November 28, 2016

Protesters in New York Condemn Marcos Burial in Heroes Cemetery

Protesters in New York against the Marcos burial.(Photo: Joshel Melgarejo)

Woodside, NY – The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) together with Filipino community members recently held an indignation vigil and rally in response to the recent burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Libingan ng mga Bayani (The National Cemetery for Heroes), or LNMB.

On November 18, the body of Marcos was buried secretly in LNMB. This action taken by the Philippine government was an insult to the thousands of people who were victims of Martial Law.

In Queens, NY, heart of the Filipino community, several groups expressed their condemnation of the burial of a dictator who is far from ever being considered a hero in the eyes of the Filipino people.

“Today the Filipino youth may never learn the history and the atrocities caused by Marcos,” said Chrissi Fabro, Secretary General of the Filipino youth community organization, Anakbayan New York. “His burial in the Cemetery of Heroes in the Philippines erases the experiences of the victims of Martial Law.”

Representing the militant Filipino alliance BAYAN USA was Red Tirona, whose parents were also victims of the brutal Marcos dictatorship. “The Marcos dictatorship was a puppet of the United States. All the policies of the Marcos regime were designed to serve the interest of the US.” Red also referenced the creation of Labor Export Policy (LEP) under Marcos as a band-aid solution to the growing need of the Philippines to pay off the billions of debts to the IMF and World Bank accumulated by Marcos. Drawing a comparison between the growing fears of fascist rule in the US and the memories of brutal oppression under Marcos, Tirona emphasized, “...overseas Filipinos must continue the struggle for genuine national liberation in the Philippines while upholding the rights and interests of their kababayans abroad.”

“Marcos is not a hero,” said Potri Rankamanis of Kinding Sindaw, who was a former political detainee and torture survivor of Martial Law. “Philippine history cannot be played upon by Dictator Marcos and his bullying family! Marcos was a fascist murderer of Filipinos! Marcos must be exhumed from the burial ground of Libingan ng nga Bayani because his name as a dictator can never pass as a hero. Burying this dictator in LNMB will blur the years of his plunder and robbery of the Philippines. The future generations must know the truth about Philippine history!”

Zarah Vinola, Secretary of Community Affairs of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns stated “Let’s remember the fact that Marcos instituted the Labor Export Policy, a policy that has been responsible for sending Filipino people away from their families. While Marcos robbed people millions of pesos and borrowed from The World Bank, he paid back these debts by sending people out of the Philippines, just to find themselves in horrible conditions. This policy is responsible for deaths of workers overseas and number of Filipino people trafficked here in the United States and other countries. To this present day this policy continues and is now being studied in other countries to be used as part of false economic development. Marcos should not be remembered as a hero, but we must continue to remember his fascist acts to ensure that this does not happen again.”

This rally and vigil was part of the world-wide actions being conducted by Filipinos to condemn the burial of Marcos in LNMB. The waves of indignation of the Filipino people spread throughout the whole world as the many survivors of Martial Law, their children, grandchildren, and concerned citizens gave voice to the pain and heartache of a generation that lived under the scourge of military rule.

Cries of “Marcos, Hitler, diktador, tuta!!!” could be heard echoing through Roosevelt avenue reflecting the perspective of many of those whose lives were destroyed by the Marcos family’s crony rule over the Filipino people. For the tens of thousands unjustly detained and tortured, for the hundreds of thousands of family members affected, and for the millions of Filipinos who can never forget the violence perpetrated by Marcos’ rule.

Martial law was one of the darkest periods in the history of the Philippines. In response to the growing mass movement of people for genuine freedom and democracy, Marcos declared martial law in 1972. He continued to reign as a dictator for 14 more years until he was overthrown by a strong mass movement of the people.

“At least I survived,” said Potri. “But there are many voices who have been silenced by Marcos.”

“To honor the lives of those lost, we must continue to tell the true history of events under Marcos and continue to organize and mobilize our communities for our liberation,” ended Chrissi Fabro.


About NAFCON
NAFCON is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States. For more information, please visit our website at http://nafconusa.org/ or email NAFCON Northeast at ne@nafconusa.org

AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER LAUNCHES NEW RESIDENCY PROGRAM



The New Strands Residency gives American playwrights
the opportunity to create and develop new works in residence at A.C.T.’s state-of-the-art Strand Theater

New York City’s acclaimed Ma-Yi Theater Company 
named as inaugural partner 



SAN FRANCISCO - American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)’s Associate Artistic Director Andy Donald recently announced the inaugural New Strands Residency, giving emerging and established American playwrights the opportunity to create and develop new works in residence at A.C.T.’s state-of-the-art Strand Theater, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Central Market neighborhood. Each year, A.C.T. will partner with a nationally recognized new-work incubator to select three playwrights, who will spend a week in San Francisco. Over the course of their residency, the playwrights will participate in a reading of their work, develop and workshop their plays-in-progress with directors and a shared ensemble of actors, and sit on various panel discussions. The New Strands Residency culminates with a free public presentation of their work during A.C.T.’s annual New Strands Festival, now in its second year, taking place May 19–21, 2017.

This year’s partner theater company is the Drama Desk and OBIE Award–winning not-for-profit Ma-Yi Theater Company. Based in New York City, Ma-Yi Theater Company is one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today.

Submissions from Ma-Yi Theater Company Writers Lab (“The Labbies”) are now being accepted. Each playwright is welcome to submit up to two plays for consideration. Only one play per playwright will be accepted. Chosen by A.C.T.’s artistic department, the three selected playwrights from Ma-Yi Theater Company will be announced in February 2017. The A.C.T. residency will take place May 15–22, 2017. For more information on the New Strands Residency visit: www.act-sf.org/home/about/new_commissions


“One thing [A.C.T. Artistic Director] Carey Perloff and I have been eager to do is make A.C.T.’s newest major resource—The Strand Theater on Market Street, which opened in 2015—a place for new work, new audiences and new artists,” says Donald. “With the New Strands Residency, we’re establishing another permanent way of making The Strand an artistic home, teaming up each season with an incubator theater and providing space, time and resources to their artists. We could not think of a better partner than Ma-Yi Theater Company to kick this program off. Its commitment to Asian American voices is unparalleled in our field, and its enviable roster of playwrights is a perfect match for San Francisco’s audiences.”

Adds Ralph B. Peña, Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with A.C.T. to bring the work of the Ma-Yi Lab writers to audiences in the Bay Area. It’s an honor to work with one of the country’s premier institutions for developing new works, and we have every confidence this new alliance will bring greater diversity to American theater.”

Now in its second year, the New Strands Festival features new theatrical pieces, works in progress, and readings, as well as experimental work by a variety of artists, including playwrights, dance companies, musicians, and animation artists. Devoted to supporting local, national, and international artists in the creation and completion of original theater, the New Strands Festival enables artists to connect and communities to experience theatrical projects as they take shape, all under one roof at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater.

The inaugural New Strands Residency with Ma-Yi Theater Company is supported by a Building Demand Grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the new A.C.T. Asian stARTup initiative to bring together Asian/Asian American artists and tech workers in the Bay Area.

The New Strands Festival is made possible by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fund for New Works, Theatre Forward, and the Priscilla and Keith Geeslin New Strands Fund.