Metro Manila · EDSA Revolution / People Power Revolution (February 25)2
The EDSA Revolution or People Power Revolution from 1986 is the most important event in contemporary Philippine history. Being a crucial element of the country's identity as a democratic nation, the successful campaign against the Marcos regime is commemorated on February 25th each year.
February 25 is a special non-working holiday for all schools in the Philippines. Many people wear yellow, the color of the opposition party, and attend festivities alongside EDSA and in other parts of the Megacity.
In 1981, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos lifted martial law, which he declared in 1972 while the nation was facing civil unrest. Opposition against his reign quickly strengthened, especially after the assassination of one of Marcos' staunchest critics, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., in 1983.
Mass protests arose after Marcos was once again declared President after a highly controversial election in 1985. Parts of the military and political establishment as well as the Catholic Bishops Conference sided with the opposition.
Starting February 22, 1986, hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians marched to EDSA to support defecting troops at Camp Aguinaldo, the military headquarters in Quezon City. It was a festive atmosphere, with whole families gathering at the avenue. People were singing, and priests and nuns were saying prayers. More and more sections of the military defected, capturing the attention of TV and radio stations.
On Tuesday morning, February 25, Ninoy's widow Corazon Aquino and Ferdinand Marcos were both inaugurated as President of the Philippines by their respective supporters. But the pressure created by People Power was already too strong for Marcos' rule. After being advised by the United States government to "cut cleanly", Marcos and his close allies left the country through the help of the U.S. Air Force on the same day, clearing the way for the restoration of democratic institutions.