immortalizing Ninoy in Makati

Today the country commemorates the 26th anniversary of the death of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. He made a name for himself as a journalist, politician, and brilliant statesman. To many Filipinos, he has become a contemporary national hero of sorts immortalized in streets, paper bills, and of course, monuments.

Arguably the most famous of the monuments dedicated to Ninoy would be the monument found along the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Paseo De Roxas in Makati City which reenacts the moments Ninoy was being led away the airport police of Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983, showing courage and strength in the face of the fear which would be realized a few seconds later…

More than just a monument for Ninoy, it also served as a memorial of sorts that during the dark times of authoritarian rule, this area (and the Makati Commercial and Business District as a a whole) served as a place of protest for an enlightened and change-seeking people being called to action by the events of August 21, 1983. The inscription found in the monuments sums it up nicely:

“Flailing with demonstrations and thundering with protests, Ayala Ave. ran through the imagination of a nation, rising from a mere roadway bisecting the country’s financial district to a symbol of a nation’s willingness to stint nothing – not life nor treasure – for democracy.”

The monument of Peter De Guzman was unveiled sometime in the late 90’s I believe. (I’ve yet to find out the exact date) replacing a previous monument which was also dedicated to Ninoy that had been around the area since 1986 (after the People Power Revolution) which looks like this: (Oldtimers in the Makati CBD, especially those were working or staying there during the 80’s and early 90’s should be familiar with this one)

the original Ninoy Aquino monument in Makati (courtesy of “Tribute to Ninoy” website)

This prior monument depicts Ninoy descending the steps of the China Airlines flight he took on his return to Manila, seemingly depicting as he was shot by the fatal bullet that targeted his head. This so-called “Ninoy falling down” statue did not sit quite well with some people who thought it looked too depressing and did not portray the spirit of triumph Ninoy’s death brought about to the country’s landscape. Then there are those Chinese feng shui experts who deemed the statue was bad luck because of the four steps depicted that Ninoy was stepping down. (four happens to be the number for death among the Chinese)

The original statue eventually was relocated to Ninoy’s hometown in Concepcion, Tarlac with its original form intact…till a few years ago.

Now here’s the statue in its “seated” glory in Tarlac City.

courtesy of


©2009 The Urban Roamer


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