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Confronting Fact and Fiction Amid Information Disorder

President Bongbong Marcos Jr., son of former Philippine President, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. | File photo

Exploring the spread of disinformation and historical revisionism in the Philippines, this short article dissects the film “This is How Her House Was Built” by Jaime Morados. The film offers a poignant allegory for how twisted narratives can distort reality, sowing confusion and burying uncomfortable truths beneath a veneer of revisionist fiction. Amid the Philippines’ political landscape, the piece examines the pernicious effects of disinformation machinations and their threat to democracy, while underscoring the importance of critical thinking and pushing back against the subversion of facts.

This post is part of a series of issue analyses for the Tech Tales Youth film collection. Read the rest of the series here.


Disinformation and fake news have long been buzzwords in the Philippines, used to label almost anything going against one’s beliefs or mainstream viewpoints. While some may use the term innocuously, information disorder remains a serious plague on society: recent political events have shown how bad actors can successfully wield disinformation narratives to cast doubt on established facts, convincing the public – especially the younger generation and those unaware of their history – that “alternative truths” exist, all while hiding their real political agenda.

This is How Her House Was Built highlights how the political is personal, visualising the protagonist’s fears and confusions amid a confusing swirl of competing voices. It portrays how twisted narratives sow confusion, replace fact with fiction, and bury historical accounts to hide ugly truths and project images of a better, shinier new society.

The 2022 elections show how deeply disinformation has taken root in the Philippines and how it has become inextricably linked to historical revisionism. Fake news, digital black ops, and the gaming of social media algorithms were wielded to rewrite history, whitewash brutal legacies, and, most alarmingly, win the presidency for Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the man who plunged the Philippines under authoritarian rule. According to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, the online disinformation campaign for the Marcoses’ comeback to power has been running for at least a decade.

Even before Marcos’ victory, the disinformation machinery had been in full swing, with Big Tech playing a role as social media algorithms feed into the vicious cycle of subverting fact and sensationalising fiction. Filipinos trying to look for credible information are bombarded by confusing messages: some saying journalists and historians are not to be trusted, others presenting fabricated sources as the real, hidden truth. A common message especially targeting students and the youth is questioning what they know of history when they weren’t even born at the time. All of this makes it even more challenging to sift through the noise to arrive at the facts.

Despite this bleak picture, civic resolve and resistance to these threats to democracy remain. The 2022 elections may have been a victory for fake news peddlers, but it has also demonstrated a much more engaged citizenry interested in engaging in political discourse. For some of the younger generation, it has also been a kind of political awakening.

The film portrays disinformation as parasites that slowly but steadily attack the foundations of the Filipino people’s history. While the shiny veneer of a flawless, picture-perfect society may be tempting, it urges audiences to critically examine the narratives they encounter and push back against the war on facts and democracy.

Watch the film