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The Historic EDSA

Viewing from the windows of your Amaia Skies Shaw unit, EDSA can be seen on the horizon. The grand thoroughfare and commercial district is innovative and thriving. Indeed, it is one of the busiest streets in the metro.

The historic EDSA

Ousting the dictator

Thirty years ago, the Filipino people unseat the Marcos regime in what was considered as a peaceful and bloodless revolution. Media called it the People Power, a four-day uprising that started with the then Archbishop of Manila’s call for help. People responded with prayers, food, flowers, and songs. The strong revolution was led by the late President Corazon C. Aquino.

While this was the most important event that took place in EDSA, leading to the rebirth of the country as a democratic nation, there’s more to EDSA that we ought to know.

1) EDSA is named after Don Pañong

EDSA stands for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. Epifanio de los Santos y Cristobal, or simply Don Pañong, was a noted Filipino historian, critic, antiquarian, journalist, and many more. He was known as ‘The First Filipino Academician.’ When he died, he was described as ‘Great among the Great Filipino Scholars.’

Before it became EDSA on April 7, 1959, owing to Republic Act No. 2140, the 24-kilometer avenue was called Avenida 19 de Junio. However, in the early 1950s, it was changed to Highway 54.

2) EDSA housed iconic structures

Some of these iconic structures are still in existence while others were already replaced by equally iconic establishments. In 1935, Camp Murphy, which was the harbinger of Camps Aguinaldo and Crame, was established along the thoroughfare. It was in 1965 when Camp Murphy was divided into two camps to cater to the needs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

Built in 1956, one will find the Bahay na Puti (The White House) along P. Tuazon Boulevard in northbound of EDSA. The house, which served as the ancestral house of the Aranetas, was designed by J. Amado.

In the 1960s, A&W Rootbeer was built along EDSA. It was the first restaurant in the Philippines. It’s a drive-in restaurant (which means you don’t need to leave your car to eat) whose waitresses wear roller skates, wheeling around the establishment to serve root beer floats. The restaurant was located where the Farmer’s Mall currently stands.

Another important structure in Cubao is the Araneta Coliseum, the first coliseum in the country. It was designed by Architect Dominador Lacson Lugtu and built by Engineer Leonardo Onjunco Lugtu between 1957 and 1959.  After its construction, it was recognized as the largest covered coliseum worldwide. So much so, the height of its popularity occurred when the legendary Thrilla in Manila (Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier) match was held there.

In 1989, the EDSA Shrine was built in Ortigas Avenue. The Shrine was designed by Franciso Mañosa and sculpted by Virginia Ty-Navarro. Dubbed as the Our Lady of EDSA, the image of Our Lady of Peace embodies the bloodless People Power Revolution of 1986.

Yes, EDSA breathes history. It’s the silent witness to some of the most important parts of our past. Not only that, EDSA has become a place of its own, being recognized due to its iconic structures and events that took place in here. These are the indelible, concrete moments that no amount of business can take away.

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