Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City: Stories of Heroism along EDSA

01 1871-1927 Epifanio de los Santos y Cristóbal
1871-1927 Epifanio de los Santos y Cristóbal and Writings

Metro Manila’s main transport artery, the 23.3 kilometer long Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA for short) was named after the patriot, journalist, politician, historian, artist and philosopher, Epifanio Cristóbal de los Santos (1871-1928). Graduating with honors from the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, De Los Santos continued with his law studies at the University of Santo Tomas. After his studies and topping the bar exams, De Los Santos helped found, edit and write for the revolutionary and nationalist newspapers “La Democracia” (Democracy, May 1898-1900), “La Libertad” (Liberty, June 1898), “La Independencia” (The Independent, September 1989-1900), “La Patria” (Homeland, September 1898-1903), and “El Renacimiento” (The Renaissance, 1904-1908); which spoke for the freedom stolen by the American occupation of the Philippines, in May 1898. Despite the American suppression, President Emilio Famy Aguinaldo (1869-1964) proceeded with the formation of the new Philippine Republic, in which De Los Santos was a delegate at the Malolos Congress, to draft the new national legislature. During the Philippine American War (1899-1904), De Los Santos served as the district attorney of the municipality of San Isidro, in Nueva Ecija province; where he would later serve as its governor. After his term as governor, De Los Santos would serve as the fiscal for the provinces of Bulacan and Bataan.

02 1871-1927 Epifanio de los Santos y Cristóbal
1871-1927 Epifanio de los Santos y Cristóbal and the National Library

During the 1907 Philippine National Assembly, De Los Santos wrote the “Fraudes Electorales y Sus Remedios” (Electoral Fraud and its Remedies). De Los Santos other government positions were as the Assistant Technical Director of the Philippine Census in 1918, and the director of the Philippine Library and Museum in 1925. De Los Santos last position was attributed to his mastery of the languages of Tagalog, Spanish, English, French, German, Ita, Tingian, and Ibalao; as well as his scholastic works such as “Algo de Prosa” (About Prose, 1909), “Filipinos y Filipinistas” (Filipinos and Filipinists, 1909), “Literatura Tagala” (Tagalog Literature, 1911), “El Teatro Tagala” (Tagalog Theater, 1911) “Nuestra Literatura” (Our Literature, 1913), “El Proceso del Dr. José Rizal” (The Life of Jose Rizal, 1914), “Folklore Musical de Filipinas” (Musical Folklore of the Philippines, 1920), and “Filipinas para los Filipinos” (The Philippines for Filipinos, 1940), “Cuentos y Paisajes Filipinos” (Philippine Stories and Landscapes) and “Criminality in the Philippines: 1903–1908”. As a linguist De Los Santos was active in the “Samahan ng mga Mananagalog” (Fellowship of Tagalog Writers) and the “Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española” (Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language); and he was also the first Filipino member of the “Real Academia Españolade Idiomas” (Spanish Royal Academy of Language), “Real Academia de la Literatura” (Spanish Royal Academy of Literature), and “Real Academia de la Historia” (Spanish Royal Academy of History) in Madrid.

03 1933 Andrés Bonifacio Monument by Guillermo Estrella Tolentino (1890-1976) co Mapio
1933 Andrés Bonifacio Monument by Guillermo Estrella Tolentino (1890-1976) photograph c/o Mapio

The 1959 selection of the national highway to bear the name Epifanio Cristóbal de los Santos does not just emphasize his importance in Philippine history, but also champions De Los Santos cause to preserved and cherish our history. This is because the EDSA, especially the 15 kilometers section that traverses Quezon City has great historical significance even before the construction of the highway in the 1930s. This can be seen at the northwestern end of EDSA in the city of Caloocan, with the 1933 “Monumento” to the revolutionary Andrés de Castro Bonifacio (1863-1897) by National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Estrella Tolentino (1890-1976), at the intersection of Samson and Rizal avenues with the MacArthur and EDSA highways.

04 1890s Katipuneros
1890s Katipuneros

Andrés Bonifacio founded the “Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan” (Supreme and Venerable Union of the Children of the Nation, Katipunan for short) to oust the Spanish colonizers (1565-1898) from the Philippines in 1862. This area of Caloocan City and the neighboring Balintawak District of Quezon City was a hotbed of Katipunan activity, from its establishment up to the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1898. The location of the Bonifacio Monument was where the Katipunan Lieutenant Apolonio Samson (aka Tininteng Polonio, 1851-1902) lived, and thus the connecting road was named after. The other two roads were named after the National Hero Dr. José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Realonda (1861-1896), and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army General Douglas Hardy MacArthur (1880-1964), who was the son of the American Occupation (1898-1946) Governor-General Arthur Belcher MacArthur, Jr. (1845-1912).

The Philippine Revolution started with the discovery of the Katipunan by the Spanish authorities in August 19, 1896; which led to the arrest and execution of many Katipunan members and sympathizers. Boifacio would rally his forces and met in Balintawak, which was then part of the Municipality of Caloocan, and declared independence from Spain on August 25 (or 26). Presently, the Balintawak Cloverleaf Interchange stands at the site where the “Cry of Balintawak” was believed to have happened, in within the interchange is the Bonifacio Park, dedicated to that historical event. The Cloverleaf Interchange was constructed in 1968, while the park was erected in the late 1990s, with a statue of Bonifacio entitled “Maypagasa” (Of Hope) by the National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva (1930-2018). And at the base of the monument is a plaque with a quote from Bonifacio:

06 Napoleon Abueva - Maypagasa
Napoleon Abueva – Maypagasa

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya

Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila

Gaya ng Pag-Ibig sa tinubuang lupa?

Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga, wala.

What love is greater

In its purity and nobility

Than the love for one’s land of birth?

What other love? None whatsoever, none.

However, Abueva’s (or Tolentino) sculptures were not the first monuments to honor Bonifacio, and celebrate the cry of independence. In 1911, a statue of Bonifacio stood at the same spot, long before EDSA was constructed. Entitled “Monumento sa mga Bayani ng 1896” (Monument to the Heroes of 1896), the statue was created by Ramon Martinez and unveiled on August 27. But with the construction of the Balintawak Cloverleaf Interchange and the North Luzon Expressway in 1968, the statute was moved to the Wenceslao Vinzons Hall, at the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines, around 9 kilometers to the east of Balintawak.

07 1911 Ramon Lazaro Martiniez - Monumento sa mga Bayani ng 1896, Balintawak
1911 Ramon Lazaro Martiniez – Monumento sa mga Bayani ng 1896, Balintawak

Ramon Lazaro Martinez (1869-1950) completed his artistic training at the Escuela de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado in 1898. Originally a painter, Martinez won a bronze medal for his painting “Coming from the Market” at the 1904 Universal Exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri. Soon he started focusing on sculpture and has been noted to create the “La Madre Filipina” found on top of the Jones Bridge, and the ornamental sculpturing of the Legislative Building prior to World War II.

However, there are conflicting reports of the actual cry of independence by Bonifacio. One testimony was it was held on August 23, 1896, at the Pugad Lawin (Hawk’s Nest) district, which was also called Pugad ng Uwak (Crow’s Nest), which is less than 4 kilometers away from the Balintawak site. On that date, Bonifacio and the Katipuneros gathered at the home of Juan Aquino Ramos, son of “Mother of the Katipunan” Melchora Aquino de Ramos (1812-1919), who is also known as “Tandang Sora” (Elder Sora).  There, Bonifacio and the Katipuneros torn their cédulas personales (community tax certificates), as a sign that they were no longer under Spanish rule. A few days later, the Katipuneros had their first skirmish with the Spanish authorities at the nearby Pasong Tamo, on August 29th. To commemorate the historic “Cry of Pugad Lawin” a monument and museum was erected at the site in 1983, which was also sculpted by Napoleon Abueva.

10 1983 Napoleon Abueva - Sigaw ng Pugad Lawin
1983 Napoleon Abueva – Sigaw ng Pugad Lawin

Napoleón Isabelo Billy Veloso Abueva (1930-2018) studied at the U.P. School of Fine Arts, under National Artist, Guillermo Estrella Tolentino (1890-1976), who was then the director of the school. Although trained in the classical style of sculpting, Abueva broke from its mold and began experimenting on modernist styles and techniques. Soon he became known as and Godfather of Philippine Modern Sculpture. Aside from the many historical monuments that are found all over the Philippines, Abueva has also been commissioned to create sculptures around the world. In his youth, he was awarded the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM) award; which would herald more awards and distinctions in his life. He was proclaimed National Artist for Sculpture in 1976, making him the youngest recipient of this distinction. And just like his mentor, Abueva also served as dean of the U.P. College of Fine Arts.

11 2015 Peter de Guzman - Ponciano A. Bernardo (1905-1949)
2015 Peter de Guzman – Ponciano A. Bernardo (1905-1949)

The next important historical site along EDSA is the Bernardo Park, which is roughly 8 kilometers southbound from Balintawak. Situated beside the EDSA-Kamias-Kamuning intersection, the Bernardo Park is dedicated to the 2nd mayor of Quezon City, Ponciano A. Bernardo (1905-1949), and it is also the location of the 2nd Quezon City Hall. Bernardo started as an engineer, who trained at the University of the Philippines, and met the then senator Manuel Luis Molina Quezón (1878-1944), when he served as the provincial engineer of Tayabas, Quezon’s home province. When Quezon became the president of the Philippines, he appointed Bernardo as the vice-mayor and district engineer of Quezon City, with Tomás Eduardo Morató Bernabéu (1887-1965) as the mayor.  After World War II (1939-1945), President Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr.(1878-1961) appointed Bernard as mayor of Quezon City. However, Bernardo was killed in an ambush by the Communist Hukbalhap, while accompanying former first lady, Doña Aurora Antonia Molina Aragón Quezón (1888-1949), on their way to Quezon’s hometown of Baler, to inaugurate a hospital dedicated to the former president.

The Bernardo Park was inaugurated in 1948, as the first public park of Quezon City, which was beside the old city hall (now the Quezon City Public Library Cubao Branch). The park had a north and south side, connected with a foot bridge of Lagarian Creek. The park was designed by Luciano V. Aquino, the same architect who designed the Welcome Rotonda, at the border of Manila and Quezon City. In 2015, a monument to Mayor Bernardo was erected at the south side of the park, which was sculpted by Peter Tiamzon de Guzman (born 1962) a graduate of the University of the Philippines, College of Fine Arts. De Guzman has represented the Philippines in various exhibitions, grants and symposiums on art abroad; including the 1984 3rd Sculpture Symposium and organizers Meeting (ASEAN) and the Universitas Sebelas Maret (1988) in Jakarta, Indonesia. De Guzman was honored the Thirteen Artists Award by the CCP (1988) and Outstanding Marikenyo in Visual Arts (2011).

There is a second monument to Mayor Bernardo, located at the Ponciano Bernardo Elementary School (established in the late 1950s), along the nearby Justice Pedro Tiangco Tuazon Boulevard (P. Tuazon Boulevard for short). The statue was commissioned by the surviving family of Mayor Bernardo, and sculpted by Napoleón Abueva.

South of Bernardo Park, and crossing EDSA, is the 2.6 kilometer Ermin Garcia Avenue. The road was named after the journalist and publisher, Ermin Erfe Garcia Sr. (1921-1966). A graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and Columbia University, Garcia grew to prominence with his newspaper, Pioneer Herald, which challenged the Japanese authorities during World War II. After the war, Garcia built a reputation for exposing corruption in various government and private agencies, starting with his magazine Counterpoint, then co-publishing the Freedom Magazine with a certain Salvador Zaide. In 1956, Garcia founded the Sunday Punch magazine, in the Municipality of Dagupan, Province of Pangasinan. On May 1966, Garcia was assassinated for exposing a money order racket among some local politicians.

15 PNP's Camp Panopio Hospital
PNP’s Camp Panopio Hospital

At the corner of EDSA and P. Tuason Boulevard, in the Cubao District, in the Philippine National Police (PNP) Camp Panopio, which also houses PNP Hospital. The police camp may be named after Colonel Alfonso Panopio, a Katipunero from the province of Batangas, who led the revolutionaries in Mindoro for the surrender of the Spanish Governor Raphael Morales, in 1898. Col. Panopio would later participate in the Philippine-American War, where he was noted for beating the American forces at “Pulong Matanda,” in 1900. Or the camp may be named after the grandson (?), Captain Alfonso Panopio, a member of the USAFFE (United States Army Forces in the Far East) Lone Wolf Intelligence Unit, which would conduct guerilla tactics against the Japanese forces in World War II. Captain Panopio would later serve as a city councilor of the Municipality of Bauan, Batangas.

Less than one kilometer south of P. Tuazon Boulevard is the intersection of EDSA and Bonny Serrano Avenue. The 2.2 kilometer road stretches from the west into Pinaglabanan in San Juan City, and onto the east ending with the Katipunan Avenue intersection. The street was named after Colonel Venancio “Bonny” Merioles Serrano (1922-1970), a highly decorated war veteran, with 48 medals, including the Medal of Valor. Col. Serrano served from 1955 to 1955, under the 10 BCT Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK), during the Korean War (1950-1953). As a lieutenant then, Serrano is most noted for the Battle of Yalu River, where he led a five-man all-Filipino commando team on a winter night raid, swimming across thefridgid waters to capture77 North Korean soldiers and Chinese Army supporters. Serrano’s exploits captured the Filipino’s imagination that it was made into several films, starting with the 1950 “Korea” that was directed by National Artist for Film Lamberto Vera Avellana (1915-1991), with screenplay by then journalist and future senator, Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Lampa Aquino Jr. (1932-1983). The next films about Serrano and the PEFTOK was the 1951 “10th Battalion sa 38th Parallel, Korea” by the National Artist for Film Gerardo de León (born Gerardo Ilagan, 1913-1981), the 1954 “Batalyon Pilipino sa Korea” by Carlos Vander Tolosa (1902-1966), and the 1956 “Lagablab sa Silangan” (Fire in the East) by Constancio T. Villamar.

The southern Cubao residential areas of Barangay Soccoro, along with the military Camp Aguinaldo and police Camp Cramé, were all part of the American era Camp Murphy. The military base was named after the former American Governor-General (1933-1935) and High Commissioner (1935-1936) to the Philippines, William Francis BrennanMurphy (1890-1949); who would also serve as the Mayor of Detroit, the Governor of Michigan, the Attorney General, and a Supreme Court justice in America. The camp was established in 1935, after purchasing land from the Doña Magdalena Hashim Ysmael-Hemady (1877-1955) and Hacienda de Mandaloyon of Francisco “Don Paco” Ortigas (1875-1935).

The Camp Murphy was first the main installation of the Philippine Constabulary (PC), which would be the forerunner of the Philippine National Police. The PC was established in 1901, which was then followed by the training camp for PC officers at the Santa Lucia barracks in Intramuros, Manila.  But with the growing number of men enlisting, the training school was moved to the newly founded Baguio City in 1908, and was house at Camp Henry Allen (named after Major General Henry Tureman Allen, 1859-1930, the first PC commander). The PC officers training school was formalized by law in 1917, and it was renamed as the Philippine Constabulary Academy in 1926. In 1935, the Philippine Constabulary Academy was renamed Philippine Military Academy (PMA), and it curriculum was modeled after the United States Military Academy(West Point). In 1947, the PMA moved to its present location at Fort General Gregorio del Pilar (after the Katipunan general, Gregorio Hilario del Pilar y Sempio, 1875-1899), in Baguio.

Although the Camp Murphy was home of the Philippine Constabulary General Service Battalion, the 1935 National Defense Act of the new Philippine Commonwealth government sought to develop a military force for the Philippines, for its eventual independence in 1946. And in 1938, the Philippine Constabulary was formally separated from the Philippine Army. Hence part of Camp Murphy was designated for the PC, and named Camp Rafael Cramé, after the first Filipino Chief of the Philippine Constabulary, Brigadier General Rafael Crame y Pérez de Tagle (1863-1927). General Cramé was a Spanish mestizo, who graduated from the Ateneo de Manila, before taking his military studies at the Academia General Militar (then called the Academia De Infanteria), in the Alcázar de Toledo, Spain. Cramé first worked as a government official, then fought against the Katipunan as a lieutenant in the Spanish forces. In 1902, Cramé joined the Philippine Constabulary and quickly rose in its ranks. Cramé was appointed as the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary 1917, and served as its head until his death in 1927. During his service, Cramé was honored with the Medal of Valor, in 1921.

The military base of the Philippine Army remained as Camp Murphy, until its name as Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, in 1965. The present 178.78 hectares military installation was much larger then, incorporating the residential areas for military personnel and their families, such as the Murphy District of Cubao (now called Barangay Socorro, est. 1961) and Barrio Lata (Tin Can) in the present Project 4. Barrio Lata would later be named Barrio Escopa in 1943, after the 1st Company of the Philippine Army (or ISCOPA) who were billeted there. Another part of Camp Murphy was the Zablan Airfield, which was named after Major Porfirio E. Zablan, of the Philippine Constabulary Air Corps (PCAC). Zabalan was one of the first Filipinos to take actual flight training, and rose among the ranks of his fellow recruits. When Zabalan was killed in a training exercise in the USA in 1935, the airfield was named after him in honor of his service and sacrifice. What is left of the Zabalan Airfield is now the southern stretch of Katipunan Avenue.

Camp Murphy was renamed after the first Philippine president and revolutionary general, Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (1869-1964). Aguinaldo chose not to complete his studies at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, to serve as the Cabeza de Barangayin his hometown of Cavite el Viejo (present-day Kawit) in 1895, which he would later serve as its Gobernadorcillo (mayor) in the same year. During that period, Aguinaldo joined the Freemasons, where one member introduced him to the Katipunan revolutionary movement of Andres Bonifacio. At the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, Aguinaldo was successful in his campaigns against the Spanish forces. And in March 22, 1897, Aguinaldo was elected as president of the Philippine revolutionary government, in Tejeros, Cavite Province. However, on that same year, Aguinaldo was convinced to surrender and be exiled to Hong Kong, with the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. In Hong Kong, Aguinaldo negotiated with the American ambassador to give aid in his return to the Philippines, which the USA quickly agreed to as it was embroiled in the Spanish-American War (1898). Aguinaldo arrived in Manila of May 24, 1898, aboard the USRC McCulloch; which was part of United States Navy’s Asiatic Squadron of Commodore George Perrin Dewey (1837-1917) that destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron in Manila Bay. Stepping in to Manila, Aguinaldo declared a revolutionary republic, and unfurled the Philippine flag for the first time in Cavite Nuevo (present-day Cavite City), on May 28, after defeating the Spanish forces in the nearby town of Alapan. However, Aguinaldo was betrayed by the Americans, who blockaded Manila, and accepted the $20 million turnover of the Philippines by Spain, in the December 10, 1898, Treaty of Paris. Aguinaldo established the First Philippine Republic in January 21, 1899, at Malolos, Bulacan Province. But any compromise with the Americans was shattered by the outbreak of the Philippine-American War on February 4, 1899. Aguinaldo moved from province to province fighting and avoiding the American troops, until his capture on March 23, 1901, in Palanan, Isabela Province. Aguinaldo was forced to pledge allegiance to the Americans, and spent the rest of his days working for the care of his fellow revolutionaries, by securing pensions for the Asociación de los Veteranos de la Revolución (Association of Veterans of the Revolution).

22 1983 Ninoy Aquino Assassination
1983 Ninoy Aquino Assassination

EDSA, Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Cramé became the central theater of the 1986 People Power Revolution that saw a peaceful ouster of the dictator, President Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr. (1917-1989), and his exile to Honolulu, Hawaii. This EDSA Revolution was aggravated with the 1983 assassination of Marcos’ rival, the journalist, former vice-governor and governor of Tarlac Province, and senator Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Lampa Aquino Jr. (1932-1983), upon his return to Manila for exile at the USA.  The martyrdom was of Aquino roused the Filipino people from their fears that were instilled by Martial Law (1972-1981), and they rose up protesting change and the ouster of Marcos, which in turn brought about the tumultuous 1986 Snap Elections in which Aquino’s widow, María CorazónCorySumulong Cojuangco Aquino (1933-2009), ran against Marcos, and its many controversies lead to the EDSA Revolution. This sacrifice of Benigno Aquino is immortalized with a 1983 life-size statue of the senator by Tomas Concepcion, in the People’s Park at northeastern corner of EDSA and Senator Vicente María Epifanio Madrigal Avenue, which is the southwestern edge of Camp Aguinaldo.

22 1983 Tomas Concepcion - Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr.
1983 Tomas Concepcion – Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr.

Tomas Fernandez Concepcion (1933-2012) was a noted classical sculptor and painter who was based in Rome, Italy; and once served as a Congressman in the Philippines House of Representatives in the 9th Congress. Concepcion was born to Maranao royal lineage, in Marawi City, but decided to pursue painting and theater design at the San Francisco State College, USA, and at the École des Beaux Arts in Montreal, Canada. However, when Concepcion went to the l’Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, he decided to settle in Italy. When Senator Benigno Aquino was assassinated in 1983, Concepcion created a sculpture to memorialize the martyr in his Roman home, while organizing the Italian branch of the Movement for a Free Philippines. Returning to the Philippines after the EDSA Revolution, Concepcion brought his portrait of Aquino, which he donated to the senator’s family. In 1992, he was asked to run for Congress and won, but returned to Italy after one term in government service. Concepcion has numerous public sculptures; among them are of Pope Paul VI in the Vatican, Dr. Jose Rizal at the Piazzale Manila in Rome, and John Paul II at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral in Guam, and Pope Paul VI, in the Vatican.

1986 EDSA People Power Revolution

The growing unrest after Aquino’s assassination gave way to demands that Pres. Marcos step down. On November 4, 1985, to prove that he still had control over the Philippines, Marcos declared a snap election for February 7, 1986. The short campaign period, Election Day, and weeks long tabulation were mired with accusations of armed intimidation, vote buying, and electoral fraud against the Marcos government. And February 9 walkout of thirty-five government computer programmers over discrepancies in COMELEC’s electronic quick count (Commission on Elections) and the February 11 assassination of oppositionist Governor of Antique, Evelio Bellaflor Javier (1942-1986), were turning the whole country into a very volatile situation. Taking advantage of the turmoil and Marcos’ failing heal, the  then-AFP Vice Chief of Staff and PC Chief Lt. Gen Fidel Valdez Ramos (born 1928) and Minister of Defense Juan Furagganan Ponce Enrile, Sr. (born 1924) plotted a military coup d’etat with the RAM (Reform the Armed Forces Movement) to over throw the president. Once discovered, the rebels feared their arrest and possible deaths from troops loyal to Marcos, and held a February 22 press conference in Camp Aguinaldo, where they declared their resignation from their government posts and declaring their support for Corazon Aquino.  Through Radio Veritas, Cardinal Jaime Lachica Sin (1928-2005) called on the Filipino people to support the rebels, who in turn came in the hundreds of thousands to fill EDSA and nearby roads to prevent any government forces from approaching Camp Crame, where the rebels had transferred to. As more and more government officials and military officers started defecting towards the rebels’ side, the American Embassy and military intervened by whisking out Pres. Marcos and his family to the American Clark Airbase (named after Major Harold Melville Clark, 1890-1919) in Pampanga, then to Marcos’ home province of Ilocos Norte , and finally to Hawaii. This peaceful gathering of people to oust Marcos is commemorated with the 1993 People Power Monument by Eduardo Castrillo, also at the People’s Park, along EDSA.

23 1993 Eduardo Castrillo - People Power Monument
1993 Eduardo Castrillo – People Power Monument

Eduardo De Los Santos Castrillo (1942-2016) is a noted sculptor, who had defined the second wave of modernist sculpture in the Philippines. Castrillo graduated from the UST Fine Arts program, and first started at first as an illustrator for publishing before embarking into a career in public sculpture. In the course of time, Castrillo has represented the Philippines in many exhibitions abroad, and has also been commissioned to create monuments all over the country and overseas. He received the TOYM Award for sculpture (Ten Outstanding Young Men) in 1970, the 13 Artists Award by the CCP in 1970, Outstanding Makati Resident in 1971, Outstanding Sta. Ana Resident in 1974, Outstanding Son of Binan Award in 1980 from the Maduro Club, Outstanding Son of Laguna Award in 1980 from the Laguna Lion’s Club, Adopted Son of Cebu in 1996, the Far Eastern University Green and Gold Artist Award in 1998, and the Most Outstanding Citizen Award of Quezon City.

24 1989 Francisco Mañosa (with Leandro Locsin & William Coscolluela)- Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA
1989 Francisco Mañosa (with Leandro Locsin & William Coscolluela)- Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA

To some people, the peaceful EDSA Revolution was believed to be an act of divine intervention. And to commemorate that miraculous event in Philippine history, the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace: Our Lady of EDSA was erected at the border of San Juan and Quezon City, at the southeast corner of the EDSA and Ortigas Avenue (named after Francisco “Don Paco” Ortigas (1875-1935). The chapel stands right in front of the Robinson’s Galleria Mall, which was constructed at the same time as the shrine, in 1989. Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace: Our Lady of EDSA was designed by the National Artist for Architecture, Arch. FranciscoBobbyTronqued Mañosa (1931-2019), with supervision from National Artist Arch. Leandro Valencia Locsin (1928-1994) and Arch. William Vargas Coscolluela (born 1933); while the San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel Baptistery was designed  Arch. Dominic Galicia. All throughout the church are artworks by Napoleón Isabelo Billy Veloso Abueva (1930-2018), EduardoDe Los Santos Castrillo (1942-2016), Ramon Gahol Orlina (born 1944), Manuel Casal, Benjamin Pagsisihan Alano (1920-1991), and Nemesio Nemi R. Miranda Jr. (born 1949). Atop the shine is a gigantic bronze sculpture of Our Lady of EDSA, by Virginia Ty-Navarro (1924-1996).

25 2001 EDSA Dos
2001 EDSA Dos

From January 17 to 20, 2001, the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace: Our Lady of EDSA was the center point of the so-called EDSA Revolution II, or EDSA Dos, which saw the thousands of people converge around the shrine for the ouster of Pres. José “Joseph Estrada” Marcelo Ejército (born 1937), over allegations of accepting bribes from illegal gambling syndicates. This event is not as popular as the original EDSA Revolution, as this movement was orchestrated by politicians wanting to take power, as well as the middle class who did not identify with a former actor turned populist president. Another issue why masses did not support the movement was that the key witness against Pres. Estrada was the Illocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Crisologo Singson (born 1941), who was linked and admitted to many criminal activities.

26 1987 Coup
1987 Coup

During the administration of Pres. Corazon Aquino, there were 6 coup d’etat attempts to overthrow her government. Among these were the failed 28th of August 1987 and the 1st of December 1987, where members of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, led by then-Colonel and now senator Gregorio “Gringo” Ballesteros Honasan II (born 1948), attempted to take Camp Aguinaldo, along with other government and private facilities. Although the populace did not support these rebellions, they also reflected a growing disenchantment with the Aquino government, due to the ongoing killing of activists and journalists, growing corruption, cronyism, and government mismanagement that were the very reasons why the people marched on to the streets in 1986. And because of this, the EDSA Revolution celebrations are no longer cherished by many people, include many of those who participated in it.

27 1898 Katipuneros
1898 Katipuneros

These changing historical perspectives are watering down the very importance of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue to the Filipino people, and its rich history of fighting against tyranny, starting with Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan movement.

Epifanio de los Santos Avenue

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