The word “MONOPOLYO” in big white letters against a textured pink and purple background.


Kwago, Manila, 2022

The Tagalised word for “monopoly”, MONOPOLYO is a text-based game and interactive webzine that takes you on a real estate shopping spree in New York in the 80s to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Martial Law in the Philippines. It was co-developed with Czyka Tumaliuan and published under Kwago for Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair as the recipient of their Volume Grant. It was built using Twine, an open source, nonlinear storytelling tool.

An old photo of the Marcos family awash in pink and purple hues, and the following text superimposed on top of it: “In 1986, you are overthrown as dictator. But you and your family play your cards right, and make friends with the right allies. cough the United States government cough You don't go to jail. Just a little overextended vacation in Hawaii, until your demise in 1989. In 2012, The Philippine Supreme Court declares that all these landholdings you purchased as Til-gotten wealth.That wealth has yet to be returned to the Philippine people. To this day, your wife, family, and descendants enjoy an impossibly privileged, royal lifestyle (always gotta fly first class, am I right?), and are enjoying their return to the highest seat of power, while the citizens of the Philippines continue to pay for your heists, suffering under the crushing weight of national debt, living in extreme poverty, and many dying unjust, violent deaths.”

The zine is a satire, seen from the point of view of Ferdinand E. Marcos, that shows the frivolity and sheer ridiculousness of the theft committed by the Marcos family, and their shameless refusal to acknowledge their crimes against the Philippine people. The zine folds into a dice, pointing to words and phrases instead of numbers to open up conversations and reflections about Martial Law, especially in the Marcoses’ ongoing attempts to rewrite history.

A paper dice with the words “MONOPOLYO”, “DIKTADURYA”, “DAMBONG” on three different sides.

This zine culminated in a workshop titled Parallel Play: Twine for Soft Subversions. It was recorded and can be watched at Printed Matter’s YouTube channel.

The webzine is available to play via browser at Kwago‘s website, or on The dice is also downloadable as a PDF.