Grandstand, Camp Aguinaldo
25 February 2016

President Benigno S. Aquino III toured the People Power Experiential Museum installed at the AFP Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo as part of the 30th EDSA People Power Anniversary.

Accompanied by his sisters Viel Aquino-Dee and Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, and members of the Cabinet, the President was treated in theatrical performances, installation arts and combined multimedia presentation that captured the harrowing experience of the political prisoners and the ‘desaparecidos’ during the martial law period.

Divided into several sections, the Experiential Museum attempts to encapsulate the 14-year long struggle of Filipinos under the martial law rule; beginning with a hole-in-the-wall sneak peak at the glitz and glamor and lavish extravagance and partying of the Marcoses, juxtaposing it with images of poverty that enclosed it.

The walk-through tour also takes audiences to different levels of suffering, including the soliloquy-type testimonies of those who had been killed opposing the regime —of which the President became emotional when it featured the last interview of his father, the late Senator Ninoy Aquino Jr., before he was assassinated. And finally, an image of Jose Rizal urging the public, especially the youth, to protect freedom and democracy was shown at the end of the exposition.

A hologram message from the President was also featured urging the public to learn the truth of martial law and quoting George Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

“Ngayon po, ang hiling ko sa kabataan: Alamin ninyo ang nangyari noong EDSA. Meron tayong museo na bahagi ng ating pagdiriwang: Ang ESDA People Power Experiential Museum, kung saan sa bahagya ninyong mararanasan ang kalupitang ipinatupad noong diktadurya. Sulitin sana ninyo ang pagkakataong itong makita kung gaano kahalaga ang kalayaan at demokrasya na nasa inyo nang mga kamay,” the President said.

The People Power Experiential Museum will be open for free to the public for two days in commemoration of the 30th EDSA People Power Anniversary. Afterwards, the museum will be installed permanently at the QCX museum in Quezon City Circle. Once transferred, construction of the Experiential Museum and monument is expected to be fully operational within two years.

*  *  *