Tag Archives: People Power 1980s

#340 EDSA Shrine

The EDSA Shrine

The Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA, or more popularly, the EDSA Shrine is a small church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila located at the intersection of Ortigas Avenue and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City.

The shrine was built in 1989 originally to commemorate the memories of the People Power Revolution and its peaceful outcome. The shrine and the small church stand on the site of two peaceful demonstrations that toppled Philippine presidents Ferdinand Marcos (the People Power Revolution or EDSA I) and Joseph Estrada (the EDSA Revolution of 2001 or EDSA II). It is officially called the “Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace” or “Our Lady of Peace Quasi-Parish”, although these names are seldom used.

The Statue of Mary triggered a minor controversy when it was first unveiled in 1989 due to its mammoth proportions, and what its detractors say the lack of ‘gracefulness’ in terms of line. It earned the humorous nickname ‘Daing Lady’ probably due to its shape that recalls the daing or dried fish, a fish staple for many low-income Filipinos. The EDSA Shrine is part of the Ortigas Center, a complex of office buildings and commercial centers that occupy large tracts of land in portions of Quezon City, Mandaluyong City, and Pasig City (WikiPilipinas and other sources).

Long live the EDSA spirit!

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# 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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#54 Ayala Avenue

Ayala Avenue is known as the Wall Street of Metro Manila, a busy strip of concrete where most of the high-rise buildings of Makati City are located.

Located at the heart of Manila’s financial district, Ayala Avenue has replaced for the last three decades Manila’s former uptown streets and has now gained a reputation as one of the most upscale areas in the metropolis. With its chic towering office buildings, five-star hotels and expensive apartments, Ayala’s attractions include shopping mall complexes, art galleries and museums, parks and high-end luxury shops.

In the 1980s the Avenue was a central meeting or assembly point of the People Power or mass revolt movement staged against the Marcoses shortly after the 1981 assassination of former Sen. Benigno Aquino. The peaceful protest continued until 1986 when Aquino’s widow Corazon was installed as the country’s first female president shortly after the February 1986 EDSA revolution. Office workers would shower yellow graffitti to marchers and prostestors marching on Ayala Avenue as a sign of support to the Marcos opposition. Today, Benigno Aquino’s bronze statue is also a landmark midway on Ayala Avenue.

Ayala Avenue is the only commercial area in the Philippines where owners of the high-rise buildings do not pay rent to the Ayala family, a Spanish-Filipino real estate and food manufacturing tycoon who owns most of the expensive real estate on Ayala Avenue. It has been reported though that the buildings, after a specific period or time, will automatically revert to the ownership of the Ayala Corporation.

Mabuhay ang Ayala Avenue!

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