Engendering the Philippine Revolution: An Interview with Vicvic

  • Delia D. Aguilar
  • - Vicvic (anon.)
Keywords: Movements


During the cease-fire talks shortly after Corazon Aquino's assumption of the Philippine presidency in 1986 the underground revolutionary movement brought forth some of its key leaders many of whom were previously anonymous. Among them was Victoria "Vicvic" Justiniani who suddenly found herself designated as the spokesperson for MAKIBAKA, a women's organization affiliated with the National Democratic Front (NDF), which had been formed in 1970 and forced underground by martial law in 1972. Vicvic had joined the student movement when she was sixteen, and shortly thereafter relinquished the sheltered life offered by her landlord parents to align herself with the peasantry, whose struggle against an unjust social order became her own for the next twenty years. The cease-fire talks lasted only two months, after which Vicvic returned to the underground. But much international media attention had been given her striking (if shortlived) public appearances when she emerged for interviews and cameras, boldly outfitted with turban and rifle. Time magazine described her as "deceptively gentle in appearance," while the Manchester Guardian saw her as "the complete antithesis of the 'Amazon' image" projected on guerrilla women.