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Rm. 401, Vinzons Hall,
UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

The history of the Philippine Collegian was printed in the February 14, 1996 Collegian Alumni Homecoming publication entitled, "Disturbing the Peace." It was articulated by the News and Features editors of the 1995-96 term.

Here is the first editorial in the magazine-type collection written by then Editor in Chief Ibarra Medina Gutierrez.


First Forms

The Philippine Collegian

The War Years


Martial Law

After EDSA

After EDSA

The pages of the paper burned with accounts of tampering in the Snap Elections called for by the ailing dictator. In 1986, Marcos was booted out. The struggle against the dictatorship lost its focal point after the EDSA event when the tyrant and his family hightailed to Hawaii.

For he briefest of moments, the ascendancy of Cory Aquino gave the notion that an era with 'liberal democratic space' had dawned. The Massacre of farmers demanding genuine agrarian reform at Mendiola in 1987 belied this idea. The rest of the country as well as UP constitutents, however, did not see the implications of the government's swing to the right and were ready to give President Aquino a chance. The mood remained optimistic. This did not sit well with the cynical outlook of the paper. Readership declined.

During the term of Jude Esguerra, the editors, aware that the times were changing, decided to switch tack. There was a conscious effort to woo readers who had become disinterested with the Collegian. They made sure that the paper would contain articles representative o the proportion of students at the time; some articles would not have been thought of two to three years ago.

The other problem the term saw was the prevalence of ready-made solutions rendered inapplicable by the changing period. In search of alternatives of their own, they questioned the answers long held to be hallowed by earlier activists.

The policy of the Collegian as a Radical Activist Student Paper (RASP) was first introduced during this term. In later batches of staffwriters, this policy will become susceptible to varying interpretations.

Ruben Carranza succeeded Esguerra in 1989. He introduced a policy of pluralism and strived to build up on the gains of the previous term. Examples of the blend of heavy and light articles include articles on celebrities in campus and on the abduction of Donato Continente, a member of the business staff accused of killing American military adviser Col. James Rowe. A special issue on the Lakbayan, a march from UP to the US bases in Pampanga, was also published.

During the term of Alexander Pabico, in 1991, the campaign to make Filipino the national language made its presence felt in the Collegian. It was declared a policy that at least half of the news articles were to be in Filipino. The paper ran a series on the partnership between the US and the Aquino government. The staff came out with a special issue when a new treaty on the US bases did not push through.

In 1992, the focus of many articles were the problems of the times: the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, shortage of elictricity, AIDS. The era contained many reviews of books and soundtracks.

In 1993, the editorship of Bernard Cobarrubias saw the movement of the Collegian from a traditional newspaper format to more magazine-type layout. More space and emphasis was given to photos and graphics, and articles shifted from straight news to more featurized forms. Local issues such as the UP presidency and socialized tuition program enjoyed frequent coverage. The pages of the Collegian likewise became a venue for debates on the state of the Philippine Left, which had experienced a major sundering the previous year -- several editorials both criticized various let factions and expressed hope in a resurgence of the same progressive movement.

The mood was drastically altered the following year, in 1994, when the editors reverted back to the hardline stance of the early mid-eighties. Focus shifted back to the national scene, with articles and editorials lambasting GATT, Philipines 2000, and US imperialism dominating the paper. Student interest in the paper waned, as the styles and issues transplanted from the previous decade failed to catch popular interest.

The 1995 editorial term attempted to regain student readership by renewing emphasis on University issues and encouraging reader participation in the paper. The Collegian became the leading critique of commercialization in UP, in the process coming into conflict with the student council. Important national issues were also tackled; discussions on the anti-terror bill, intellectual property rights, and the oil industry saw print in the paper, side by side with on-campus news.

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