Palace declares ‘open house’ for orphans, youths


Malacañang has declared an “open house” on Monday for orphans and youth to symbolically “reclaim” the Palace for the people in commemoration of the 27th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.

The presidential palace will welcome children from various orphanages to the Kalayaan grounds on Monday for an afternoon of storytelling and traditional games (i.e., patintero, piko and tumbang preso), Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, told a radio interview on Saturday.

The storytelling session is designed to impart Filipino values and will be followed by some inspirational talk from a number of youth leaders to encourage the children to commit themselves to observing the ideals of the Edsa revolution, Coloma said.

The afternoon activity with the children is titled “Tatak Edsa: Salo-Salubungang Pambata” (“A Historic Feast: Children’s Encounter with History,” Coloma’s translation).

“There will be a reading of stories that expound on our most cherished Filipino values,” he said.

Although not part of his schedule for the day, President Benigno Aquino III may just find time to meet with the children, he said.

“There is a big possibility that he will mingle with [the children] during the open house,” he said.

Coloma recalled that after the family of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ejected from Malacañang, the people proceeded to the Palace, “opened its gates and entered its innermost [rooms] for the first time and freed the seat of power of the country itself.”

This is why the government has declared a holiday, to “encourage young students to take advantage of the opportunity to go to Malacañang,” he said.


Why Edsa happened

Coloma explained the need for the younger generations of Filipinos to be familiar with the events that triggered the first Edsa revolution.

“The revolution of the people at Edsa happened as a protest for the failed snap elections of Feb. 7, 1986,” he said. The widespread fraud that attended the elections led to a civil disobedience movement to dramatize massive opposition to the Marcos regime, he said.

“All of these events were part of the flow of history, starting from the violence against the populace) under martial law,” Coloma said.

He said the people went to Edsa to end the “long era of darkness and lack of freedom for the people” and “replace it …  with democracy. “That’s the summary of the importance of celebrating the Edsa People Power Revolution,” Coloma said.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. had asked government employees to “actively take part” in a series of activities lined up for the 27th Edsa anniversary, starting with the wreath-laying ceremonies at Libingan ng mga Bayani to be led by former President Fidel Ramos on Saturday.

Mr. Aquino will attend the flag-raising ceremony at the People Power Monument on Monday.

There will be a “Salubungan” (Encounter) of the military and civilians to highlight how both can work together to achieve a common goal, said Ochoa in a statement.

“Salubungan” refers to the moment during the four-day uprising when ordinary citizens and members of the religious sector walked from the Edsa Shrine to meet the military contingent at the spot where the People Power Monument now stands, stopping military tanks along Edsa and convincing soldiers to join the anti-Marcos forces.

Message of Edsa

Coloma said that freedom from hunger and poverty was the emphasis of this year’s celebration of the bloodless revolt that became the inspiration for other countries to stage similar peaceful uprisings.

“The theme is ‘Pilipinas Natin, Abot Tanaw’ (‘Our Dreams for Our Country Are Within Sight and Reach’—Coloma) because the gains achieved from reforms bring [us] closer to the attainment of inclusive growth that will bring the erstwhile impoverished and marginalized Filipinos into the mainstream of economic opportunity and self-sufficiency,” said Coloma in a text message.

He explained in a radio interview that the Philippine Development Plan—the economic roadmap of the Aquino administration—envisioned an “inclusive growth” so that those belonging to “poverty groups” could be part of the “mainstream economic development.”

Inclusive growth

The Aquino administration wanted “inclusive growth” since relying on the “trickle-down-effect” of a surging economy would not necessarily uplift the lives of the marginalized and poorer sectors of the country, he said.

“At the moment, our strategy is inclusive growth, so that they will be part of progress through an integrated social economic development program,” Coloma said.

First posted 9:02 pm | Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • The Overlord

    Mga batang hamog inside the posh Malacanang Palace? No way!

  • boybakal

    Malacañang opens doors to kids on Monday…Kids beware, you don’t know what is inside and lurking.

    • Danilo Navarro

      daming galit na papasokin ang mga kabataan sa malakanyang…,mga bata ng damaso ang mga ito… gusto sa simbahan at luluhuran ng mga damasos.itong si boy bakal kinakalawang ng pag iisip o ito yung mga nang babakal sa mga negosyante sa mga jeepney driver at mga kontrata ng gobierno non panahon ng amo nila si neck ngayon nawalan ng delihinsiya dito na lang sa pag puna sa gobierno ang pinag kakakitaan ngayon.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Why is Feb 25 not declared a holiday this year?

    Simply because of the low turnout in last year’s commemoration. In short, nilangaw ang EDSA 1 celebration last year. At the height of the Corona impeachment trial in 2012, no more than 200 pax attended the celebration last year. There were no clouds to rain on the parade. Not much sun to make it unbearably hot. It was breezy enough to not need a fan or handkerchief. And yet, the usual crowd was nowhere to be found. But then again, it’s been that way for many years now since the Ramos years. The excitement over EDSA 1 commemoration has largely waned off since 1991 onward. Largely due to disappointment over Cory’s ineffectual presidency and the realization that a nation may have expected too much from a housewife. It was a painful disillusionment for many to say the least.

    This year, declaring Feb 25 a holiday would only draw more attention to the empty chairs and sparse crowd congregating around the EDSA 1 shrine. Making the palace an open house on Monday is supposed to be good. But with the deterioration of Imelda’s 3,000 pairs of shoes and other artifacts that have not been maintained carefully, there’s really not much to see. 

    Without the imeldific shoes to remind us of the late dictator’s excesses, wala naman matututunan ang mga bata sa amag.

  • bogli_anakdami

    ay salamat… dapat eh hakuting lahat ng pulubis na nagkalat dito sa squat towns, edsa, payatas, smokey mts, at mga imburnals at esteros at itambak jan sa palasyo de flip gung gongs…

    tapos eh piktyur/kodakan/poto ops sesyon…

    syempre, si kaksaker padre dumbassos siguradong tulo laway…

  • joerizal

    Ningas kugon lang yan. Bigyan mo ng dalawang buwan at wala na yan.

    • Danilo Navarro

      ingat po kayo dito kay  joerizal hag papasukin ng malakanyang..isa lang po siyang isip bata,,,at baka isa ito sa mga pumapatol sa mga bata.. 

      • joerizal

        Ang corny mo. Pakalbo ka muna para matawa kami. Siguro gusto mong makapasok ng Malakanyang at nagpapanggap kang bata pero mukha ka namang hukluban.

  • rodben

    Sometimes my kids let me some story about Marcos gov’t they said sayang we did not experience the peaceful and good life before, unlike this time if you can’t work abroad you can’t able to send your kids in a good school and you can’t eat a nice food and you can’t wear a nice clothings and you can’t buy a good house in subdivision, only the gov’t officials today can afford to buy a decent house…and any where you go you feel unsafe this time in metro Manila plenty criminals in provinces plenty NPA’s  asking for money…They ask why some people don’t like Marcos…I told them that those who are dreaming to be a political millionaires  are those people who don’t want Marcos and they are now in the gov’t with a big belly.. but the masses Marcos is the great leader of all time in Phil…and I told them that I was one of the stupid students who join the EDSA together with Nigerian, Iranian, Indian and Malaysian students who were my friends and collegemate… during that time plenty foreigners getting college courses along Recto Universities…but this time we don’t know..

  • Fred

    During the EDSA People Power Revolution anniversary,
    I hope Johnny Ponce Enrile reiterates what he told before
    that his ambush was faked triggering the declaration of martial law!

  • farmerpo

    People forgot EDSA, period. Reason being that no appreciable change occurred  Corruption then is corruption now x10. Cory was an iconic figurehead. Her government spawned corruption thru ignorance/tolerance (kunsinte – kasi plain housewife lang po) though she remained spotless. The Ramos government was patterned to that of Marcos, only more discreet. Corruption was hidden in big projects like the Megadike. Erap we still remember. GMA, ahh, we still lick our wounds. The EDSA revolution, which stunned and awed people around the world did not do us any appreciable good. We let it go down the drain together with the dirt, except the dirt clung to the plumbing and still keep resurfacing. I sincerely hope that Pnoy can vindicate his father’s death and make us all proud as we felt in 1986. Looking forward to the line up of presidentiables after Pnoy is very discouraging indeed.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Compared to the most corrupt regime from which tag came from Asean members during GMA period, this is most refreshing when you think of how rows of shipping van containers, firetrucks, barbed wires and other security measures used to adorn  Malacanan palace. It was all because Queen Mekeni felt so insecure opening the palace gate to all people.

  • Pio Gante

    kung bakit kasi kailangang pang gunitain ang walang kakwenta-kwentang kaganapan sa  na yan.

    • virgoyap

       Alam ba nyo that before Edsa People Power1 happened you are not free to say the things like what you are saying now!

      • etomacq

        Freedom from Marcos dictatorship lang ang nakamit ng EDSA 1.. Wala ng iba. 

        Kung hindi namin pinaglaban ang cyber crime law na pinirmahan ni Nonoy malamang nakakulong na kami di ba? Pero nagpupumilit pa rin ang DOJ at Malacanang na isabatas ito.. hindi sila magtatagumpay.

      • virgoyap

         Sa tingin ko hindi nyo na-experience what it was like during the Martial Law years. Takip ang bibig namin. We cannot say anything as we like. Yes, mayroon pang maraming bagay ang kailangan upang makamtan ang tunay na kalayaan ngayon. But today is very much much better than before the People Power1 happened in terms of our freedom.

      • Pio Gante

        huwag mong isipin na ikaw lang ang naka-curfew, naka-kain ng nutribun at natotorete sa bagong lipunan song noon. ang nagka-problema lang noon ay yung mga maiingay at reklamador na uto-uto pero ang mga tahimik na ipinagpatuloy ang kanilang buhay, nagtrabaho at nag-aral ay di nakaranas ng mga sinasabing abuso ng kapanahunan na yun. walang magandang nangyari bagkus mas lalong nagka leche-leche ang pilipinas dahil na rin sa pŭtangǐnang edsa people power (ng mga taga maynila) kuno na yan.

  • Jose Corazon

    ‘Open House’ of Malacanang on Monday, 25 February 2013, seems to be a copycat policy of his kabalen, Mrs. Gloria Arroyo, who bogusly opened Malacanang to the poor or common tao during her first 2-3 years in office. Later years, Malacanang was ‘opened’ to politicians and barrio kins only for their corruption planning and conference. Is there anything new?

  • etomacq

    Coloma should also explain what happened to our country 27 years later.. The tiger country became the malnourished tiger after EDSA 1..  hunger, poverty, unemployment, pol-dynasties, election killings / cheating, tyrannies and corruption worsened. 

    Dapat imulat sa mga kabataan ang tunay na kalagayan ng ating bansa hindi yung sinsamantala ang kahinaan nila.. 

  • sam_aquino

    if enrile shows up at the EDSA 1 anniversary, i would pelt him with rotten tomatoes & eggs…

    • Jane Tan

      or we could all just join hands and barricade his path lmao

      • sam_aquino

        i would prefer pelting him with rotten tomatoes, that’s how he is anyway (& smells, too), rotten to the bone…

  • Edgardo Mendoza


To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos