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Mendiola Street is a short thoroughfare in the district of San Miguel in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Mendiola Street starts from the intersection of Legarda and Claro M. Recto Avenues and ends just outside Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines. Mendiola is famous for being the venue for protest actions against an incumbent government and is the site to some colleges and universities that form the area of Manila known as the "University Belt".
Because of the tight security at the Malacañang Palace, authorities decided to close half of Mendiola Street starting from the sentinel gate in front of the College of the Holy Spirit and La Consolacion College to protect the palace from different forms of threats. Vehicles were then diverted to Concepcion Aguila Street, a narrow side street that passes through residential areas of San Miguel.
1970Mendiola Street has been witness to violent confrontations between protesters and government troops. During the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Mendiola Street was the site of massive protest marches from January to March 1970
which often resulted into violent dispersals and clashes between protesters and riot police in what is now being called by activists and political analysts as the First Quarter Storm.
On January 22, 1987, crowd control troops open fired on a protest rally of about 10,000 peasant farmers demanding genuine land reform from then President Corazon Aquino. Thirteen of the protestors were killed and hundreds more were injured in that incident which is now called the Mendiola Massacre.
Dusting off a big box of old negatives and slides from my Gamma-Liaison days, I managed to discover a hidden sleeve of negatives that I have given up for lost. It was a coverage that I would never forget...
I remember I just came from a provincial sortie of then President Corazon Aquino. I remember it was January 22, 1987. Me and Vin Toledo, a fellow photojournalist was trying to catch up with a group of militant groups who staged a protest rally in Central Manila. There was nothing worth shooting at the event and so we decided to proceed to Mendiola bridge near the Presidential Palace where thousands of farmers from the Southern Tagalog region were holding a big rally. As soon as we got there, we were welcomed by a storm of empty bottles flying through the air and flocks of protesters rinning towards our direction.I wiggled throug the onrushing crowd and when I finally reached ground zero, I witnessed the unfolding of these following images.