Claim: Marcos Sr. made the official declaration date of Martial Law a National Thanksgiving Day
Facts: The United States has the fourth Thursday of November as its Thanksgiving Day. Canada has it every second Monday of October.
In the Philippines, we used to be more specific.
From 1973 to 1985, September 21 was National Thanksgiving Day in the country and it meant no classes for students.
The Philippines also celebrated the US Thanksgiving when it was a US colony and even during the Commonwealth (starting in 1935).
“However, upon the declaration of martial law through Proclamation 1081 in 1972, Marcos issued Proclamation 1181 in 1973, moving the annual celebration to Sept. 21 to coincide with the establishment of his so-called ‘Bagong Lipunan’ or New Society,” the article said.
Ambeth Ocampo in his article, “Remembering ‘National Thanksgiving Day,’” quoted Marcos Sr’s diary:
“It is quite strange to read what Marcos gleefully recorded in his diary on Friday, September 21, 1973, a year after the declaration of Martial Law:
“A rather happy day.
Delivered what could be my one of my best speeches over TV the State of the Nation on year after [Proclamation no.] 1081. I attach copies of the speech without the ad libs and inserts which will be set in the printed copy.
This is the first Philippine Thanksgiving Day.”
The PNA article added: “The Marcos-decreed celebration of National Thanksgiving Day every Sept. 21 ceased after the Feb. 22-25, 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, which forced the Marcos family to flee to Hawaii.
Meanwhile, the first celebration of National Thanksgiving Day in the Philippines on Sept. 1, 1973 was welcomed very much by Filipinos from all walks of life nationwide.
This could be gleaned from reports filed by correspondents and stringers of the then seven-month-old Philippine News Agency (PNA) based in the provincial capitals of Cagayan, Baguio City, Laoag City, and Dagupan City in the north to Davao and Zamboanga in the south.”
Why we fact-checked this: This is to show how the Marcos administration not only sugarcoated Martial Law but also made it like it was the Golden era of our History.