By Zsarlene B. Chua, Reporter

Graphic novel on People Power launched for millennial readers

Posted on February 22, 2016

THE EDSA People Power Commission in partnership with Adarna Publishing House launched yesterday the final installment of their three-book partnership depicting the stories of Martial Law and the subsequent People Power Revolution.

Entitled 12:01, the graphic novel -- by Russell Molina and illustrated by Kajo Baldissimo -- tells the story of a young band running from the Martial Law-era MetroCom after they are found on the streets after the state-imposed midnight curfew.

Along the way, they meet different people who tell their stories about the abuses of Martial Law, and these stories -- and the eventual disappearance of one of the band members -- prompt the band to join the 1986 revolution.

While the previous books, a counting book (EDSA) and a picture book (Isang Harding Papel) were targeted toward a younger set, the graphic novel is targeted toward millennials, who incidentally dominate this year’s voter profile.

The book was launched in time for the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution beginning today.

“I don’t blame young people who say they don’t know [about the dictatorship and the revolution]. How can we ask them never to forget something they don’t know?” Celso S. Santiago, assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCCO), said at the launching at the QC Museum on Sunday.

“The book [launchings] are part of our campaign to tell the stories of the 14-year dictatorship which led to the revolution,” he added.

In a similar way, former Commission on Human Rights chairman, Loretta Ann Rosales (also a former detainee during the Martial Law), told BusinessWorld while she doesn’t blame the youth, ‘they have to know’ and that creating books that tell the stories of the horrors of Martial Law is the right way of educating them.

“I wrote the story for people younger than me who do not know about the horrors of Martial Law... they should realize how lucky they are for being able to take ‘selfies’ or openly criticize the government,” said Mr. Molina in his remarks.

The novel also features three songs written by Mr. Molina with music by singer-composer Ogie Alcasid. Mr. Santiago said they are looking into ways to also have the song heard by the public.

Mr. Santiago said they hope the next administration will continue this program.

12:01 is not only a time check but also a reality check....If we allow the loss of our freedom for one minute then we stand to lose it for years to come,” Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr., said in his remarks.