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After World War II, he became a member of the Philippine Newspaper Guild and his writings increasingly dealt with the plight of the peasants and laborers. Influenced by the philosophy of Hobbes and Locke, he advocated revolution as a means of change. In 1947, he became the president of the Congress of Labor Organization (CLO). His activities and writings led him to imprisonment from 1951 to 1956. Even in prison, he was still a leader and artist, spearheading education programs and mounting musical productions, plays and poetry reading. It was during his incarceration that he wrote one his masterpiece, Mga Ibong Mandaragit (Predatory Birds). Moreover, Hernandez wrote plays based on prison experiences: Muntinglupa, 1957; Hagdan sa Bahaghari (Stairway to the Rainbow), 1958; Ang mga Kagalang- galang (The Venerables), 1959; and Magkabilang Mukha ng Isang Bagol (Two Sides of A Coin), 1960. He has written many essays, among them, "Si Atang at ang Dulaan" (Atang and the Theater), "Si Jose Corazon de Jesus at ang Ating Panulaan" (Jose Corazon de Jesus and Our Poetry), and "Pilipinismo: Susi sa Bayang Tagumpay" (Filipinism: Key to a Successful Country), among others. In these works, he exposed what he perceived to be the neocolonial nature of Philippine Society and pushed for nationalist and progressive agenda to end the long history of the workers' and people's oppression. His prison writings were smuggled out by his wife, zarzuela star Honarata "Atang" dela Rama, who would become our National Artist for Music and Theater