Palace opens doors to 1,000 kids
MANILA, Philippines—“Don’t cheat in your exam,” President Aquino on Monday advised orphans who were treated to an afternoon of entertainment in Malacañang as part of government celebrations marking the 27th anniversary of Edsa I.
Kalayaan Hall opened its sprawling grounds to some 1,000 children from several orphanages on Monday afternoon, in a reenactment of the entry of the masses in the Palace after strongman Ferdinand Marcos was toppled by the February 1986 bloodless revolt.
But on top of storytelling, traditional games and performances by show-biz stars, the young Palace visitors were treated to another freebie: a photo-op with the President.
Standing before the youngsters inside a large tent festooned with yellow balloons, Aquino told a story about martial law, recalling that he was only 12—like some of them—when Marcos imposed it in September 1972.
“In those times, we were deprived of our freedom and rights; many people only had fear in their hearts because the leader was cruel. Nobody could speak freely; nobody could complain; nobody could fight the government. In those days, there were only two types of people then: the powerful and the oppressed,” he said.
Marcos’ abuses reached a tipping point: Millions took to the streets in February 1986 and after four days of prayer and gathering on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, the dictatorship was peacefully ended, he said.