe Calderon, proofreader.

La Independencia, which castigated both the Spaniards and the Americans, was published in consonance with the wave of nationalism and with the historical occurrence in Malolos, Bulacan. It had the distinction of surviving the 1896 Philippine Revolution and resisting American imperialism.

On September 15, 1898, La Republica Filipina, the newspaper edited by Pedro Paterno, was published in Mandaluyong, Rizal. Like La Independencia, the newspaper was written in refined style and was an example of editorial direction and excellence. However, it was closed down on January 8, 1899 with the hope that the Filipino people will achieve national unity under a democratic republic. Maj Gen Douglas MacArthur, in his 1901 annual report to the Secretary of War, called it an “official organ of the insurgent government” along with La Independencia.

Periodical El Heraldo de la Revolucion Filipina; El Heraldo de la Revolucion Filipina; El Heraldo de la Revolucion; El Heraldo, the official publication of the revolutionary government founded by Gen Emilio Aguinaldo on July 14, 1898, was first published on September 29, 1898 in Malolos, Bulacan. It was a bilingual, Spanish and Tagalog and Spanish and Ilocano, biweekly newspaper edited by Arsenio Cruz Herrera, who was the director of public instruction in the Malolos government and who also became City Mayor of Manila. In January 1899, it settled on the name Heraldo Filipino; this changed in April 1899 to Indice Oficial; and in May 1899 to Gaceta de Filipinas, which remained until it ceased publication in October 1899.

La Revolution was published in Jaro, Iloilo on December 18, 1898. Small, it explained that “our claims are as great as our strength” and it aimed “to defend the rights that the Filipino people have won.”

Published by young professionals, who belonged to the Club Democratico Independiente, Columnas Volantes was printed in Lipa, Batangas on March 24, 1899. It “looked like a real newspaper because besides recording the events mostly about Lipa, it commented on general politics and military movements.” Its writers included Fidel Reyes, Gregorio Solis, Teodoro Kalaw, and Baldomero Roxas. It had also correspondence in Laguna, Hugo Salazar; and La Union, Diego Gloria and Lorenzo Tinoy.

Edited by Isabelo de los Reyes, Filipinas Ante Europa and El Defensor de Filipinas were the two nationalistic newspapers published in Barcelona, Spain on November 18, 1899.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – American Colonial Period

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – American Colonial Period

by Alixander Haban Escote

Although Gen Emilio Aguinaldo and his revolutionary government proclaimed Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 and established the First Philippine Republic in Malolos, Bulacan on January 23, 1899, President William McKinley and Admiral George Dewey planned to take over the Philippines and forced the surrender of Spanish forces inside Intramuros. With the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898 and the Treaty with Spain on November 7, 1900, the United States of America acquired the sovereignty over the Philippines.

As the Spanish-American War was being fought, La Democracia, the first Filipino newspaper that recognized American sovereignty in the country, urged the Filipino people to accept the new government and to help heal the wounds of war. Edited by Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, it was the official publication of the pro-American Partido Federalista, the first political party organized on December 23, 1900 by 125 Filipino illustrados.

Besides La Independencia and El Heraldo dela Revolucion, other Filipino newspapers were also published as the Americans established their military government in the country. Among these was La Patria, the newspaper that openly championed freedom and independence and directly challenged La Democracia. Published by Pablo Ocampo and edited by Rafael Palma and Aurelio Tolentino, it was closed by Gen Arthur McArthur, the father of Gen Douglas McArthur9.

The closure of La Patria and the assertion of American military rule did not dampen the newspaper industry. Unfazed, Pablo Ocampo published La Libertad and continued to fight for freedom and independence. As a result, the American military authorities banned the newspaper, and its publisher was exiled to Guam for two years.

Meanwhile, Rafael Palma, a lawyer, educator, and social scientist, founded El Nuevo Dia, Cebu’s first daily newspaper, on April 6, 1900. In collaboration with the then Speaker Sergio Osmeña Sr.10 and Commissioner Jaime Carlos de Veyra, Palma criticized American military rule. In the end, the newspaper was severely censored and as a sign of protest, it came out with large blacked-out pages that ostracized the Americans who championed freedom of the press and expression in their country, but censored them in the Philippines.

El Grito del Pueblo and its sister publication in Tagalog, Kapatid ng Bayan, edited by Pascual Poblete, and El Filipino Libre, published by Manuel Xeres Burgos, also cried for freedom and independence and criticized American military rule.

On the other hand, English language newspapers were published to cater the needs of the American reading public: Bounding Billow, published aboard US Olympia;11 Official Gazette, published by the American military government; American Soldier, published for a month with some 20 issues; and Soldier’s Letter, published by the 18th Minnesota Volunteers in the US Army. These newspapers had common point of view: “These islands were rich untapped sources of American wealth and capital. The natives, half-devil and half-child, insist on playing government: a group of warlike tribes who will devour each other the moment American troops leave.”

On October 11, 1898, Thomas Gowan, an Englishman rather than an American, edited and published the Manila Times, the first continually published English language daily newspaper in the country. In 1899, George Seliner joined the Manila Times as business manager and later bought the newspaper from Gowan. Seliner sold it in 1902, reacquired it in 1905, and sold it again in 1907.

The then Senate President Manuel Quezon12 bought the Manila Times in 1917. During his ownership, the newspaper was generally staffed by Filipinos, a pattern followed by Governor General Francis Burton Harrison13 in Filipinizing the government. In 1921, Quezon, who found out that politics and journalism are like oil and water that could never be mixed well, sold the newspaper to George Fairchild, a Hawaiian senator engaged in the sugar industry. Politically speaking, the newspaper became the mouthpiece of American politicians and businessmen and was intensely pro-American and anti-Filipino. In 1926, Fairchild sold the newspaper to Jacob Rosenthal, a businessmen engaged in the shoe industry.

Alejandro Roces Sr., the father of modern journalism in the Philippines, bought the Manila Times in 1927. At that time, he was also the owner of the TVT chain of newspapers: Taliba, La Vanguardia, and Manila Tribune. Roces founded the latter on April 1, 1925 when he failed to purchase the Philippine Herald.

Because of its substantial editorial pages and wide international coverage, the Manila Tribune, edited by Carlos Romulo,14 the Philippine Herald former editor, and staffed by Mauro Mendez, Benito Sakdalan, Amando Dayritt, Roberto Anselmo, and Fernando Maramag became the most informative and most entertaining newspaper in the 1920s. The Tribune Magazine, its weekly supplement, had a circulation of 40,000 during weekdays and 80,000 during weekends.

On March 15, 1930, Roces stopped the publication of the Manila Times, but continued the publication of the Manila Tribune, which became a morning newspaper, and the Philippine Herald, which became an afternoon newspaper. After World War II, Alejandro Roces Jr. revived the newspaper business that his father founded, but discarded the TVT chain of newspapers. Roces formed The Manila Times Publishing Company, Inc., and published the Sunday Times on May 27, 1945, which became the Manila Times on September 5, 1945.

Established by Carson Taylor, an Illinois public school teacher who came to the country as part of the Colorado First Volunteer National Guard Regiment, the Manila Daily Bulletin made its debut on February 1, 1900 as a shipping gazette devoted to ship arrivals and departures. Its early editors were H G Farris, 1900; George Rice, late 1900; Chas Bond, 1904; William Crozier, 1905; M L Steward, 1913; C R Zeininger, 1918; and Roy Bennet, late 1918.

In 1912, the Manila Daily Bulletin widened its coverage and circulation and marked its entrance into the newspaper industry. By then, the newspaper shifted to a six-column newspaper consisting of eight pages.

In 1918, the Manila Daily Bulletin switched to a standard eight-column newspaper and published foreign news, first obtained as cable flashes from San Francisco and later as wired stories from the Associated Press and the United Press International. It also rose in circulation and became the largest English language daily newspaper in 1925. Robert Kidd, Ford Wilkins, Frank Bennett, and Ralph Hawkins, were among its early bigwigs.

Abram V Hartendorp, a Thomasite who stayed in Samar and in Zambales, founded The Philippine Magazine, formerly The Philippine Teacher, and later The Philippine Education, in 1904. He contributed largely to the development of Filipino writers in the English language such as Manuel Arguilla, Amador Daguio, Jose Garcia Villa, N V M Gonzalez, Edilberto Tiempo, Bienvenido Santos, and Francisco Avellana.

Judge W H Kincaid founded the Philippine Free Press, the first regularly issued English language weekly magazine, in 1907. It was edited by Pat Gallagher and started as English-Spanish weekly. On August 19, 1908, Robert McCulloch Dick, a Scot who came to the country in 1899, bought the one-year-old magazine and paid one peso, approximately fifty cents, for its goodwill, circulation, and equipment. With the aid of F Theo Rogers as general manager, Dick, who was the editor and publisher until his death on September 14, 1960, turned the magazine into the largest circulated publication in the archipelago and the most influential English language weekly magazine in the history of Philippine journalism. Dick lived most of his life in the Philippines, dying here at the age of 80 years.

Before the war, leading Filipino journalist joined the Philippine Free Press editorial staff – Jose Joven, Jose Reyes, Juan Callas, Ramon Navas, Federico Calero, Roberto Anselmo, and Leon Maria Guerrero. A consistent crusader, the magazine contributed much to the social, cultural, political, educational, and economic growth of the country.

El Renacimiento, a Spanish daily newspaper founded by Rafael Palma on September 1, 1900, became very popular because of its vigorous campaign against graft and corruption in the government. On October 30, 1908, the newspaper came out with an editorial written by Fidel Reyes, its city editor, titled Aves de Rapina, Birds of Prey, which denounced an American official for taking advantage his office in exploiting the resources of the country for his personal gains.

Although the editorial did not mention names, Dean C Worcester, the then Secretary of the Interior and former professor at the University of Michigan, felt alluded to in the editorial and filed a libel case against Teodoro Kalaw and Martin Ocampo, editor and publisher, respectively. The entire Spanish and Filipino press supported the newspaper and many Filipinos offered legal, moral, and financial support.

The lower court sentenced Ocampo to 6 months imprisonment and PhP2 000 fine and Kalaw to 12 months imprisonment and PhP3 000 fine and a verdict for moral and punitive damages for PhP25 000. The defendants appealed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, which affirmed the decision of the lower court. The embattled journalists appealed again to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, which sustained the decision of the Philippine tribunals. However, Ocampo and Kalaw did not spend a day in jail because Governor General Francis Burton Harrison pardoned them in 1914.

Today, El Renacimiento is remembered as a proof of American antagonism against Filipino nationalism. And, after it had been closed, several newspapers and periodicals were published and fought for freedom and independence.

On August 8, 1920, the Philippine Herald, the first Filipino-owned English language daily newspaper edited by Conrado Benitez, became the mouthpiece of outraged Filipinos led by the then Senate President Manuel Quezon against conservative Americans led by Governor General Leonard Wood. Later, at the helm of its bankruptcy, Senator Vicente Madrigal, Ramon Fernandez, the Earnshaw brothers, and other Filipino millionaires continued its publication and circulation. Among those who worked for the Philippine Herald were Vicente Bunuan, Gregorio Nieva, Antonio Estrada, Modesto Farolan, and Vicente del Fiero.

Founded in 1922 by Ramon Roces, Liwayway became the most widely read weekly magazine in Tagalog and gave rise to publications of the same type in other Philippine dialects. It first appeared as Photo News on June 15, 1922, and had sections in Tagalog, English, and Spanish. However, the idea did not appeal to the reading public and was dropped after 10 issues over a five-month period. When the publication was revived on November 18, 1929, it became a Tagalog weekly magazine that published romance and fantasy stories that included Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang by Severino Reyes, the leading Tagalog fictionist during those days. Among those who served as editors in chief were Jose Esperanza Cruz, 1932-1942; Pedrito Reyes, 1942-1945; Catalino Flores, 1945-1954; Jose Domingo Karasig, 1954-1960; Gervasio Santiago, 1960-1979; Bienvenido Ramos, 1979-1982; and Rodolfo Salandanan, from 1982 to the present.

Ramon Roces also founded the Weekly Graphic, the most widely read weekly magazine in English, on July 15, 1927. It was edited by Vicente Albano Pacis, the Manila Times former editor, and later, by Agustin Fabian. In the 1930s, the Philippine Herald and the Manila Tribune shared the top position in the newspaper industry.

Established by Ramon Roces, Bisaya became the most successful periodical in Cebuano. Its first issue on August 15, 1930 had an initial circulation of 5 000 that rose to 60 000 in the 1960s. Among those who served as editors were Vicente Padriga, 1930-1931; Natalio Bacalso, 1931-1933; Flaviano Boquecosa, 1933-1941; Maximo Bas, 1946-1949; Francisco Candia, 1949-1966; Marcelo Navarra, 1969-1973; Nazario Bas, 1973-1986; and Tiburcio Baguio, its current editor.

In 1933, Senator Vicente Madrigal with the help of Carlos Romulo, who left the Manila Tribune, organized the DMHM chain of newspapers: El Debate, a Spanish morning daily; Mabuhay, a Tagalog morning daily; Philippine Herald, an English afternoon daily; and Monday Mail, an English weekly. In his capacity as the editor in chief of the DMHM chain of newspapers, Romulo won a Pulitzer Prize.

First published regularly in 1934, Ang Bisaya sa Hiligaynon was renamed the Hiligaynon in 1936. With an initial circulation of 5 000 copies, it reached a larger circulation than its sister publication, Bisaya and Bannawag, at its peak. It was published by Ramon Roces and was first edited by Abe Gonzales.

Ramon Roces published Bannawag, the brainchild of Magdaleno Abaya, the Philippine Graphic former staff member, in 1935. It has fostered the growth and maturity of Ilocano literature and has produced creative writers like Leon Pichay, Benjamin Pascual, Godofredo Reyes, and Hermogenes Belen. Considered as the “Bible of the North” that catered the grassroots and intellectual readers, the magazine serves as the major venue for most writings in Ilocano and covers a wide range of writings from fiction, poetry, and comic stories to essays, feature articles, and reportage on local and foreign developments.

After spending at least PhP100 000, Joaquin Elizalde, who rescued the Philippine Herald from Senator Vicente Madrigal, leased the DMHM chain of newspapers to Jorge Araneta, a businessman who wanted a newspaper to bat for a larger market for the Philippine sugar industry in the United States, in 1938. After his death, the chain of newspapers was reverted to the Madrigals.

Before World War II, there were 153 provincial newspapers in the country. Of these, seven were dailies: Cebu City Advertiser, Cebu; Cebu Herald, Cebu; Davao Nichi-Nichi, Davao; El Tiempo, Iloilo; La Nacion, Cebu; La Revolucion, Cebu; and Times, Iloilo.

The oldest newspaper before World War II were Mindanao Herald, which was published in Zamboanga on November 3, 1903, and Ang Manugbantala, which was published in Iloilo on July 7, 1905.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Japanese Imperial Occupation

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Japanese Imperial Occupation

by Alixander Haban Escote

The DMHM chain of newspapers owned by Senator Vicente Madrigal was the first casualty in the field of journalism. It was destroyed when a couple of bombs attacked its editorial offices in Port Area, Manila on December 8, 1941, the Feast of Immaculate Conception.

Within two weeks of Japanese occupation, all publications, except the TVT chain of newspapers of Alejandro Roces Sr. and one of the chain of magazines of Ramon Roces, were closed and their editorial offices were sealed with “By Order of the Japanese Imperial Government.”

On October 12, 1942, Taliba, La Vanguardia, Tribune, and Liwayway were placed under Osaka Mainichi Publishing Company, a group that established the Manila Sinbun-sya Corporation and controlled Shin-Seiki, Bicol Herald, Manila Shimbun, and Davao Nichi-Nichi.

During this period, anyone who wanted to publish newspapers and periodicals must secure a military permit and must submit to military censorship, which, when violated meant severe punishment, if not death.

In a study conducted by Jacqueline Co, Annie Dematera, Rosanna Carreon, Rolando dela Cruz, and Adoracion de Guzman, 27 publications were given permission to operate: The Bicol Herald, a four-page tabloid in English and Bikolano published in Bicol from August 1942 to March 1944; the Panay Times, a twice a week newspaper in English and Ilonggo published in Iloilo from January 1943 to December 1944; the Cebu Times, a four-page daily, except Monday, newspaper in English and Cebuano published in Cebu from March 1944 to March 1945; and the Davao Times, a newspaper in English and Cebuano published in Davao from March 1944 to April 1945.

Other newspapers were Davao, Manila; Filipina, Manila; Leyte-Samar Bulletin, Tacloban; Leyte Shimbun, Tacloban; Liwanag, Manila; New Negros Weekly, Bacolod; Philippine Review Newsette, Davao;Pillars, Cavite; Republic, Manila; Shin-Seiki, Manila; Tagapagturo, Manila; and government bulletins and bibliographies.

On the other hand, guerilla newspapers and periodicals were published to boost people’s morale, to warn against collaboration, and to fight against the Japanese Military Government. Guerilla publications, edited by journalist-guerillas, were usually typewritten or mimeographed on 8.5 X 11-inch bond papers.

In 1942, the HUKBALAHAP (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon) published Ing Masala, the most powerful guerilla publication in Tarlac and in Pampanga. Pedro de la Llana edited The Flash, the newspaper in Tagalog, English, and Spanish in Iloilo. The latter published news stories about the war and editorial articles denouncing the Japanese Military Government. Ironically, its editor was liquated by uninformed guerillas because he was mistaken as a collaborator.

The Thurderclap, the official publication of the Hunter ROTC (Reserved Officers Training Corps) also came out in 1943. Very often, it changed its place of publication to confuse the Japanese as to its origin. On February 2, 1945, a day before the Americans entered in Manila, it was renamed the Liberty.

Founded and edited by Leon Ty of the Philippine Free Press, The Liberator was one of the most widely read guerilla newspapers in Rizal, Cavite, Manila, and Bulakan. Some of its writers were executed because they were caught circulating it. Luckily, Ty and a few others escaped and were saved from the enemy dragnet.

In Nueva Vizcaya, Col Guillermo Nakar published the Matang Lawin, which reported news stories about the Battle of Bataan.15 It also informed the Filipino people that like the Hawk, the guerillas watch over and look after their welfare and, at the same time, take cognizance of the activity of the spies.

In Panay, Tomas Confessor, Free Panay governor, published Ang Tigbatas, a Hiligaynon-English newspaper that survived the war and later became the principal reading matter of the province. Other newspapers in Panay were the Chronicle, Coordinator, Harbinger, Kalibo War Bulletin, and the Unknown Soldiers.

Juan Frivaldo published The Commentator in Sorsogon while Wenceslao Vinzons popularized The Saber in Bicol and in Laguna. Other guerilla newspapers were The Bugle of Leyte, the Palaso of Manila, and the Kalayaan of Bulakan.

Also based from the study conducted by Co, Carreon, Dematera, Dela Cruz, and De Guzman, 37 guerilla newspapers, which when evaluated carefully, reflected the sentiments of the country. Among these newspapers were Bolos and Bullets, Manila; Bombshells, Manila; Fornightly Publication, Panay; Free Philippines, Manila; Free Sulu News, Sulu; Freedom, Panay; Liberator, Negros Occidental; Patnubay, Manila; Patriot, No Official Address; Press of Freedom, No Official Address; Red, White, and Blue, Manila; Tanauan, Leyte; 34th Anniversary of the Chinese Republic, No Official Address; Thurderbolt, Manila; Tigbatas, Panay; Tingug sang Kalwasan, Cebu or Iloilo; Torch, Cebu; Unknown Soldier, Panay; USAFIP NL Newsletter, No Official Address; Victory News, Negros; Victory News, No Official Address; Victory News, Panay; Vigil of Freedom, Visayas; Voice, No Official Address; Voice of Free Samar, Samar; Voice of Free People, Leyte; Voice of Victory, Tacloban; and Weekly News Bulletin, No Official Address.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Post Liberation Period

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Post Liberation Period

by Alixander Haban Escote

When Manila was freed on February 3, 1945, the press was also liberated, not only from censorship, but also from the notion that newspapers must be a million peso corporations. Vicente Albano Pacis remembered that approximately 250 newspapers and periodicals were published right after the Japanese occupation.

Publishers during this period were the Roxas syndicate – Light, Balita, and Daily News; the Standard Publishing House – Ang Pilipino and Daily Standard; the PSP Publishing – Bagong Buhay, Liberty News, and Voz de Manila; and the Roces chain of newspapers – Liwayway, Evening Post, and Manila Times.

Other post war newspapers were the Chua’s Courier, the Cojuangco’s Manila Tribune, the Del Fierro’s Star Reporter, the Mendez’s Morning Sun, and the Subido’s Manila Post. The US Armed Forces also published the Yank, the Daily Pacifican, and the Star and Stripes and distributed condensed editions of the Times and the Newsweek

The US Army Office of War Information in Leyte published the Manila Free Philippines, the first post-liberation newspaper, on February 9, 1945. It was edited by Frits Marquardt, Philippine Free Press former editor, and was distributed free until March 12, 1945. It ceased publication on September 3, 1945 when privately owned newspapers were published.

On April 23, 1945, Ramon Roces resumed the publication of the Liwayway and its sister publications: Bannawag for the Ilocano speaking provinces of Luzon, Bicolonian for the Bicol speaking provinces of the Bicol region, Bisaya for the Cebuano speaking provinces of the Visayas and Mindanao, and Hiligaynon, for the Ilonggo speaking provinces of Panay and Negros. This group of weekly vernacular magazines formed the Ramon Roces Publication, Inc.

With a capital of PhP6 000 from the Manila Post and the Philippine Tribune rebel staff members, the Manila Chronicle, a hard hitting and politically conscious newspaper published by Manuel Villanueva and edited by Anacleto Benavides and Ernesto del Rosario, started as the People’s Newspaper in April 1945. Later, Eugenio Lopez Sr. acquired the newspaper when he sought congressional support for the sugar industry.

Following the Lopez takeover, the Manila Chronicle acquired a new offset printing press and a fleet of delivery vehicles that increased national circulation by 100 percent. The newspaper came out daily with at least 20 pages that included business section and provincial supplements. Del Rosario continued as associate editor though Pedro Amaguin and Anacleto Benavides were recruited to serve the same position. Before martial law, it had made itself as a newspaper of high quality.

At least 40 newspapermen who met at the Manila Jockey Club founded the Philippine Newspaper Guild on May 4, 1945. Its committee members were Cipriano Cid, chairperson; Renato Constantino, secretary; and Jose Lansang, Vicente Navarro, Amado Hernandez, Roberto Villanueva, and Hermenegildo Atienza, members. Its officers were Cipriano Cid, president; Jose Lansang, executive vice president; Amado Hernandez, first vice president; Ralph Hawkins, second vice president; Eugenio Santos, third vice president; and Roberto Anselmo, secretary-treasurer.

Under the new management of Joaquin Roces and the editorships of Jose Luna Castro and Vicente Guzman, the Manila Times, which had started as a weekly newspaper on May 27, 1945 became a daily tabloid on September 5, 1945. During those times, it had a rotary press with a capacity of 30 000 copies per hour. It started with chairs, tables, typewriters, and electric generators purchased from the US Army.

The Manila Daily Bulletin resumed publication on February 25, 1946. A printing assistance from Ramon Roces and two newsprint quotas from the War Production Board in Washington facilitated its comeback.

On July 4, 1946, President Harry Truman proclaimed, “the United States of America withdraws and surrenders all rights of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control, or sovereignty now existing and exercised by the United States of America in and over the territory and [the] people of the Philippines.” Truman, in behalf of the United States of America “recognizes the independence of the Philippines as a separate and self-governing nation and acknowledges the authority and control over the same of the government instituted by the people under the constitution now in force.”

In October 1947, the Manila Daily Bulletin underwent modernization and transferred to its new plant in Florentino Torres Street, where its brand new Duplex Unitubular machine with a capacity of 40 000 copies per hour was housed. When Brig Gen Hans Menzi bought the newspaper, it became the unofficial mouthpiece of the Americans in the country after he gave it a Filipino rather than an American orientation.

In February 1948, the Newspaperman announced the death of three militant newspapers because of staffing and financial difficulties. These newspapers were the Manila Post, edited by Abelardo Subido and published by Victorio Santiago; the Manila Chronicle, edited by Vicente Pacis and published by Eduardo Cojuangco; and the Philippine Liberty News, edited by Indalecio Soliongco and published by Manuel Manahan.

In 1948, Ramon Roces revived the Graphic but with a different name, content, and language – Kislap, a movie magazine in Tagalog. In 1951, it became the Kislap-Graphic, a bilingual magazine in Tagalog and English. In 1960, it became the Weekly Graphic in order not to compete circulation with the Liwayway.

The Manila Times Publishing Company, Inc. launched the Daily Mirror on May 2, 1949, less than a year after Ramon Roces sold the News, the newspaper he founded on September 23, 1945, to Lt Cmdr Chick Parsons. On February 11, 1960, Parsons sold the News to the Far East Publishing Company. In 1965, it was taken over by Manuel Elizalde, a business tycoon with substantial holdings in radio and in television

In 1961, the Soriano Group of Companies acquired the Philippine Herald, which resumed publication on July 8, 1949. Other newspapers during this period were the Comet, Liberal, Express, Freedom, Guerilla, Chronicle, Daily Mail, Victory News, Fil-American, Evening Herald, Filipino Observer, Philippine Progress, and the Philippine Liberty News.

In 1952, the National Press Club was founded by the Senate Press Club, Philippine News Service, Manila Police Press Club, Congressional Press Club, Port Writers Association, Manila Overseas Press Club, Political Writers Association, Labor Reporters Association, Philippine Movie Press Club, Malacañang Press Association, Manila Newspaperwomen’s Club, Cartoonist Association of the Philippines, Philippine News Photographers Association, and the Business Writers Association of the Philippines.

On the other hand, the Philippine Press Institute was inaugurated on May 4, 1964 after the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation donated a more than enough fund for its establishment. Its pioneer officers were Hans Menzi, Oscar Lopez, P K Macker, Juan Mercado, Joaquin Roces, and Carlos Romulo.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Period of Nationalism and First Quarter Storm

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Period of Nationalism and First Quarter Storm

by Alixander Haban Escote

During this period, journalism moved the country toward nationalism and independence. It is the period when the country experienced economic turmoil and had a hard time in paying its increasing foreign debts. The Philippine peso flunked against the US dollar and America meddled in the state of economy of the country. As a result, the people felt hardships in life and the press reported the continuing destruction of bureaucracy that shaped the neocolonial outline of our history.

In 1963, Bertrand Russel Foundation published the Progressive Review whose prominent writers included Luis Teodoro, Jose Maria Sison, and Francisco Nemenzo Jr. The Philippine Collegian, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines,16 published essays that mirrored progressive and revolutionary ideas of its editorial staff.

At the University of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, also known as Amado Guerrero, founded the Kabataang Makabayan on November 30, 1964. A militant student organization, it removed the unscrupulous masks of feudalism, capitalism, imperialism, and neocolonialism, which, according to Sison, are “the barriers toward the attainment of freedom and independence.”

In November 1965, the then Senate President Ferdinand Marcos,17 Nacionalista Party presidential candidate, who ran against President Diosdado Macapagal, Liberal Party presidential candidate, was elected Sixth President of the Republic of the Philippines, defeating the latter by 67 000 votes. In January 1966, Marcos vowed to be the “leader of the people” and “to make this nation great again.”

After one year, US President Lyndon Johnson sought support for the American involvement in South Vietnam and called for a summit among his allies in the Asia and the Pacific. As a response, Marcos sent an engineering battalion despite popular clamor for non-involvement.

In December 1968, Jose Maria Sison founded the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and continued the armed struggle against the government and its foreign tentacles. When Marcos was re-elected for another four-year term in November 1969, CPP formed an alliance with the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan, formerly the military arm of the Partido ng Komunista ng Pilipinas and later the New People’s Army led by Bernabe Buscayno, also known as Kumander Dante.

In January 1970, series of rallies were launched by radical and moderate student organizations protesting the inclusion of politicians in the 1971 Constitutional Convention and the constitutional provision that would allow Marcos to run for a third term. When militant students overrun the military lines and ram commandeered fire trucks at the gates of the Malacañang Palace, bloody violence erupted.18 This bloody episode began a wave of protest known as the First Quarter Storm.

On August 21, 1971, two hand grenades were thrown at the Plaza Miranda19 killing 8 and injuring 120 persons including Senators Gerardo Roxas, Jovito Salonga, and Sergio Osmeña Jr. who attended the Liberal Party proclamation rally. As a result, Marcos suspended the privilege of writ of habeas corpus20.

In a study conducted by John Lent, there were 26 newspapers and 16 periodicals published during this period. The principal newspapers were the Taliba, Daily Mirror, Evening News, Manila Times, Manila Chronicle, Philippine Herald, and the Manila Daily Bulletin. The principal magazines were the Liwayway, Tagumpay, Weekly Nation, Weekly Graphic, Republic Weekly, Philippine Free Press, Asia Philippines Leader, and the Philippine Free Press sa Filipino,

Militant newspapers during this period included Ang Pasada, Samahan ng mga Makabayang Tsuper; Pagkakaisa, Philippine Peace and Solidarity Council; Bandilang Pula, Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan; Ang Kalayaan and Ang Aktibista, Kabataang Makabayan; Taliba ng Bayan and The Liberation, National Democratic Front; and the Sulong, Ang Bayan, and Ang Komunista, Communist Party of the Philippines.

In early September 1972, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.21 refuted “Oplan Sagitarrius,” the plan to place some parts of the country under martial law.

On the very night before martial law was declared, the convoy of Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile was ambushed. Fourteen years later, while facing uncertain fate at the Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City after he broke away from Marcos, Enrile confessed that the “ambush” was staged to help justify the imposition of the emergency rule.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Martial Law Days

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Martial Law Days

by Alixander Haban Escote

On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 and “placed the entire country under martial law.” With the guise of rebellion and insurrection against the government, Marcos manipulated events and situations to justify the declaration of martial law.

The imposition of martial law was necessary, Marcos said, “to save the republic and form a new society.” The purposes of the emergency rule were two-sided: (1) eradicating the armed force of the rebellion and ending the anarchy that prevailed; and (2) eliminating the social and economic roots of the rebellion, by causing rapid national development.

Marcos assured the people that the imposition of martial rule was “legal and constitutional…humane, fair, and just as shown in the absence of bloodshed and the almost unanimous acceptance [of emergency measure] by the people.” The autocrat reiterated that martial law was “not a military takeover of civil government functions… but is the ultimate weapon availed of to preserve the people’s life as a nation when threatened.” A war to be waged on two fronts: “On one hand, we have to completely stamp out the communist menace. On the other hand, we have to cut the powers of the oligarchs who have tyrannized the people.”

The following day, Marcos issued Letter of Instruction No. 1 ordering the Press Secretary and the Defense Secretary “to take over and control or cause the taking over and control of the mass media for the duration of the national emergency, or until otherwise ordered by the President or by his duly designated representative.”

In the first few days of military rule, the Public Information Office issued tight censorship guidelines. Department Order No. 1 signed by Francisco Tatad, ordered, “unless otherwise specified, no newspaper, radio, or television program may carry any editorial opinion, commentary, or asides, or any other kind of political, unauthorized, or objectionable advertising. The so-called society page shall not appear in any newspaper and its equivalent shall not be broadcast either by radio or television.”

As a result, all newspapers and periodicals were closed down and the Sun, Daily Star, Evening News, Manila Times, Manila Chronicle, and the Philippines Herald were sequestered. The likes of publishers Antonio Araneta, Graphic; Joaquin Roces, Manila Times; Eugenio Lopez Jr., Manila Chronicle; and Teodoro Locsin Sr., Philippine Free Press; were jailed.

Marcos also jailed the following editors and reporters: Rolando Fadul, Taliba; Luis Mauricio, Graphic; Juan Mercado, Dumaguete Times; Rosalinda Galang, Manila Times; Jose Lacaba, Philippine Free Press; Amando Doronilla, Manila Chronicle; and Napoleon Rama, Philippine Free Press.

Dolores Feria, Jose Burgos Jr., Satur Ocampo, Rommel Corro, Armando Malay, Napoleon Rama, Maximo Soliven, Petronillo Daroy, Ernesto Granada, Jo-Ann Maglipon, Ninotchka Rosca, Rodolfo Ordonez, and Antonio Ma Nieva were also jailed.

Philippine Collegian student journalists like Roberto Coloma, Alexander Magno, and Malou Mangahas were also put in jail. Mauro Avena, Jose Burgos Jr., Sheila Coronel, Rommel Corro, Domini Suarez, Armando Malay, Ma Ceres Doyo, Francisco Rodrigo, and Salvador Gonzales faced libel and subversion cases.

Arlene Babst, Mauro Avena, Antonio Ma Nieva, Ninez Cacho Olivarez, and Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc were dismissed as professional journalists. Jacinto Peña, Alex Orcullo, Kenneth Lee, Geoffrey Siao, Henry Romero, Porfirio Doctor, Demy Dingcong, Walter Sisbrenio, Noe Alejandrino, Jacobo Amatong, Florante de Castro, and Antonio Tagamolila offered their lives for journalism.

Women journalists though subjected to military threats, harassments, and intimidations proved to be equally if not more daring than men in their writings. Among them were Ceres Doyo, Arlene Babst, Sheila Coronel, Ninez Olivares, Betty Belmonte, Melinda de Jesus, Eugenia Apostol, Malou Mangahas, Domini Torrevillas, Tina Monzon-Palma, and Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc.

Within weeks, the Philippine Daily Express, published by Juan Perez and owned by Roberto Benedicto, Marcos’s friend and law schoolmate, was allowed to operate and became the unofficial mouthpiece of the administration during the historical martial law proclamation. It was an unabashed propaganda newspaper and eventually came to be known, in the kind of defiant humor popular during the martial law, as the Daily Suppress.

In its December 7, 1972 editorial, the paper praised the imposition of martial law in rather flagrant time:

“President Marcos took the decisive step to realize that Filipino dream when he placed the entire country under martial law to save the republic from foreign-backed communist conspiracy trying to seize state and political power, and to reform a sick society by eradicating the social roots of the rebellion and anarchy. (Italics Mine)

“Proclamation 1081 is not a martial law proclamation but a declaration of emancipation…liberating the Filipino mind, body, and soul from centuries of imprisonment (by social, political, and economic ills and conditions imposed by [the] Spanish, [the] American, and [the] Japanese force[s]) as well as from local tyrants and warlords… and those who took orders from Moscow and lately from the operatives of Chairman Mao” (Italics Mine).

The tightly controlled mass media had few openings for alternative versions of reality to seep through the thick mist of official propaganda. Kerima Polotan-Tuvera published the Focus, a safe but interesting magazine. The daughter of sometime presidential representative Adrian Cristobal published the Review, a short-lived literary magazine.

Only few newspapers and periodicals were given permission to operate: the Evening Post of Kerima Polotan-Tuvera, the Bulletin Today of Gen Hans Menzi, and the Times Journal of Benjamin Romualdez. These newspapers were also known as “crony press” or “establishment press.”

The boldest publication during the martial law period was the Who Magazine of the Bulletin-owned Liwayway Publications, Inc. It was intended to be a personality periodical, but Menzi gave its editorial staff some liberty to write feature stories. It tackled stories about victims of human rights abuses, public sentiments regarding the real state of things, and indigenous communities resisting development programs. Some of its editorial columns were critical of the administration.

Who Magazine editorial staff and contributors were often summoned to explain the merits of their stories. Marcos himself expressed annoyance over the existence of the publication. But, Menzi was fond of the young journalists and that he defended them and the publication. The magazine was finally shut down after he died.

Nationalistic campus newspapers were the Pandayan of the Ateneo de Manila University, Balawis of the Mapua Institute of Technology, the Philippine Collegian of the University of the Philippines, Ang Hasik of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and Ang Malaya of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – 1986 EDSA Revolution

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – 1986 EDSA Revolution

by Alixander Haban Escote

Three years before the 1986 EDSA Revolution, Mr & Ms, an inexpensive weekly magazine, sensationalized the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., paramount political rival of Marcos, at the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983. Aquino’s assassination ignited a fire of protests particularly in Ugarte Field in Makati and in Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila where the upper and the middle classes marched with the poor, the workers, the unemployed, and the professionals.

The continued publication and circulation of Mr & Ms encouraged Eugenia Apostol and Leticia Jimenez-Magsanoc to publish the Philippine Daily Inquirer, an opposition newspaper edited by Luis Beltran, on December 2, 1985. With the slogan “Balanced News, Fearless Views,” 40 editors, reporters, photographers, correspondents, and other editorial employees put out the newspaper on December 9, 1985. It was one of the two alternative newspapers that chronicled the flight of the Marcoses on February 25, 1986.

Earlier, We Forum, with Jose Burgos Jr. as the editor and publisher and Bonifacio Gillego as the writer, ran series of exposé on the alleged Marcos fake medals. Because of this, Marcos ordered the closure of the newspaper and the arrest of its editor and publisher. However, on December 4, 1981, the newspaper metamorphosed into Malaya, which ceased on December 7, 1982 and reopened on January 17, 1983.

The rampage of the new elite and the abuse of human rights did not only bleed the economy dry but also fueled rallies and demonstrations. The EDSA Revolution that prevailed on February 22-25, 1986 was a peaceful cry for freedom and independence, which, according to Senator Francisco Tatad, was “a beautiful revolution whose combatants include men, women, and children who had fun rather than fear and who thought that what they went through was a religious rather than a political experience.”

On February 25, 1986, Corazon Aquino24 was inaugurated as President of the Republic of the Philippines at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan before Supreme Court Senior Justice Claudio Teehankee. An hour later, Marcos conducted his own inauguration at the Malacañang Palace. Channels 2, 9, and 13 covered the ceremony, but they were cut off suddenly because their transmitters were taken by reformist troops. Without television, Marcos finally loses control. Marcos called Juan Ponce Enrile to offer him power in a provisional government, but the latter turned him down. Marcos called US Senator Paul Laxalt to ask for advice and he was told: “Mr. President, I think you should cut, and cut cleanly.” Marcos made a final call to Enrile asking for a safe conduct for his family. The Marcoses then packed hurriedly. At 9 p. m., four American helicopters fly the Marcoses from the Malacañang Palace in Manila to the Clark Air Base in Pampanga. The next day, they stop over at Guam, then fly to Hawaii.

Prominent newspapers during this period were the Business Day, the most respected business newspaper; the Malaya, the newspaper that strongly opposed martial law; the Bulletin Today, the newspaper that exists through bad and good times; theManila Times, the newspaper that came back before the snap elections; and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the most read newspaper even after a few months of circulation.

Included were their Sunday magazines: Panorama, Inquirer Extra, Midday Malaya, Sunday Times Magazine, and Sunday Inquirer Magazine. The weekly newsmagazines were Veritas, We Forum, Veritas Special, and Mr & Ms Special Edition. Also included were News Herald, Manila Chronicle, Ang Pilipino Ngayon, Pilipino Daily Mirror, and the Philippine Tribune.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Contemporary Period

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Contemporary Period

by Alixander Haban Escote

After the 1986 EDSA Revolution, the press, which plays a potent role in the promotion of truth, justice, and democracy, and of peace, progress, and prosperity, was liberated from dictatorship. During this period, crony newspapers were closed and the National Press Club and the Philippine Press Institute were revived to professionalize mass media in the country.

During this period, significant changes, advances, and developments have taken place in Philippine journalism. Newspapers and periodicals have expanded in pages, sections, coverages, and circulations. They have become venues of sensitive issues like death penalty, charter change, juetengate scandal, and visiting forces agreement, and of diverse issues about the civil society, land reform, human rights, genders issues, and other areas that before the 1986 EDSA Revolution were previously ignored or minimally covered. Some investigative reports have led to further investigations, have enhanced transparency, and have reduced corruption in the judiciary, executive, and legislative branches of the government.

These developments are attributed to the continuing efforts of the newspaper and the periodical industry and their research and academic organizations: the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, which conducts rigorous research in the affairs of the state; the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, which upgrades professionalism and responsibility of media practitioners through seminars, workshops, and publications; the Philippine Press Institute, which conducts trainings and sponsors the Annual Community Press Awards that recognizes excellence among provincial newspapers and periodicals; and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, which offers graduate studies in journalism and in communication management and conducts media research, interim training, and policy advocacy.

In 1998, there are 14 daily broadsheets and 19 tabloids published in Metro Manila. Among the broadsheets with the biggest circulations include the Manila Bulletin with a claimed circulation of 280 000 on weekdays and 300 000 on weekends and the Philippine Daily Inquirer with a claimed circulation of 260 000 on weekdays and 280 000 on weekends. Among the tabloids with the biggest circulations include the Abante with a claimed circulation of 417 600 and the People’s Journal with a claimed circulation of 382 000. Out of the 408 provincial newspapers and periodicals, 30 are printed daily, 292 are published weekly, and the rest are circulated either monthly or quarterly.

Today, based from the 2000 Philippine Media Fact Book, there are 559 print publications, 475 broadsheets, 45 magazines, and 39 tabloids and comics; 22 percent are published in the National Capital Region, 12 broadsheets, 17 tabloids, 32 magazines, 39 comics, and 5 Chinese newspapers. Among the broadsheets with the biggest circulations include the Philippine Daily Inquirer with a daily circulation of 257 416, followed by the Philippine Star, 251 000, and the Manila Bulletin, 240 000. Other broadsheets with their daily circulation are as follows: Today, 152 268; Kabayan, 150 000; Malaya, 135 193; Manila Standard, 96 310; Sun Star Manila, 87 000; Philippine Post, 78 218; The Manila Times, 75 000; Business World, 61 283; and The Daily Tribune, 50 000.

Among the tabloids with the biggest circulations include Bulgar with a daily circulation of 448 450, followed by the People’s Journal, 382 200, and the People’s Tonight, 365 811. Other tabloids with their daily circulation are as follows: Remate, 310 000; Abante, 260 000; Bandera, 253 523; Pilipino Star Ngayon, 250 200, People’s Bagong Taliba, 210 000; Balita, 175 725; Tempo, 160 000; Abante Tonight, 150 000; Isyu, 126 835; Saksi Ngayon, 100 000; Remate Tonight, 90 000; Balita sa Hapon, 35 000; and Sun Star Bulilit, 30 000.

Among the Sunday supplements of daily newspapers, Panorama of the Manila Bulletin has the highest number of circulation, 300 000, followed by the Sunday Inquirer Magazine of the Philippine daily Inquirer, 268 575, and the Starweek Magazine of the Philippine Star, 268 000. Among the entertainment magazines, Glitter has the highest number of circulation with 300 000, followed by the Pilipino Reporter News Magazine, 188 192, and the Woman Today, 184 900.

Other magazines with their weekly circulation are as follows: Kislap Magazine, 182 158; Sports Life Magazine, 179 997; Movie Flash Magazine, 177 850; MOD, 176 820; Star Talk Magazine, 163, 565; Moviestar, 153 829; Women’s Journal, 152-825; Woman’s Home Companion, 146 969; Mr and Ms Magazine, 140 665; Philippine Free Press, 138 759; Super Horoscope, 135 933; Chic Magazine, 135 933; Teen Movie Magazine, 133 779; Miscellaneous, 133 000; Mega Star, 130 942; Liwayway, 128 680; Sports Weekly, 126 286; Scoreboard, 102 000; Sports Flash Magazine, 101 164; Hot Copy Magazine, 97 246; Woman, 50 000; Chica-Chica Magazine, 20 000; Super Teen Movie Magazine, 17 000; and Intrigue, 12 000. China Times Magazine, which comes out monthly, has a circulation of 10 000.

Among the provincial press, there are 43 dailies; 3 in Luzon, 19 in the Visayas, and 21 in Mindanao. There are also 315 weeklies, 209 in Luzon, 30 in the Visayas, and 76 in Mindanao.

Next: A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Historical Notes

A History of Journalism in the Philippines – Historical Notes

by Alixander Haban Escote

Twenty-four important notes necessary in understanding a history of journalism in the Philippines.

  1. Marcelo Del Pilar is also the author of La Soberania Monacal, 1888; and Frailocracia Fililipa, 1889. Hilario was not actually his middle name, but Gatmaytan.
  2. The Iglesia Filipina Independiente was founded by Isabelo delos Reyes and Pascual Poblete, 1902; and was headed by Gregorio Aglipay as its first Pontifex Maximus or Obispo Maximo or Supreme Bishop.
  3. Vigan, before Ciudad Fernandina and later Heritage City of Vigan, is the capital of Ilocos Sur and the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia. It is the third city in the Philippines founded by Juan de Salcedo, grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
  4. Jose Protacio Mercado Rizal y Alonzo Realonda wrote Noli Me Tangere, 1887; and El Filibusterismo, 1891. He was executed in Bagumbayan, now Rizal Park, on December 30, 1896.
  5. Ferdinand Blumentritt, the “true brother” and “loyal friend” of Jose Rizal, made several studies about the country. He was born in Praque, Bohemia, now Czechoslovakia.
  6. Andres Bonifacio is the father of Philippine Revolution and Philippine Democracy and the founder of the Kataastaasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan in Tondo, Manila on July 7, 1892.
  7. Emilio Aguinaldo was the President of the First Philippine Republic. He was also elected as President of the Revolutionary Government and President of the Biak-na-Bato Republic. He proclaimed Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
  8. Rafael Palma was elected Senator of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1916; appointed Secretary of the Interior, 1919; and appointed member of the Independence Missions, 1919 and 1922. He was also the fourth president of the University of the Philippines, 1925-1933; a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, 1934-1935; and the Chairman of the National Council of Education; 1936-1939.
  9. Gen Douglas McArthur was the youngest Chief of Staff of the US Army. He served as the Military Adviser of the Philippine Commonwealth, 1936-1941; Commanding General of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), 1941; Supreme Allied Commander of the Southwest Pacific, 1942-1945; and Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers for Occupied Japan, 1945-1951.
  10. Sergio Osmeña Sr. was the first Filipino national leader under the American regime as Speaker of the Philippine Assembly and the Second President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1944-1946. He was the Vice President of Manuel Quezon when World War II broke out, and assumed the presidency upon the death of the latter in 1944. His secret agreement with US President Harry Truman on May 14, 1945 became the basis of the 1947 RP-US Military Bases Agreement.
  11. US Olympia is the flagship of Admiral George Dewey, the Commanding Officer of the US Asiatic Squadron during the Spanish-American War. For his victory, Dewey rapidly rose from the rank of Commodore to Rear Admiral and Admiral in the US Navy.
  12. Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina was the President of the Philippine Senate, 1916-1936, and the First President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, 1935-1944.
  13. Francis Burton Harrison was the American Governor General of the Philippines, 1913-1919, remembered for his Filipinization policy, i. e., replacement of Americans in the Philippine Civil Service with qualified Filipinos. His dying wish that he be buried in the Philippines was granted and that he was buried in Manila North Cemetery.
  14. Carlos Romulo y Peña was the first Filipino president of the United Nations General Assembly, 1949; and a member of the United Nations Security Council, 1958.
  15. The Battle of Bataan started on January 9, 1942 and continued until April 9, 1942.
  16. The University of the Philippines was established in 1908 by virtue of Act No. 1870 written by W Shuster Morgan, Secretary of Public Instruction and member of the Philippine Commission. Formerly located in Padre Faura in Manila, it transferred to Diliman in Quezon City in 1949 although the College of Medicine and Allied Medical Professions remained in Manila.
  17. President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. First elected in 1965, he was easily re-elected in 1969. Facing increasing civil unrest from the Communist Party of the Philippines headed by Jose Maria Sison and the Moro National Liberation Front headed by Hashim Salamat, Marcos suspended the constitution, declared martial law, and seized dictatorial powers in 1972. Accused of massive fraud in the 1986 Snap Elections against Corazon Aquino, Marcos and his family fled to Hawaii. He spent the last three years of his life fighting the lawsuits that tried to reclaim the large fortune he had accumulated improperly while in power.
  18. Malacañang Palace is the official residence of the Spanish and the American governors-general from 1863 to 1935 and of Philippine presidents from 1935 to the present. The name is said to have come from the words “May lakan diyan,” literarily, “there are noblemen residing there.” A violent rally in front of the palace on January 30, 1970 was described as the “Siege of Malacañang.”
  19. Plaza Miranda is the public square in front of the Quaipo Church in Manila. It was named after Jose Sandino y Miranda, Secretary of the Treasury of the Philippines from 1853 to 1854.
  20. The writ of habeas corpus is a written order, issued by a court, directed to the person detaining another, and commanding him to produce the body of a prisoner with the date and the cause of his capture and detention.
  21. Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. was the youngest foreign correspondent during the Korean War, the youngest adviser of President Ramon Magsaysay, and the youngest member of the Philippine Senate. His assassination at the Manila International Airport, now Ninoy Aquino International Airport, on August 21, 1983 galvanized popular opposition to the Marcos administration and brought his widow, Corazon Cojuangco, to the forefront, during the 1986 Snap Election.
  22. Martial law is the temporary imposition of a military government over a civil government. It is invoked when civil authority is inadequate to enforce law and to preserve order against rebellion and insurrection. It was also proclaimed in Taiwan, 1949; Thailand, 1958; and South Korea, 1972.
  23. EDSA is an acronym for Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, named after a Filipino historian and provincial governor of Nueva Ecija. Formerly known as Highway 54, which starts from Kalookan City to Pasay City, a stretch of it in Quezon City was the setting of the 1986 Philippine Revolution, hence 1986 EDSA Revolution.
  24. Corazon Aquino is the First Woman and Eighth President of the Republic of the Philippines, 1986-1992. With Salvador Laurel as his running mate, she led the opposition that overthrew President Ferdinand Marcos who went into exile in Hawaii after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. She first established a revolutionary government under a Freedom Constitution, which was replaced by the 1987 Constitution, drafted in 1986 and ratified in 1987.

Chinese Immigration Research Project

Who were the hardest workers on the Transcontinental Railroad? The Irish? The former slaves? No, it was the Chinese immigrants. Without Chinese Immigration, It would have taken many more years to complete. Although at first hated, Chinese immigrants grew to be respected by their many contributions to American society. The Chinese endured a hard voyage from China only to find backbreaking work. The immigrants started coming in the mid 1800’s and were treated horribly until the 1940’s. Even though they experienced anything from racist laws to anti-Chinese riots, the Chinese immigrants still managed to accomplish astonishing feats.

In China, There were two types of people: the very wealthy and the very poor. Rich people owned big houses. They had many servants, maids, and butlers. They practiced many beauty methods. The most painful was the binding of little girls’ feet. Small feet, called “lily feet”, were considered a mark of feminine beauty. It literally turned the girls into cripples. The poor people had nothing close to the life of a rich person. Many were rice farmers. At least they had something to eat. Those even poorer went hungry for days and had to resort to stealing from the farmers. The poor made up the majority of the Chinese population. Those people brought their hopes and dreams to America.

Beliefs made up an enormous part of life in China. The three main religions were Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Buddhism originated in India. Many people didn’t worship Confucianism, but still acknowledged it. The majority of the people worshiped Confucianism. These beliefs were started by Kong Fu Zi, who is better known by his Latin name, Confucius. Family honor also played an enormous role in China. Parents believed that children owed a debt to the parents for raising them. This “debt” could be repaid in many ways. One way would be to take care of their parents when they grew old. Another way was to send money to their parents, which many immigrants did. This was an essential part of Chinese lifestyle.

All men in China had to wear the same hairstyle. They shaved their forehead, and wore a long braid on the back of the head. The braids were called a queue. All men were required to wear them from the 1600’s to 1911. In the 1600’s, the Manchu Empire captured China. Queues symbolized loyalty to the Manchu rulers. Those who didn’t comply were committing treason and either imprisoned or executed. Without their queues, Chinese immigrants could not return to China. If it was cut off, they would have to grow a new one, which could take many years. After the overthrow of the Manchu government, in 1911, many Chinese people, in both China and America, cut off their queues in celebration of freedom.

The Opium Wars were a crucial element in immigration from China. China wanted to stop importing opium to China. The opium was turning many people in to mindless wanderers. When the British refused, the Chinese attacked merchant ships. The British retaliated by sending an armada. China was defeated and opium trade continued. China was no longer a closed nation. People could immigrate to other countries. Chinese immigrants flooded into California and the West Coast.

The immigration station most Chinese immigrants went to was Angel Island. It was like Ellis Island for the West Coast. However, immigrants could be detained for years. To express their sadness, immigrants carved poetry onto the walls. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, the poems were dismissed as graffiti. The conditions were much worse than Ellis Island. Angel Island is no longer an immigration station and is now a national monument.

There were not many jobs available to Chinese immigrants that came in the mid 1800’s. The immigrants either became miners, laundrymen, or opened restaurants. Most of the miners came because the Gold Rush of 1949. They heard rumors of “Gold Mountain”, a land where gold could be picked up off the ground. Most of the miners lived in San Francisco. Unlike the white miners, the Chinese miners didn’t argue and fight. They were cooperative and pooled their money together to buy new mines. Miners lived in conditions that were usually very dirty. Being a laundryman was worse than being a miner in some ways. Laundrymen worked over 14 hours a day. It was comparable to being a slave. Laundries popped up all over the west coast. Miners and laundrymen needed food, so immigrants opened restaurants. The Asian food is still eaten today.

In America, Chinese immigrants settled in areas that became known as Chinatowns. The biggest one was in San Francisco. It attracted every Chinese person in California. New immigrants could often meet relatives or friend in Chinatowns. People went there because it was like their old life. People spoke Chinese, wore Chinese clothes, kept Chinese customs, and ate the same food. The food was much healthier than the American food. It consisted of many fruits and vegetables. They boiled their tea (killing any germs in the water). Many parts of the Chinatown were filthy. People crammed in rooms to save money. The conditions were like this until the Earthquake of 1906. It destroyed the San Francisco Chinatown. This played a crucial role in Chinese immigration. Not only did the new Chinatown was much more hygienic, but also the immigration records were destroyed. Chinese immigrants claimed they were born here. This might not seem important, but it played a part in Chinese immigration.

Anyone born in this country is a citizen. The law states that any citizen of the U.S. can bring their offspring into the U.S. Many of the new “citizens” brought “paper sons” to America. Paper sons were usually the son of the immigrant’s friend. The paper sons had to be interrogated about their “father”. The immigrant and the paper son agreed on answers. The interrogation could last for hours. If he failed the test, he would be deported and sent back the China. Many Chinese boys came to America this way. “Hoping to catch a paper son in a lie, immigration officers asked specific questions, like `how many steps were in your father’s house?’.” The only reason for all the deceit is only because of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. It was the first time an immigration limitation was passed on a certain group. It was signed by President Chester Arthur. It was ended in 1942, when China and the U.S. were allies in WWII. The wife of a Chinese general came to the U.S. She promoted the war. She also asked for the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act and it was repealed.

Many Americans hated the Chinese immigrants. There were many reasons why Americans hated them. Some hated the Chinese because they were more successful than some Americans. On the other hand, others hated the Chinese because they looked so different. Some participated in anti-Chinese riots. Many Chinese immigrants were lynched. Others were severely injured. The worst riot lasted three days. The National Guard was called in, but even that wasn’t enough. Eventually, the Navy was called in, and the riot was broken up. These weren’t the only bigoted acts. Racist laws were passed to give the Chinese a hard time. The Sidewalk Ordinance prevented people from carrying poles with baskets on the ends. It was deliberately aimed at the Chinese. The Cubic Air Ordinance required every adult in San Francisco to have 500 cubic feet of living space. In addition, the Foreign Miners Act taxed all foreign miners if they owned gold mines. This deterred some miners from buying mines. Perhaps the most ruthless law was the Scott Act. It added to the Chinese Exclusion Act. It announced that all Chinese immigrants outside of the U.S. couldn’t come back in. At this time, about 20,000 immigrants were in China visiting their family.

Many people changed their attitudes towards the Chinese during WWII. WWII united China and the U.S; they had a common enemy: Japan. Many Chinese-Americans joined the military. Because at first they experienced racial prejudice, most of the Chinese-Americans were cooks. The few that actually fought were respected in the Army. Some even made it to be the Squad Leader. Because the Chinese were allies with the U.S. and the Japanese were its enemies, many stereotypical thoughts emerged. Chinese faces were said to be “kindly and honest”, and Japanese faces were said to be “cruel and arrogant”. This began an era of equality to the Chinese.

Chinese-Americans achieved great accomplishments. There were many important people. Michael Chang is a former professional tennis player. He was the youngest person to win a Grand Slam. He was also the first American to win the French Open in 34 years. Another important Chinese-American is Yo Yo Ma. He is a exceptional cellist who went to Juilliard School of Music. In addition, another Chinese-American is I. M. Pei. He is a renowned architect. He has designed the glass pyramid in from of the Louvre museum in Paris. Other buildings designed by him include the National Gallery of Art and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Furthermore, Jerry Yang founded Yahoo!. It is now a leading Internet brand. There are countless more significant people, but it is too many to list on paper.

Chinese Americans have made an enormous impact on American society. Like many of the immigrants from other countries, the Chinese immigrants were mostly poor. However when they got here, many were detained fro years at Angel Island. Those who did manage to get to the mainland received hate and prejudice from Americans. When the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, Chinese immigration was restricted. Some Chinese immigrants lied to the government, and said they were born in the U.S. That way, they brought their children or “paper sons” here. Even so, the children had to pass a difficult interrogation. The Chinese finally proved themselves in WWII, when they fought with the U.S. Life would be very different without the impact of Chinese-Americans.