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Beyond the number: '11,103' calls on youth to remember Martial Law survivors

Step into the past with “11,103,” the award-winning documentary featuring the stories of Martial Law survivors.

By Elaisa Almosara | Wednesday, 6 March 2024

To honor the 38th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution,  the Center for Social Action (CSA), in collaboration with DAKILA and Active Vista, organized “#AdbokaSerye: 11,103 Film Screening and Talkback” at the ARG Theater, Taft Campus on Feb. 23.


11,103 was directed by Jeanette Ifurung, Batas Militar (1997) and The Assassination of Ninoy Aquino (2010), co-directed by Mike Alcazaren, Prisoner Alpha (2007) and Puti (2013), and produced by Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, the producer of Delikado (2022) and Ifurung’s Batas Militar. The documentary features the untold stories of survivors who experienced violence during the Martial Law under the dictatorship of Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.


In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martial Law in the Philippines, 11,103 premiered on Sept. 21, 2022, nationwide. It has won the Best Documentary Film Award from the 46th Gawad Urian Awards.


Igniting the spark within

The opening speech was delivered by CSA Director May Flor Artagame, in which she encouraged the Benildean community to get inspired, be involved, and be informed as they watch the film. 


“Hopefully, mainspire kayo sa mga kuwento nila. Mainspire kayo na ma-involve, makinig sa news, alamin bakit tayo naghirap. Bakit naghihirap pa rin ang Pilipinas? Anong puwede nating gawin bilang mga Pilipino?” she emphasized in her speech.


Her inspirational speech was then followed by Sunshine Serrano, the Program Director for Campaign and Advocacy of Active Vista Center, Inc. Ms. Serrano remarked, ”As the 38th anniversary of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines approaches, it is essential to remind ourselves that People Power is more than just EDSA and 1986, it is more than just the political feud between Aquinos and Marcoses.”


Ang 11,103 ay ang bilang ng mga taong nakatanggap ng reparasyon dahil sa paglabag sa kanilang karapatang pantao noong panahon ng Martial Law. Sa likod ng bawat bilang ay kuwento. Bawat bilang ay isang taong may kapamilya, may mga mahal sa buhay, may mga pangarap at adhikain. Ilan ay initala ng buhay. Ilan ay nabago ang buhay dahil sa kanilang mga karanasan,” she concluded. 


Unveiling the curtains of the production

The film revisits the atrocities of the dictatorship centered on the experiences of survivors who are recognized by Republic Act No. 10368, otherwise known as the “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.” This legislation was enacted to acknowledge the violations that transpired during the Martial Law era and to provide reparations to those affected. Since there are no photographs to describe what the survivors have gone through, they are visualized in brutal detail through hand-drawn illustrations and animations created by a collection of artists inspired by Edicio Dela Torre, an artist, and a Martial Law survivor from Mindoro.


During the talkback session where attendees had the opportunity to interact with Alcazaren, he was asked by a student what his motivation was for making the film. 


“In 11,103, we thought that we would need to revisit Martial Law. Since a lot of generations have passed, especially in your generation, pag narinig Martial Law, parang sawang-sawa na kayo. So, how do we bring it back to the next generation? We decided to focus on the lives of the survivors and the heroes of the revolution. We wanted to focus and bring back the stories,” he answered.


One of the Martial Law survivors, Nildz Fullon, who also participated in the talkback session, was asked by a student about her reaction when Marcos Sr. was buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. 


“Of course, we are angry about it. We came up with a coalition against Marcos that was an implementation form to protest against the burial of Marcos. We even went to the Libingan ng Mga Bayani and protested there. But then, it was Duterte’s promise that if he won as a president he’ll allow the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” she said.


Fueling the flames for the youth

As the talkback session drew to a close, Alcazaren expressed his sentiments of hope toward the Benildean community. “What gives us hope is coming to places like this because like my co-director says, we’ve given up on people our age. But when we see you guys come up and show up and ask questions and get involved, nabubuhay kami. Give yourselves a round of applause because we see that you are the hope of the nation.” 


As he extended an invitation to the youth, Alcazaren’s words resonated with the audience, urging them to reinterpret these narratives in their creative ways and use their platforms to make sure these stories about Martial Law and injustice won’t be forgotten.


“This is our appeal also to young filmmakers, the next gen, Gen Z or Gen Alpha… is for you to retell these stories or find other stories of Martial Law or injustice and tell it in your own way. It doesn’t have to be a documentary. It can be in the form of a feature film. This is the thing, the good thing about creative work. All these facts, all these truths, you can gather and present it in your language,” Alcarazen emphasizaed.


If you missed the chance to see 11,103, don’t worry! Another viewing will take place at St. Scholastica's College. The dates for the upcoming screenings will be announced soon. 


To stay informed about the screening dates of 11,103, be sure to visit their Facebook, Instagram, and official website.

Last updated: Wednesday, 6 March 2024