MANILA, Philippines — I was still learning photography when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated in 1983. The death of the husband and father of two Philippine presidents, Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino III, fueled street protests all over the country that became the theme of my new-found passion.
Street protests showed the unity of the people against an oppressive government. It became urgent for me to document their camaraderie, courage, and issues through photography.
In 1984, I joined PhotoBank, a group of photographers with the same passion and objective – to produce not just informative images but also those calling for social change.
The numerous street protests were a prelude to the more massive mass action that culminated in EDSA in February 1986, that forced Marcos to leave the country.
Thirty years on, the street protests continue. I still can hear the familiar chants, minus the name Marcos. Aside from the reduced number of protesters and faces of leaders, nothing really changed. Like poverty and social injustice 3 decades ago.
Romeo Mariano is a photographer for the Quezon City government. On his free time, Romy documents poverty and social injustice, issues that existed way before he started with photography.
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