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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

Inquiry, Dissent, and Struggle
Javier Flores and Ava Vivian Gonzales

Though the Philippine Collegian retains the singular distinction of being the most illustrious campus paper in the country, there is no single Collegian. A rummage through the archives, through pages crumbling with age, reveals an impermanence of its character.

There are indeed as many versions of the Collegian as there are batches of writers and students, and passing crises peculiar to different times. Each generation names its own foes.

The process of writing, subversive as it is, fords the inter-generational divide. Such exercise puts one upon inquiry, the starting point of advocacy. When one writes, one requires breathing space: the right to dissect any topic under the sun and in the domain of heaven, and the right not to be interfered with in so doing. The practice of interrogating accepted modes of thinking and overturning paradigms breeds criticism of the powers that be.

In the Collegian's storied past, this criticism, coming at times when to be informed was an offense, was not always welcome. There were issues which came out with white spaces where editorials should have been. Homobono Adaza, then editor in chief (EIC), was removed from office for writing an editorial against the UP Administration. During the Martial Law years, staffers were threatened that they would not graduate if they persisted in attacking the government. The bright lives of some of its editors: Abraham Sarmiento Jr., Antonio Tagamolila, and Enrique Voltaire Garcia III, among a host of others, were snuffed out.

The history of the Collegian is likewise replete with struggles against those who desired to shackle the freedom of writers: the fight against vague provisions on the selection of judges for the editorial exam; the battle to abolish the position of a faculty adviser who had to sign every page proof of the paper; and the endeavor to take care of its own coffers without the Administration holding its finances hostage.

Since the birth of Collegian in 1922, generations of writers have dipped their pens into the inkwell of society racked with vicissitudes. The Collegian was a party in their efforts to resolve the varied inequities of the times with articles that seared, and commentaries that burned. It is imperative that we turn the page to remind us of the efforts of those who came before us.

Perfection lies not behind us, but ahead of us. It is not a forsaken paradise, but a territory we must one day conquer, a city we must one day build. Nevertheless, it is not a mortal sin to occasionally contemplate the cornerstones that have been placed by those before us to show us what is possible.

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