Feb 23: Saturday: 4PM
Portraits of Mosquito
The dark days of Philippines’ history under dictator Ferdinand Marcos was also the dark days in the history of Philippine Press. The State controlled the media. Those critical of the government were either jailed or silenced.
Jose “Joe” Burgos Jr., with his wife Edita, dared to publish an alternative newspaper against all risks and dangers. Joe recruited several of the country’s best college editors and his immediate family to publish the paper “We Forum”. They earned street credibility publishing exposes after exposes.
“During the Veteran’s celebration, Marcos was holding on to a newspaper and said I will make the publisher eat this. He was holding a copy of our newspaper”, Edita Burgos said. For Burgos’ brand of journalism, Marcos coined the term Mosquito Press.
Today, one of Burgos’ son, now a filmmaker, embarks on a project to tell the history of the Mosquito Press. Director JL Burgos, who grew up in the family-run newspaper, recorded recollections of those who were once part of Burgos’ team as he takes their portraits. Stories of harassment, arrest and raids were shared to give a glimpse of their struggles under the strongman’s rule.
He also followed his mother Edita and Chuchay Fernandez, one of the former editors of the alternative newspaper, to trace the beginnings of the publications until the fateful days of EDSA People power.
More than three decades after the birth of the paper, the young Burgos finds his family still living the newspaper’s slogan “to live and seek the truth and share a common vision”.