February 25, 2011 was not declared a working holiday, but Samuel Loyola took the half-day off to visit the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas.
He said that before his eyesight fails him, he wanted to see and be at the same place he was 25 years back.
Samuel came to our ENG van carrying a yellowing, dog-eared newspaper page printed with his small claim to history. Wrapped in plastic, the paper was only taken out on Februarys.
It was the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer dated February 24, 1986. Below its headline, a boy in a tank top was giving flowers to a soldier.
“That’s me right there,” Samuel said, pointing to a grinning man who peeped out from behind another, somehow expecting the camera shot.
He said he and onlookers laughed when they saw the uniformed man halted by the kid’s present.
It was typical of the spirit along this highway when prayers met force and good-naturedness doused anger with cold water.
The image–minus Samuel and the smiling entourage–is immortalized in the yellow 500-peso bill that future Filipinos, unfortunately, will no longer see except as collectors’ items.