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Cory's original favorite color, birth of 'unity' movement, and other EDSA People Power trivia

By NICK GARCIA Published Feb 23, 2023 3:19 pm Updated Feb 23, 2023 5:46 pm

The EDSA People Power Revolution is marking its 37th anniversary this year, but not everybody is still fully aware of the country's history (especially that disinformation and historical distortion remain more prevalent than ever).

Moreover, there are pieces of trivia about the four-day popular uprising that may pique one's interest. Here are some things you may not know about it.

A song inspired the revolution's unmistakable yellow.

Yellow became the color of the revolution, as inspired by the 1973 song Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree by American pop act Tony Orlando and Dawn.

The song revolves around a man who he said has "done my time" (military service) and is "comin' home." He asks his beloved that if she still wants him after "three long years," she must "tie a yellow ribbon 'round the ole oak tree." Otherwise, he'll stay on the bus, forget their relationship, and blame himself.

He tells the bus driver, "please look for me," fearing his love won't fulfill his wish. To his surprise, the "whole damned bus is cheerin'" as there are a hundred yellow ribbons around the tree.

While the song is somewhat similar to opposition senator Ninoy Aquino's departure and homecoming, there's no yellow ribbon(s) for him to see as he got assassinated after stepping out of the plane.

Before her yellow branding, Cory Aquino's favorite color was actually red.

Ferdinand E. Marcos' successor, Cory Aquino, made the revelation in an interview with TIME magazine as its "Woman of the Year" for 1986.

Cory embraced the color yellow following Ninoy's death and the Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree movement afterward.

"Whatever else happens in her rule," TIME said, "Aquino has already given her country a bright, and inviolate, memory. More important, she has also resuscitated its sense of identity and pride."

Cory was in Cebu during Day 1 of the People Power Revolution.

The series of popular demonstrations took place from Feb. 22 to 25, 1986, and on the first day, Cory was in Cebu campaigning for civil disobedience.

Then-defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile had a phone call with Cory. "She asked what happened. I told her we were here and all right. She asked what she could do and I told her, 'Just pray for us,'" wrote Nick Joaquin a.k.a. Quijano de Manila in The Quartet of the Tiger Moon: Scenes from the People-Power Apocalypse.

But after Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin on Radio Veritas urged the public to support Enrile and then-Armed Forces vice chief-of-staff Fidel V. Ramos after turning against Marcos, Cory left for Manila in a private plane.

Despite the military presence, the People Power Revolution was indeed bloodless.

Troops of soldiers rode tanks and armored vans, wielded firearms, and even made threats, but there were no reported casualties or injuries.

Nuns holding rosaries also knelt in front of the tanks, while the throngs of demonstrators came together to prevent them from passing through, with some even pushing them back.

"When the tanks kept coming on the people began lying down on the road. Then those behind would rush forward to protect those who had lain down," Joaquin wrote. "It was amazing to see how, with no one directing them, the crowd moved in unison, making it impossible for the tanks to proceed without running over people."

The EDSA Shrine has a more formal name.

The famous landmark on EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue in Brgy. Ugong Norte in Quezon City is formally called Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace (Our Lady of EDSA).

Sin suggested that the shrine be built after the Marcoses were exiled, as the Blessed Virgin Mary "miraculously interceded to oust the dictatorship in a peaceful and bloodless uprising."

Architect Francisco Mañosa (who became National Artist in 2018) led the architectural and structural design for the church alongside preparatory work from fellow architects, National Artist Leandro Locsin and William Coscolluela.

The People Power Monument, located at the corner of EDSA and White Plains Avenue, was also made in 1993. It's just below a kilometer away from the EDSA Shrine.

It was during the People Power Revolution that unity was originally espoused.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wasn't the first to espouse unity as seen during the campaign period.

One of the People Power Revolution's signature songs was Magkaisa (Unite), sang by Virna Lisa and composed by Tito Sotto.

Sarah Geronimo covered the song during Cory's funeral in 2009. Regine Velasquez also had her rendition during the uprising's 25th anniversary in 2011.