When Martial Law was lifted in 1981, radio enthusiasts began installing and operating their radio stations once again after years when the Philippine government did not allow the use of various forms of radio communications.
During those times, getting an amateur radio license was not as easy as today, given the challenges in fulfilling the requirements to get a license. Thus, those who have already acquired their own radios, one way or another, though they did not have licenses yet, started operating and meeting up on amateur radio frequencies, not occupied by any amateur radio clubs.
In 1986,a handful of radio enthusiasts (HAM wannabees) became friends and would frequently meet up on "466" or 144.660MHz. This group of friends consists of both young and old, students and professional unofficial members. Most are surfers who jump from one frequency to another.
Joey Dehitta KE3IM was a building manager in one of the commercial buildings in Makati. After he came back from the US for a business trip to the US sometime in November 1986, he was requested to install a VHF radio station for company use. After the antenna and the radio was setup, He also got an Icom 02AT for his personal use.
When Joey started surfing the air, he got attracted to 144.660 and started listening to it to learn the radio lingo. Soon enough he called in and used his initial JPH as a callsign. People were friendly and he became a regular and would listen on the frequency. By early 1987, the regulars decided to have their first eyeball. The group had an informal meeting to elect the president. Since Joey was one of the working professionals in the group, he was then elected as President, while Roberto Evangelista (BNY) was elected as the Vice President.
After the first ARMI group meeting, Joey started the initial move to contact Rey Fermin 4F1FZ, who was then President of the club, DX1CW, and made an appointment with him, together with two other members namely, Susan "Chy" Lopez-Chua and Virgie de Belen, at Rey's dental clinic in Mandaluyong, to discuss how to legitimize the ARMI group. Rey gave Joey the procedure/instruction on how to build the ARMI group starting with submitting the legal papers of incorporation to SEC, preparing some of the members to take the NTC HAM license exam.
Six members of the group passed the exam and eventually got their license. Little by little, individuals from different walks of life would learn about amateur radio, get their licenses and later on join ARMI until the group achieved 25 licensed members. By mid December of 1987, ARMI has successfully registered itself with the Philippines' Security and Exchange Commission as Amateur Radio Movement, Inc. and secured its amateur radio club license with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) with the club call sign DX1ARM.
In the early 2000, ARMI applied for a repeater frequency pair at the NTC and was granted a radio repeater station license on 144.880/144.280MHz.
18 years later, ARMI also applied for a Digital UHF amateur radio repeater station license and was given a repeater frequency pair 431.600/436.600, capable of operating on both analog and C4FM Digital modes.
To date, the club remains strong with almost 100 members and continues to expand its facilities for the amateur (Ham) radio community to enjoy.
As it reaches its 37th year in 2024, the culture and values of ARMI remains and continues to play a key role in promoting and educating people about amateur radio, provide service to the general public through radio communications as well as strengthen the camaraderie among ARMI members.