This year, gov’t plans ‘simple’ EDSA celebration

Natashya Gutierrez

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The EDSA People Power Commission says it will have a grander celebration in 2016, on the revolution's 30th anniversary

BACK TO EDSA. The annual commemoration of the EDSA Revolution will be held at the People Power monument in accordance to tradition and will be simple this year. File photo by Robert Viñas/Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – From a big celebration in Cebu in 2014, the government opts for a simpler affair to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the EDSA revolution this year.

On Tuesday, February 17, Commissioner Emily Abrera of the EDSA People Power Commission announced that the celebration will remain in Manila and will be “very simple.”

“The celebration this year is very simple because it’s the 29th and we purposefully kept it simple because next year will be [the] 30th anniversary celebration, so we can go all out for the 30th,” she said.

She also denied speculations that the choice to make the celebrations more subdued is a result of an alleged coup d’etat plot to overthrow President Benigno Aquino III. She said they had been planning the event for two months – way before reports of a supposed plot surfaced.

This year’s celebration theme will be “Ituloy ang pagbabago (Continue the change),” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr, as the government aims to “continue to build a more progressive Philippines and guided by the spirit of EDSA.”

The anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution will be celebrated this year through a mass at the People Power Monument along EDSA, to be presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

President Aquino – the son of democracy icon Corazon Aquino, who became president as a result of the revolution on February 25, 1986 – is expected to attend, along with his family.

On February 24, the day before the anniversary, Former President Fidel Ramos will lead the annual flag raising and wreath laying to commemorate past heroes, including the military personnel who joined the revolution. There will also be an awards ceremony in Malacañang later in the day to recognize Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO).

“This year’s TAYO Search and TAYO Awards recognizes the country’s outstanding youth organizations who have exemplified the spirit of People Power and bayanihan through their various programs and projects,” Abrera said.

It has been a tradition for Philippine presidents to celebrate the People Power anniversary along EDSA, the iconic highway that saw thousands of Filipinos ousting a dictator. It was broken by Aquino in 2014, when he decided to celebrate in Cebu, where he said there was also a revolution in 1986. –

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.