Notes on the New Society of the Philippines

Notes on the New Society of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos i
Photo© 2008 Sasha Manuel

I wonder how many of us remember the significance of September 21 in Philippine history. Personally, I haven’t really given it much thought until last month when I found this old book among old things while I was organising bookshelves in the den PLUS everyone commemorated Ninoy Aquino who was assassinated during the Marcos administration and I had chanced upon a documentary: Beyond Conspiracy, After 25 Years, The Aquino Assassination on telly.

For the clueless, 21 September 1972 was the day when Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed the proclamation placing the entire Philippines under martial law. Which, btw, Marcos likes to call “The September 21 Movement”.

And the old book I found is penned by the very same man who was responsible for it, Ferdinand E. Marcos, Notes on the New Society of the Philippines.

Notes on the New Society of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos ii
Photo© 2008 Sasha Manuel

Roughly, the book is around 34 years old and this is based on the last known printing stated in it, Fourth Printing May 1974. As you can see on the photos, it wasn’t preserved well (note the portion of the pages that were eaten away by mites). I remember seeing this book as a child and it had this blue book leaf (that is if I remember it correctly) now missing. I even started to tell off my mum for not taking better care of something that can be considered a relic. All she told me was she had forgotten that we had it. She even admitted to not having read it at all.

I guess since the memory of the martial law era, people don’t think kindly of the president or anything related to him. I was really young during the EDSA revolution but I remember bits, particularly being left alone with siblings and cousins cuz my parents and other relatives were all there. Anyway, that’s probably why the book was shoved at the back of some closet.

Of course, I also had asked my mum why we had copy and I found out that the book was given out for free. Imagine that.

Notes on the New Society of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos iii
Photo© 2008 Sasha Manuel

Kudos to the president, if that’s the case. Taking the responsibility of informing the people after a major decision has been made is a good thing. It allows the people to better understand what was in his mind esp leading up to the decision. Though, the downside with every published work, it most likely has gone through editorials and it’ll be difficult to determine the truth from fiction. But the idea that the president of a country would find the time to write a book is quite impressive.

“.. A leader cannot shirk his duty of explaining, elucidating, and educating, whenever he can.” — Ferdinand E. Marcos, Notes on the New Society of the Philippines

Talking to a friend’s father who was pretty active in the political scene during that administration, we agreed on how brilliant Marcos was. It was just too bad that his name has become synonymous to corruption and his administration’s reputation to dirty politics. And that’s even an understatement.

I haven’t finished the book yet but, so far, I’m quite fascinated. It feels like I’m reading Marcos’ thoughts. A little guarded but teaching myself to open my mind to what he has to say about the whole martial law debacle makes it a little challenging but still educational, nonetheless.


My Fighting Faith


Chapter I
The Hour of Decision

Chapter II
The September 21 Movement

Chapter III
The Rebellion of the Poor

Chapter IV
The Question of Equality

Chapter V
The Political Bond

Chapter VI
The Conquest of Poverty

Chapter VII
Theory and Practice in the New Society



Believe me, this is one book that I appreciate even the Appendix and Index. Scratch that. Esp for the Appendix and Index. It allowed me to be on the same page with President Marcos (no pun intended).

Have any of you read this book or any of his published works? Share! I’d love to hear your thoughts on his writing.

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  1. says

    I would love to get a copy of that book. I am one of the warm bodies in EDSA 1, and I admired Marcos for choosing not to harm the people, though it cost him his political career and legacy.

    He allowed history to judge him amd his presidency.

    Maybe when all the politicians and the generations that are directly involved in the Marcos-Aquino rivalry have passed, the real score will surface.Including who is behind the Aquino assassination.

    This is a shameless plugging, but I made a post about the Martial Law era as I remember it as a kid. You may read it here:

    * Sonnie’s last blog post.. The 2nd Wealthiest Nation In Asia

  2. says

    Sonnie: I wonder if there are still copies being sold out there. Hope you find one!

    I actually am starting to feel the same way after pouring over pages of the book. It certainly wasn’t easy for him. On the last bit, I hope you’re right.

    Btw, I enjoyed reading your post!

    Lia: As much as I want to agree with you, I just don’t see anyone in the government whom I can trust my freedom to.

  3. april says

    Is there any chance to reproduce the only copy you have? This last piece of literature Marcos wrote could be the very thing that will save the future of the Philippines. Please find a way to get this book reproduced. Thanks.


    I Love reading history, its fascinates me and the way you described and told about the past, i feel im watching movie.

  5. Dominic Jimenez says

    I am presently contemplating to write a book about President Ferdinand Marcos. I have yet to begin typing a single word to start the book although it’s already finished in my thoughts. Believe me, this book I’m about to write is way beyond all the books that were written about President Marcos. In fact, I already have a title for my book – “The Messiah?”

    This book, once finished, will explain everything about President Marcos – the secrets behind Martial Law, the New Society, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the riches of President Marcos. Lastly, the book will forever change how the Filipinos, even the whole world, see President Marcos.

    At present, I am doing some research and documentations to prove the contents of my book. I need to get a copy of the book “Notes on the New Society” by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. I sure would appreciate it if you could tell me where to acquire a copy of it. I would be grateful if you could lend me or perhaps give me a photocopy of this book if it’s still in your possession.


  6. says

    Hi. I have at least 5 precious books authored by the late President to wit, THE DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION IN THE PHILIPPINES, NOTES ON THE NEW SOCIETY, REVOLUTION FROM THE CENTER and TADHANA.

  7. Jacq Goguanco says

    Hi I would like to have a copy of this book. Hope you could give me one or help me to know where to buy instead. Thank you

  8. Jorge says

    Ideally, Democracy in it is perfect as government, but without a free flow of information, people will be ignorant about realizing the power that rests within them. Greedy people will rob this power.

  9. Joefer Maninang says

    How can I have a copy of that book? Perhaps you could email a soft scanned or pdf copy to my email add. Pls.? I think this book may supplement my reading on another book I read before also by Marcos entitled The Ideology of the Filipinos published by National Bookstore many years ago. I do hope to receive a reply from you about my request. Thanks in advance. =)

  10. Greg says

    hi i really want to get a copy of that book… can you give it to me… or sell to me … i am willing pay for it… please///

  11. says

    Hi all,

    Currently working on producing a digital copy of this book. Will update with instructions when it’s available and download instructions.


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