Alfredo Navarro Salanga, a consistent writer of Philippines Panorama Magazine in his column “Post-Prandal Reflections” aptly said it: “darkness in the mindand soul is how some forgotten poet puts it. Its suddenness was so profound that we couldn’t but react to it in any other way.”Elemental to us (poets or writers) was how to grasp to some meaning – in a symbol, a phrase or word – in the language of heart and tongue, the poet’s onlycandles. So we tried to reach out in the next and perhaps the only way we could: by putting pen to paper and speaking out – as partisans in a human drama.Poets, surprisingly, by common consent, found themselves writing on a common subject. Reproduction of some of them is reprinted here. We aptly callthem Protest Poetry of the‘80’s.The themes of most during this time dealt with courage, shock and grief over the “treachery inflicted upon Aquino.”F. MEDIA OF 1983Sheila S. Coronel, a PANORAMA staff stalwart, reporting on the state of the media during these times said: it was a year of ferment, and change, of old problems made more oppressive by the new throbbing beat of the times.”For journalists, it was a year loaded with libel charges, lawsuits and seditious trials which they gallantly bore as harassment suits.JAJA (Justice for Aquino, Justice for All) Movement called for a boycott of government– controlled newspapers in protest of media suppression. People picketed newspapers
offices with coffins to symbolize the death of press freedom.In campuses, newspapers were set afire to protest lack of free expression. Journalists suffered physically and otherwise.Journalists of 3 major dailies demanded a dialogue with their publishers to“restore credibility and respectability” to newspapers.Opposition tabloids flourished. They sold our papers with the red news to the starved public; hence, smut magazines like the TIKTIK, PLAYBOY SCENE, and SAKDAL also played the sidewalks.Radio led by RADIO VERITAS started reporting coverage of demonstrations.Information Minister Gregorio Cendaña called the tabloids the “mosquito press” and called their new “political pornography.”However, there was a perceptible liberalization of editorial policies in the major newspapers.G. CHILDREN’S BOOKSAmong the well-loved forms of writing which abounded during this period were those of children’s stories. The Children’s Communication Center (CCC) directed by poet and writer Virgilio S. Almario already has built up an impressive collection of these kinds of books. The following are some of the books of the period.1982: PLAYS FOR CHILDREN by Jame B. Reuter S.J. (New Day Pub.)1983: STORY TELLING FOR YOUNG CHILDREN1983: JOSE AND CARDO by Peggy CorrManuel1983: Joaquinesquerie: MYTH A LA MOD (Cacho Hermanos)1983: LAHI: 5 FILIPINO FOLK TALES (of 5English books and 1 cassette tape)1984: RIZALIANA FOR CHILDREN: ILLUSTRATIONS and FOLKTALES by: Jose P. Rizal, Intoduced and annotated by Alfredo Navarro Salanga1984: GATAN AND TALAW by Jaime AlipitMonteroH. (PROSE) FABLESThe people’s cry of protest found outlets not only in poetry but also in veiled prose fables which transparently satirized the occupants of Malacañang.