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People Power Anniversary in Philippines

People Power Anniversary is a nationwide observance and school holiday in the Philippines each year. This event holds a special place in the hearts of many Filipinos as they remember a revolution that restored democracy in the Philippines in 1986.

Is People Power Anniversary a Public Holiday?

People Power Anniversary is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

A major road in Manila, known as the EDSA (pictured above), is a popular point for people to visit on People Power Anniversary.

©iStockphoto.com/tonyoquias

What Do People Do?

Many people celebrate People Power Anniversary by wearing yellow, which was the official color of the LABAN party, the rival political group that challenged the government back in 1986. Much of the festivities and activities occur in the city of Manila, particularly Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), a major public road where people flock to visit. Activities include programs such as church masses and concerts.

Many people also flash the LABAN (fight) sign, which is an “L” sign using one’s index finger and thumb.  Media stations broadcast programs about the event through a live feed of street celebrations, documentaries about the revolution, and interviews with prominent political figures and personalities. The print media publish news and feature articles on stories related to this event.

Public Life

People Power Anniversary in the Philippines is a school holiday only, so both public and private schools are closed. Business remains open on this day. There is less traffic, especially in cities, on this day, giving commuters a chance to enjoy a brief respite from rush hour traffic woes. There is no disruption of services in public and mass transport systems, with regular routes and schedules remaining intact.

Background

The story behind People Power Anniversary traces back to events that occurred from February 22 to 25, 1986. Masses of disillusioned people, mainly from urban Manila, staged a revolution on the streets of Manila. This revolution eventually led to the downfall of a government that many people saw as corrupt and oppressive.

A major road called EDSA, in Manila, was the stage for crucial events that occurred during the revolution. Nearly two million people were protesting on this street at one point during this historical event. Many Filipinos consider the holiday as historic and important because the revolution changed and reformed the political system in the Philippines.

People Power Anniversary was a working holiday on February 25 in previous years. It was not a day off for work or schools but activities and ceremonies to celebrate the anniversary would continue to occur. In 2009 the Monday nearest February 25 was declared a special holiday for all schools (both public and private).

Symbols

Yellow symbolizes the revolution and also is the official color of the LABAN (fight) political party. The “L” sign which is formed by one’s index finger and thumb is another symbol of the LABAN party and the people’s defiance of the authoritarian government at the time of the revolution.

Note: Timeanddate.com maintains political neutrality with regard to any of the governments mentioned in this article.

People Power Anniversary Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015WedFeb 25People Power AnniversaryObservance
2016ThuFeb 25People Power AnniversarySpecial Non-working Holiday
2017SatFeb 25People Power AnniversaryObservance
2018SunFeb 25People Power AnniversarySpecial Non-working Holiday
2019MonFeb 25People Power AnniversarySpecial Non-working Holiday

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