September 5 is the birthday of my eldest brother, Edgardo, who is happily retired from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and is enjoying golf and his APO-stolic work, if you know what I mean.  He actually started with the National Police Commission (Napolcom) and transferred to the PNP after earning his Master in National Security Administration (MNSA) from the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP).

September 10 is the birthday of another brother, Christopher, a civil engineer who succumbed to cancer last March 2011.

Marcos announcing declaration of martial in national TV broadcast

September 11 is the birthday of Ferdinand Marcos, the first re-elected President of the Philippines and became dictator when he imposed martial law on 21 September 1972, and Horacio R. Morales, Jr., who defected to the underground National Democratic Front (NDF) on the day he was supposed to be recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines for public service.

Kuya Eddie’s only daughter was born on September 15 while Matthew, his youngest grandchild, was born a day before on September 14.

I was captured by Marcos’ security forces on September 16, 1973 in Barrio Magsaysay, Tondo, Manila and brought first to Precinct 1 of the Manila Police Department in Balut.  Eventually, I was brought to various intelligence units in Camp Crame and ended up with the 5th Constabulary Security Unit (CSU).  In all these stops, I was tortured and interrogated; the most thorough torture and questioning was done at the CSU.

September 20 is the birthday of my mother-in-law, Esther J. Garcia from Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur, who died in June 2003.

Marcos dated Proclamation No. 1081 which placed the entire country under martial on September 21, 1972.  However, the public announcement was done on September 23, 1972 enabling Marcos to arrest his key rivals and political opponents first.

September 27 is the birthday of my father-in-law, Romulo T. Gracia, Sr. of  Sta. Lucia, Ilocos Sur, who died in 1992; my wife, Rosalie G. Mendoza, who was with me in the underground movement against Marcos; and my nephew, Mark Paul E. Mendoza, now a lieutenant of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

By the end of September 1973, the 5th CSU probably felt it did all it could to extract tactical information from me.  I was soon transferred to the Ipil Rehabilitation Center (IRC) in Fort Bonifacio (headquarters of the Philippine Army), where I will be detained until 12 December 1974 together with a few hundred detainees.

Given the rundown above, the reader can obviously surmise how memorable the month of September is to me.  In subsequent posts, I will elaborate on these milestones and events.

By the way, I courted Rosalie and won her heart during a September.

  1. I remember being strip searched visiting IRC after some underground documents were allegedly found. SEPTEMBER 16,1973 was a sad day for us as well, 11 days later was Rene’s birthday.

  2. we were with you during those crucial months, are brave man..your grandchildren will cherish and treasure your thoughts, your work and your struggle. together we continue to serve the People!-manang lyn

    • bongmendoza says:

      Dear Manang Lyn, indeed your family was with me during those crucial months. When I detail my capture, I will note that the house in Binhagan offered refuge before I needed to go otherwise I will compromise your safety. Many thanks for your kind words.

  3. jalski says:

    What an eventful September, Sir Bong!

  4. Great to know! So it’s SEPTEMBER MORN… and SEPTEMBER MOURN for you Ka Amado?!

    • Cherryll says:

      Cant help to open and read your blog…I dont know what you’ve been through’re a strong guy…and btw, Tito Bong,my birthday month is also September..September 3.;)

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