What is the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines All About?
The year was 1986. The Filipinos were not taking it anymore. In February that year, they made a move that toppled the protracted dictatorship of an oppressive official.
Millions gathered for four days along historic Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila to voice out their discontent and anger towards the leadership of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. He was—and still is—being condemned for violating human rights after imposing Martial Law.
Looking at a few years earlier, the Filipinos were further enraged by the killing of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Sr., a known critic of Marcos, on August 21, 1983. Ninoy was shot at an airport when he returned to the Philippines after being exiled in the United States.
His wife, Corazon “Cory” Aquino, did everything she could to bring back democracy in the country, convincing the Filipinos that enough was enough. It was time for a change.
Marcos, who was trying to win back his popularity, held a snap election in February 1986 against Cory where he declared himself the victor. It was found out that there was a massive electoral fraud.
That was the last straw. This triggered the EDSA Revolution, which resulted in ousting Marcos.
The peaceful revolt forever changed the political landscape in the Philippines. On February 25, Cory was sworn into the presidency and reinstated democracy after decades of the totalitarian ruling by Marcos.
The Philippines has been commemorating the history-altering event since every February 25. In 2020, the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines was celebrated for the 34th time.
Things You Can Do During the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines
There are many things you can do in a public holiday to remember the EDSA Revolution or the so-called People Power Revolution. But here are some of the most important things you should not forget to do.
Research and Read About This Historic Event
The EDSA Revolution is a topic being tackled in social studies in every school in the country. But this may not be enough considering that many books have been published on the matter and discussions regarding this have grown even more.
You can study this by looking into the roots of the events first. Then, go on reading what are the actual circumstances revolving around the EDSA Revolution. It is also necessary to see what happened next and what are the positive changes—and negative, if any—it brought about to the country.
Doing this research can help you have a deeper understanding of the bloodless revolt and its impact.
Reflect on the Current Happenings in the Country
It is always important to take a step back and evaluate your surroundings. Ask yourself if the Philippines is indeed still a democratic country in all aspects. Remember that a true form of democracy truly values freedom.
Raise Awareness on the Importance of Democracy
You can educate by informing everyone—especially the young ones—the story behind the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines. Raising awareness on the matter is vital because we should always be reminded of this significant event. It is important that we keep on embodying the learnings from the People Power Revolution. Never let the discussion on this one cease. Good thing social media can actually help you in achieving this goal.
While these are some of the things you can do during the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines, remember you can do these as often as you can. In this way, you will always be reminded of a dark chapter in the country’s diaries and how our unity helped us overcome it.
How the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines is Celebrated
The Filipinos usually commemorate this day by wearing yellow—the official colour of the political party of the Aquinos. It is the same organization that challenged the Marcos regime.
Activities, such as mass gatherings, are being held annually along the major public road EDSA—going back where it all started. Other activities include church masses and concerts.
In 2020, however, only around 1,000 participants attended the 34th-anniversary celebration as the coronavirus pandemic deterred mass gatherings. The program lasted for only 12 minutes.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and EDSA People Power Commissioner Joey Concepcion led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the People Power Monument along EDSA.
Representatives from the military, civil society and religious groups were present as well.
The 2020 celebration, while different from the usual turn of events, still captured the essence of the EDSA Revolution Anniversary.
This event is being covered by the media every year, broadcasting events as they happen. Prominent figures and personalities are often asked for interviews related to the matter.
Venues and Special Events for Celebrating the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines
You can visit these places to not only commemorate the EDSA Revolution Anniversary in the Philippines but to also know more about the peaceful mass demonstration.
People Power Monument
Located in Quezon City, the monument was built to commemorate the 1986 People Power Revolution. Renowned Filipino sculptor Eduardo De Los Santos Castrillo made this piece of art in 1993. It was recently turned over from the Spirit of EDSA Foundation to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Aquino Center Museum
The museum, showcasing memorabilia of the Aquino family, is a tribute to the couple who are considered democracy icons. It is located in Hacienda Luisita, San Miguel, Tarlac City. The architect behind the museum’s design is Francisco Manosa.
Martial Law Museum
This is probably the most accessible museum. According to the museum’s website, it is a virtual space that highlights the relevant events during Martial Law. It features several articles and other learning materials about the beginning and end of the Marcos regime. One-click away and you can visit this website, which is being updated regularly as well.
Freedom Memorial Museum
You will have to wait for a few years before you can visit this museum. It is expected to be open by 2022 during the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines. However, considering the pandemic that has disrupted general activities since the beginning of 2020, it might not be surprising if the inauguration of the museum will be delayed as well.
It is set to occupy 1.4 hectares of land in the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City. The soon-to-rise establishment features a brutalist architecture design by Mark Anthony Pait, Mark Angelo Bonita, and Wendell Crispo.