Present day Paulinians will be proud to know that some Paulinians were part of the EDSA Revolution.
June Keithley (HS 1965) is remembered for her role in the People Power Revolution of 1986, when she became the voice of EDSA on Radyo Bandido and called on the Filipino people to come to EDSA. Fr. James B. Reuter, SJ, Chaplain of St. Paul Manila, who had discovered June as the star of SPCM’s production of The Sound of Music, was again with her, proud that the star material had not faded and was being put to the best use for God and Country.
Lining the spiral staircase to the room at the top of the building were nuns from her beloved St. Paul Manila and from other schools, praying the rosary and putting their lives at risk, as was June. It was she who gave the people the news that the Marcoses had left the country.
For her courage and “tranquil daring,” June was conferred the Philippine Legion of Honor, becoming a reservist in the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the rank of general.
Together with her beloved priest and mentor, Fr. Reuter, she was given a plaque of recognition and the Spirit of EDSA award during the 27 th year commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
Another Paulinian who was involved in People Power was Virna Lisa Loberiza (Mananzan).
Virna Lisa became famous for singing the song “Magkaisa,” whichto many is synonymous with the People Power Revolt in 1986. The song that shot her to fame won a new audience with the death of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino on 31 August 2021.
The demo of “Magkaisa” was sung by Vic Sotto who later performed back-up of the song. Composed by Tito Sotto, “Magkaisa” became one of the two anthems of EDSA.
Though not from St. Paul Manila, Virna attended St. Paul Pasig (Grade School) and St. Paul QC (High School) and is, therefore, a full-blooded Paulinian.
Unknown to many, singer Celeste Legaspi (HS 1966) was at EDSA, not on stage but in the sidelines, helping to cook meals for the soldiers. She also joined fellow singers in recording the other EDSA anthem, “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo.” Composed by Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society, the song has been recorded again this year, featuring Paredes and other OPM icons Noel Cabangon, Pinky Marquez, Bituin Escalante, Celeste Legaspi, Boboy Garovillo, Leah Navarro, Bayang Barrios, Mitch Valdez, and The Company.
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And one should never forget what Estelita G. Juco (HS 1948, BSE 1952) did for the country and the people’s fight for freedom, not just at EDSA, but much earlier, as an activist and hard-hitting journalist. Ms. Juco, fondly called Mitsuko, was a Paulinian for more than 50 years as a student, teacher, administrator, moderator of The Paulinian, and founder of the Public Relations Unit (PRU).
For all the dedicated work she had done for the country, President Corazon Aquino named her as Sectoral Representative for Women and the Disabled.
She is also among the modern-day Filipino heroes immortalized in the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani on EDSA.
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So, dear Paulinians of this generation and the next, be aware of the glorious heritage your predecessors blazed in the history of our beloved country and do whatever you can to live up to this legacy.