September 21, 1972, that was nine years before I was born but to most people who can still remember that faithful day its just like something that echoes the speech made by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor - "a date which will live in infamy..."
I am taking an objective stance on this one because no matter how dark this chapter in Philippine history was, there are always bright spots where Filipinos can be proud of. I will not talk about the "accomplishments" of the late President Ferdinand Marcos nor discussed about the killings and corruption rather mention snippets of how was life then and the things that happened during that time.
The Philippines played their last Olympic Games in Munich, which was shadowed by the Munich Massacre perpetrated by PLO terrorists on Israeli athletes. The Soviets eventually won the gold medal against the Americans, 51-50, in controversial fashion.
Five days earlier, the Colgante Bridge collapsed during the festival of Our Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City, killing 103 people.
Floyd Patterson's comeback was derailed in a 7th round TKO by Muhammad Ali in a fight on September 20.
The 1972 Toyota Corona was the swankiest automobile at that time...
Dr. J aka Julius Erving played his first NBA game for the Atlanta Hawks in a 112-99 win against the ABA's Kentucky Colonels.
Ishmael Bernal's first film "Pagdating sa Dulo" was shown in moviehouses throughout the country.
The Godfather was the highest grossing film that year.M*A*S*H premiered on September 1972. American Pie by Don McLean was the most popular hit single at that time.
Weeks before, Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky to become the first American chess champion.
Another Cold War clash in the hockey world in which Canada defeated USSR in the 1972 Summit Series held in September 28.
The aftermath of Presidential Proclamation 1081, Metro Manila and its immediate suburb looked like a big garrison as people lined up to ride the jeepneys like soldiers. Discipline was enforced as if we're on a state of war.
When the President appeared on television, the course of history was changed. It would be difficult to contemplate on what might have been if things never happened on that faithful day of September 21, 1972. What might have been?
Was the decision meant to save the republic from being torn into shambles of student protest movements, Communist insurgencies, and a growing Muslim separatist movement? We may never know if not declaring the Philippines under Martial Law would plunge the country into greater trouble like a bloody civil war by extremists from both sides.
1972 remains a crossroads of history and its lasting impact remains this very day. The challenges of the nation remains as it was 30 years ago.
(Photo Credits: http://pelikulaatbp.blogspot.com/2008/06/dekada-70-1972.html)