Dekada '70 (novel)

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Dekada '70 (Dekada '70: Ang Orihinal at Kumpletong Edisyon), translated into Filipino as '70s Decade, is a Filipino novel written by Lualhati Bautista.[1]

Dekada '70 is the story of a family caught in the middle of the tumultuous decade of the 1970s. It details how a middle class family struggled with and faced the new changes that empowered Filipinos to rise against the Marcos government. These series of events all happened after the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, the proclamation of Martial Law, the bombing of Plaza Miranda, the random arrests of political prisoners.

The novel details how the oppressiveness of the Marcos regime made people become more radical. This shaping of the decade are all witnessed by the female character, Amanda Bartolome, a mother of five boys. While Amanda's sons grow, form individual beliefs and lead different lives, Amanda awakens her identity to state her stand as a Filipino citizen, mother and woman.

Dekada '70 introduces the new generations of Filipino readers to a story and a family of a particular time in Philippine history. Its appeal lies in the evolution of its characters that embody the new generation of Filipinos. It is the story about a mother and her family, and the society around them that affects them. It is also a tale of how a mother becomes torn between the letter of the law and her responsibilities as a mother.

A defining but not subversive Filipino novel, Dekada '70 was one of the two grand prize winners for the 1983 Palanca Awards for the novel.[2] It was adapted into a film by Star Cinema in 2003, starring Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos.



Dekada '70 is set in the turbulent Martial Law era in Philippine history. In the 1970s, the Republic of the Philippines was under the rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos. On September 21, 1972, Marcos declared Martial Law which placed the country under the rule of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but kept himself in power. Under the Martial Law era, Marcos consolidated control of the armed forces, freedom of the press was severely limited and opponents of Marcos were detained.


Amanda Bartolome is a mother of a middle-class family who has five young sons. She has five children with her husband, Julian.

Amanda’s son Jules, being the eldest in the family, is already old enough and idealistic enough during the declaration of martial law to be aware of the country’s situation and want to do something about it. He becomes exposed to rebellious reading material, and inevitably molds his mind into that of guerilla. Jules becomes a member of the communist New People's Army, and this becomes a main source of tension throughout the story.

The book also tackles the lives of Amanda’s other offspring Isagani, Emmanuel, Jason and Benjamin.


  • Bartolome family
    • Amanda - main character; wife of Julian and mother of 5 sons: Jules, Isagani, Jason, Emmanuel, Benjamin
    • Julian - husband of Amanda and father of her 5 sons
    • Jules - eldest son of Amanda and Julian
    • Isagani - the second son
    • Emmanuel - the third son
    • Jason - the fourth son
    • Benjamin - the youngest son
  • Minor Characters
    • Mara - Jules' wife
    • Evelyn - Isagani's girlfriend and later wife
    • Willy - Jules' bestfriend
    • Rene - Jules' comrade. Informant of METROCOM
    • Evelyn's Father
    • Dr. Rodrigo
    • Evelyn's Mother


  1. ^ Dekada 70 Ang Orihinal at Kumpletong Edisyon at Retrieved 18 December, 2006.
  2. ^ A Handful of Gems National Commission for Culture and the Arts (Philippines) Retrieved 8 December, 2006.

External links

Original Source

  • Wikipedia