Tag Archives: Corazon Aquino

# 144 EDSA

The masses of people gathering at EDSA for the People Power Revolt. Wikipedia photo

EDSA or the Epifanio De los Santos Avenuem (a non-descript busy avenue) took a crucial place in modern Philippine history in February 1986 when masses of people marched and assembled to this avenue in Mandaluyong city in support of a military-church-backed popular people’s revolt against the Marcos dictatorship.

After the Philippine generals Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile publicly withdrew their support on February 22, 1986 from Ferdinand Marcos, who was accused of widespread cheating in the 1986 elections, the influential Catholic Church and opposition leader Corazon Aquino (later installed as president) followed suit by calling for the so-called ‘People Power Revolt’ to force the ouster of Marcos.

Nuns, church leaders, middle-class Filipinos joined left-wing activists and street protestors to face military tanks and police forces deployed by Marcos to EDSA. For several days, the 24-hour peaceful vigil protests and prayer rallies were held on EDSA, near the military complexes Camp Aguinaldo and Crame where Enrile and Ramos were holed out, ignoring the arrest warrants issued by the Marcos government.

Three days later on February 25, Marcos, with US help and intervention, fled to Hawaii with his family to escape charges of corruption, human rights abuses and siphoning off the country’s wealth. Aquino was also sworn to presidency on the same day to bring home the message to the Marcoses of their illegitimate claim  to power.

What was later called the EDSA Revolution is annually marked every February 25 near the crossing of Ortigas Avenue and EDSA , but the bouyant spirit and hope for genuine change kindled among Filipinos during the days following the Marcos ouster fizzled out when it became apparent that little has changed (even up to now) in the lives of the average Filipino.

Long live the true EDSA spirit!

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#43 Manila Cathedral

The Manila Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Manila, is one of the city’s iconic Catholic basilicas. The current building is the sixth in the basilica’s 400-year history after having been destroyed by natural disasters, fires , earthquakes and war bomdardment.

The current structure standing was completed in 1958 after American forces carpet-bombed Manila particularly Intramuros, the Sapnish walled city where the Manila Cathedral is located. The first cathedral built by Spanish priests in 1582 was made of nipa and bamboo. It was damaged by a typhoon in 1582 and razed by fire in 1583. Subsequent buildings were made of stone but natural disasters such as the earthquakes of 1645 and 1863, and more recently the bombing of Manila in 1945 reduced the magnificient old cathedral to rubble.

An favorite wedding venue of Manila celebrities and the elite, the Manila Cathedral is also the resting place of the Manila’s archibishops including Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin. The Cathedral was also the venue for the wake and requiem mass for former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, who died on August 1, 2009.  Aquino’s funeral broke protocol when  Aquino’s remains was allowed to lie in state at the Cathedral, making her the first woman to be interred in the basilica.

Mabuhay ang Manila Cathedral!

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