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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

Pre-Martial Law Years

The Collegian's disclosure of absenteeism in the University Council was the backdrop that served to polarize the Collegian and the Student Council into two warring factions.

By the time Temario Rivera's term started in 1967-68, the Student Council and the Collegian were at each others' throats though both managed to maintain responsible student leadership.

Among the first to oppose the Marcos government, the Collegian with Rivera at its helm advocated truth through the accurate informing and interpretation of news. This thrust manifested itself in both international and locally based articles, like those regarding the Vietnam War and Magna Carta of Students.

In 1968, Miriam Defensor became the Collegian's first woman editor in chief. Her term was marked with an anti-American sentiment which questioned RP-US relations and the presence of US military bases in the country.

Victor Manarang became editor-in-chief upon the onset of the First Quarter Storm in 1969, with the progressive student movement poised to wage a revolution. Manarang's Filipino policy served to mirror the nationalistic tendencies of thes tudents in the forthcoming decade.

Martial Law Years

Martial law did not tame the Collegian, it distinguished it. The times called for sugar coating what once were incendiary diatribes on the government. The Collegian, for a while, was the lone voice of dissent in a country silenced.

Whereas in prior years, judges for the Collegian examination were chosen by students, the year 1975 saw the Administration enacting rules which allowed deans to nominate the judges.

For three weeks in 1976, the Collegian did not come out. The military arrested EIC Abraham Sarmiento Jr. and placed him under "protective custody." Managing editor Fides Lim was likewise placed under house arrest while contributing editor Roland Simbulan managed to evade his would be captors.

Then President OD Corpuz, according to a statement given by the staff, said there was no basis for the fear that the students would be uninformed in the absense of the Collegian since his "four kids knew and were aware of the things that are happening even without the Collegian."

The position of faculty adviser, widely regarded by staffers as the Administration's whip, was finally abolished in 1977. Then faculty adviser Francisco Arcellana wrote: "When I was asked to comment on the Save the Collegian campaign, I didn't say 'Save the Collegian from the Executive Vice President,' I didn't say 'Save the Collegian from the Collegian staff; I said: 'Save the Collegian from the faculty adviser.'" The staff could only take the elimination of the adviser as a new challenge to prove that the studentry could rein in their own.

The most blatant abuse of interference scandalized the selection of the Collegian EIC for the term 1977-78. The board of judges constituted for the year, on the basis of the examination results, selected Gerry Anigan, a known "progressive." The Board of Regents, taking its cue from the Marcos government, pressured the board of judges to select any one but an activist, thereby causing its members to resign. The Board of Regents then rendered null the choice of the judges and installed Alexander Poblador.

The rules for the selection of the Collegian EIC were once again up for modification in 1978. Students, who used to have a say in the process, were rendered mute as the Board of Regents proposed criteria like leadership and journalistic experience.

In 1980, the call for boycott of the national election reverberated in the pages of the paper. The Collegian also decried the promise of "normalization:" the lifting of Martial Law, which was deemed inconsistent with the practice of detaining political prisoners.

Post-Martial Law Period

The Collegian kept its guns trained against the Marcos government even after Martial Law, seeing that the promised democratic space was a sham.

Among the issues which preoccupied the paper were the campaign against the US bases, the kidnap of Tommy Manotoc, violations of human rights, and the division of the College of Arts and Sciences into the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, College of Arts and Letters, and College of Science. Tibo, a cartoon characters, was introduced to lighten up the pages.

In 1982, during the incumbency of Napoleon Poblador, 12 staffers resigned or were dismissed due to "disagreement in editorial policies and differences in principles." It appears that on a particular issue, the EIC took a stand supportive of the Administration. This did not sit well with members of the staff led by Marichu Lambino who came a close second to Poblador during the exam. They came up with another article and switched it with the one of Poblador's.

The Magna Carta for Students came under fire during this term. The bill sought to curtail student unrest while purporting to safeguard the rights of students to freedom of expression. An editorial stated: "Students have the right to non-interference in legitimate student activities -- provided the activities are 'officially permitted by the school.'"

Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla won the editorial exams for the year 1983-84. This being the year when Benigno Aquino was shot as he stepped off the plane, the Collegian featured special reports on his death. One editorial said that justice for Aquino could only be had if "we, as a united people, contribute to the on-going struggle for social progress currently raging at the countrysides."

In 1985, a new round of tuition fee hikes prompted students tired of having 'Under Protest' stamped on their Form 5s, to hit the streets. The paper noted that the character of UP as a state institution began its irreparable decline. An agreement between the MInistry of National Defense and students was scrapped. The Collegian rasied fears of the military barging into its offices and that of Sinag, the CSSP paper like it did in the past, although this time with more impunity.

During the term of Noel Pangilinan, the Collegian garnered the second place in the Gawad Pingkian Awards for 1985. The next year, it won the Wendy's sponsored Best Campus Publication competition besting veryone else in seven out of eight categories.

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