Academic and scholarly discussion on the administration of Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM) will highlight his centenary celebration this September 8-9 at the Teatro Ilocandia, Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), Batac City, with the Marcos 100 Forum: The North Remembers.


Over 600 are expected to gather and listen to four lectures over two days, tackling national identity and culture, FEM’s foreign policy and rule of law, the Marcos-era economy, and institution-building through the barangay unit.


“The idea of the forum is to provide an avenue for scholarly and academic discussions on the life and work of Marcos,” explained Provincial Tourism Officer Aian B. Raquel, “His presidency is very encompassing and broad in terms of scope and subject matter. You can elicit so many valid topics.


“While the subject of Ferdinand Marcos is highly polarized—there’s always two opposing views on the subject matter—it’s still very important to provide an avenue for the study of the era,” he added.


Prof. Antonio P. Contreras of the De La Salle University (DLSU) will give the first lecture on “Notions of Nationalism and the Implications of and on the Marcos Narrative,” focusing not only on governance but also on how he constructed a national identity and celebrated diversity within the country.


Dr. Raul M. Sunico will lecture thereafter on “Cultural Renaissance under the Marcos Years,” which will emphasize FEM’s Presidential Decrees and much of the cultural projects that rested even on Former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.


Currently Vice Chairman of the Federation for Asian Cultural Promotions (FACP) and President of the Klassikal Music Foundation, and former President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Sunico is a world-renowned pianist whose talent was nurtured during the Marcos Era.


The University of the Philippines (UP)’s Clarita R. Carlos, a full professor in political science, will follow with her lecture examining Marcos’ foreign policy and diplomatic strategies. She is a former President of the National Defense College of the Philippines.


Giving the Centennial Lecture on the “The Role of ‘The Law'” during the FEM presidency will be lawyer Estelito P. Mendoza, who been in legal practice for 65 years and a former cabinet member of Marcos. He will address FEM’s Proclamation No. 1081, which declared martial law in the Philippines in September 21, 1972.


On Day Two of the forum, Marcos’ former budget and education secretary Dr. Jaime C. Laya will begin by discussing the economy and economic policies during the FEM presidency. He also served as Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines


Finally, Marcos’ youngest son and Former Senator Ferdinand “Bong Bong” R. Marcos will speak on the barangay as a unit and an agent for institution-building in the Philippines.


All lecturers will be entertaining questions on-ground and online.


Ilocos Norte Governor and FEM’s eldest daughter Imee R. Marcos calls the forum “dap-ayan style: the older generation teaching the younger. We have some participation from the school kids, as usual, who are interested in finding out about the past.”


Raquel expressed hopes that “the proceedings of the forum will be published jointly by the [Marcos] Presidential Center in Batac and, or, the National Historical Commission.” He also revealed that the September 8-9 forum is only the first of a series of fora being arranged and planned throughout FEM’s centenary year, until 2018.