Eric Gamalinda was born in Manila where he worked as an editor and journalist. He received a fellowship for fiction from the New York Foundation for the arts, and has had much of his work published in a diverse range of publications such as Harper's Magazine, Columbia, Manoa, International Quarterly, as well as several anthologies, such as In My Life: encounters with the Beatles, Returning to a Borrowed Tongue, Brown River, White Ocean, and Flippin": Filipinos on America, which he co-edited. His latest novel, My Sad Republic, was recently awarded with the Philippine Centennial Prize for Fiction. A book of poems, Zero Gravity, was awarded the New York/New England Selection by Alice James Books, and was recently published. He teaches at the Asia/Pacific American Studies Program at New York University and was appointed Visiting Writer at the University of Hawaii in Manoa in 1999. He lives in New York City.
In the Philippines" presidential election of 1965, the Nacionalista candidate Ferdinand E. Marcos (1917-1990) was victorious over Macapagal. Marcos dominated the scene of politics for the next two decades as an elected president in 1965 and 1969, and as a dictator after his 1972 proclamation of martial law. On September 21, 1972, Marcos declared martial law over the entire nation of the Philippines, and under his command, opposition figures including Benigno Aquino, journalists, student and labor activists, and criminal elements were arrested by military figures. An estimated total of about 30,000 detainees were kept at military compounds run by the army and the Philippine Constabulary. Weapons were confiscated and "private armies" connected with prominent politicians and other figures were disbanded. Newspapers were censored and many cases shut down, the mass media brought under the tight grip of censorship. Eventually, Marcos assumed control of the Philippine Congress. During the 1972-1981 martial law period during Marcos" period of dictatorship, the president issued hundreds of presidential decrees, many of which were never published.