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A Martial Law Glossary: Acronyms and Buzzwords
Consider this a "wordy crib sheet" from the tumultuous era.
Published on: Sep 23, 2012 - 8:00am


( Martial Law's impact on Philippine history and pop culture was significant, to say the least. Back then, there were acronyms and buzzwords galore for the state's programs and tools of propaganda. Admittedly, some acronyms made people fearful, while others attempted to convince them into thinking that this was all "for our own good." Still, there are acronyms and buzzwords that were spawned by what people sawsome of them gave hope (or whatever passed for it), while others only emphasized the gap between those in power and those who had been rendered powerless. Here, we've listed some of the words of that tumultuous era.


Blue Ladies. This group is defined by blogger Hecho Ayer as "a select group of ladies acting as if they were First Lady Imelda Marcos' ladies-in-waiting." It's worth noting that the said ladies were members of high society.

CHDF. The Civilian Home Defense Force, a group of non-professional citizen reservists organized during Martial Law and designated in rural areas to supposedly help in the government's fight against insurgents. (Weaponized civilians? You can guess what happened.)

FQS. First Quarter Storm refers to January to March 1970, when demonstrations, protests, and marches against the Marcos government intensified. It was later cited by Nick Joaquin in his book Manila, My Manila: A History For The Young (as well as in other works) as "one of the factors leading to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972."


Golden Kuhol. According to a GMA News Online article, this type of snail was introduced in the early '80s by the Marcos government supposedly "to augment the protein needs of the population." Unfortunately, the snails multiplied rapidly and became ricefield pests. The GMA News Online article pointed out that in 2000, when Bongbong Marcos became the governor of Ilocos Norte, he "allotted P2 million to unleash an army of ducks in his province to control the pests that his father had brought to the country."


KKK. No, this did not refer to the group founded by Andress Bonifacio. This was the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran, one of the economic reform programs of the era.


KM. Kabataang Makabayan, one of the "radical" student organizations of the era.

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  • racine
    I don't get why quotation marks are placed around the word 'radical' in describing SDK and Kabataang Makabayan. Does the writer mean to say that these organizations were not really radical? Because if that was his/her intention, then clearly the writer doesn't know what's he/she is talking about.
    Sep 25 2012 @ 05:07am     Reply  
  • Marcial Lou
    Sumurindir na kamu, Metrocom ini!

    Sa Ikauunlad ng Bayan, Bisikleta ang kailangan!
    Sep 23 2012 @ 05:11pm     Reply  
  • Orchid
    Under the Metrocom heading or subject, the following wa soften heard during the Martial Law years:

    "Sumuko na kamo kay Metrocom ini" or "Metrocom ini, sumurindir na kamo!"
    Sep 23 2012 @ 11:41am     Reply  
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