Interfaith Rally in Ayala Avenue, Makati City

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GMA resign
(Most links in my entry show the photos I took of the InterFaith rally)

I was there at the the Interfaith rally at the corner of Ayala and Paseo de Roxas avenues today, February 29. A light drizzle greeted me when I arrived hours before the start of the rally. That didn’t dampen my spirits though. I had faith that the InterFaith rally will continue despite the drizzle. Hope reigned in my heart that the InterFaith rally will set the ground for Filipinos to take a look at our current situation. While waiting for the program to start, a buzz of activity unfolded before me : positioning of anti-GMA placards, the security precautions, TV network preparations, enterprising vendors. Vendors hawking all sorts of wares from ice cream and grilled dried squid to hats, buttons, head gears, shirts and umbrellas loitered around, mingling with the rest of the early birds like me.

live twitter
Using Twitter from my cellphone, I micro-blogged the unfolding events but the Smart3g slowdown prevented me from further updates.

By some miracle, the drizzle stopped and its place a rain of confetti from the BPI building fell on my face as I gazed on the looming skyscrapers surrounding the stage. The best is yet to come, as I positioned myself across the stage together with some senior citizens. A friend was supposed to join me but her husband felt it was dangerous (If that happened to me, I tell you, I will brandish a placard of protest inside my home. Thank goodness, Butch supported my decision). I didn’t feel alone. I had lots of company. The Youth sector and even professional groups like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines soon arrived behind me.

A banner with “Hear no evil, speak no evil, deliver us from Evil.” faced me to my right while various Philippine Flags to my left waved to the unison of the soft breeze of Ayala avenue. I’ve never felt so proud to be a Filipino.

The Erap magic is obviously alive as the man with the Gloria Resign sign showed off his Erap shirt and also judging from the deafenings shouts of “Erap! Erap!” from his supporters. I don’t particularly like Erap but I wasn’t there to argue with people of different political affiliations.

Youth Act Now!

The InterFaith Program touched me to the core. Prayers for Truth, Justice and Change from the various religious groups especially the Koran reading by a Muslim boy moved me to a state of reflection.

The charismatic Jesus Is Lord leader Bishop Leo Alconga led the crowd in prayer, with almost everyone raising their hands in prayer in the air.

interfaith rally

Hands raised in prayer evoked a heart-rending moment during the InterFaith Rally. Three prayer appeals including one calling on the President to “heed the will of the people,” and another calling on the Armed Forces to protect the people, not just one family surrounded the air. A few shed tears. One felt the crowd’s faith that truth will soon happen. We may not know the tipping point but our faith is all we have at this point.

In a stirring moment, green balloons were set free into the air, as a young man sang a gospel song in falsetto and confetti rained on the crowd below. My prayers echo Bishop Jessie Suarez of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines:

“We have been looking for justice. Because we have the [biggest] number of victims of extrajudicial killings. No one has been punished.

We share your prayer: Lord, deliver us from evil. Tama na, sobra na, bumaba na kayo diyan! (Enough is enough. Step down!)”

Video of the release of the balloons, as a symbol of prayer being brought to the heavens.

Religious leaders took turns in saying prayers for the administration to account for charges of corruption arising from the $329-million NBN deal with China’s ZTE Corp.

I thought the presence of former Presidents, Cory Aquino and Erap seemed out of place. Okay fine, Cory urged the crowd to keep on praying for truth: “Let’s continue praying. We know what can help us in these times. I thought I’m finished with all this because I’m old. But the call of the times is for us to be unified to end this deception and know the truth.” Erap, on the other hand, jeered President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for “overstaying”. Cory and Erap’s presence in the rally showed the signs of times of different politics coming together for one cause but it didn’t augur well with some of the Interfaith rally organizers who walked out of the rally.

Thunderous applause greeted Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada whose presence was announced a few minutes after the two former Presidents left at past 6 p.m.
Jun Lozada
The crowd loved Jun Lozada. He was the man of the hour.

At this point, I found myself squashed among photographers and camera men from various media organizations. Feeling suffocated, I weaved myself out of the thick crowd so I could feel the pulse on the rest of the Filipinos who attended this rally. On my way out of the crowd, I espied on a girl in a wheelchair wanting to move to the front of the stage. The crowd gave way to this disabled girl. Nothing could stop her voice from being heard.

interfaith rally
The atmosphere along Makati Avenue felt like a festive fiesta. Groups of rallyists converted Ayala Avenue to picnic grounds. Others brought along snacks. Feeling sapped of energy, I bought fish balls.

Those far from the stage were able to watch the program through an outdoor TV screen. The crowds soon dwindled as soon as Jun Lozada left the stage but some groups opted to stay and rendered their own mini-programs.

The InterFaith Rally is just a start. . Imagine that! 80,000 people marched and shouted ““We want the truth!” and ““Gloria resign!” The rally was a success in terms of sending a message to President Arroyo.

I have faith the truth will soon set us free.

I hope the rally has somehow shown you some flicker of hope.

For love of this country, for the future of our children, for the many who have sacrificed and died to uphold our rights and ideals, I urge you to do what you can. As ordinary citizens, we can do much more for the Philippines than sit around and let crooks lead us to perdition. We owe ourselves this. And we owe our country even more.

View more photos of Interfaith Rally which I took from the front of the stage.

The interfaith prayer rally carried the theme “Manindigan para sa Katotohanan, Katarungan at Pagbabago,” which, according to the organizers, covers not only the quest for truth, honesty, and accountability but also various calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign amid the scandals rocking her administration. Green was will the new color of protest as people of different faiths and political beliefs converged again at the Ninoy Aquino Monument in Makati City to pray for truth and accountability.

First Hand Account on the InterFaith Rally

Manolo Quezon – A throne of bayonets

Will- Inertia: Sustaining the EDSA Movement

Tonyo Cruz – MALAYA: From all sectors they come (to Ayala interfaith rally)


Jhay Rocas- Interfaith Rally: 3 Makati, Pagharang At Panggigipit Sa Mga Taga DLSU-Dasmariñas

Ellen Tordesillas – Makati rally draws huge crowd

Luis- Scenes from a Rally


Beyond Experience

Mahiya Naman Kayo

Ayala Experience

Another Rally..


Blogs on the Interfaith Rally

The Warrior Lawyer- Inter Faith Rally Against Arroyo

ZTE-NBN Scandal: All Quiet on the Anti-Arroyo Front

Market Man- Makati Rally, Friday 29th of February

Ederic- ‘I wanna go out! Stupid rally.’

Sonnie on Tired of People Power


Lots of Photos taken in the Interfaith Rally

Street Food at the Friday Rally

Senior Enrique March for Truth and Anti-corruption


Prayer Rally- Ayala Avenue

My Photos of Interfaith Rally

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • I hope this gathering be a door to a new beginning not only in the government but in every Filipino.

  • Hello Noemi, I know you from PMN…
    So i can’t wait to hear your post after the rally. I want to know your feelings.

    Seriously, this is a wake up call to every Filipino citizen, government official or not. I think we ALL need to look within ourselves and search and ask ourselves, “am I adding to the problems of our country?”

  • hi Ms. Noemi. it’s good to know the rally was peaceful. the battle has just started and the search for truth continues tomorrow. God bless the Philippines!

  • Thank you for the post Noemi, I’m sure you’re exhausted. It is nice to send prayers to heaven. I do believe GMA should face the nation and talk about these issues. Then she should jail every crook, her husband included, then finish her term, then she can go to jail. How’s that.

  • Ami

    I just read latest Spratly islands issue and found out that this administration is adding treason to its many crimes. check out:

  • Noemi, the photo with the hands raised with the flags made me feel different, proud to be a Filipino at the same time angry at what is happening. At times like these, we are proud to be one in the quest for truth and accountability. I just hope and pray that we practice these things in our lives, after the agitation/excitement has died down, so we can truly move on.

  • Hi. The person in the third picture from top is not Bro. Eddie Villanueva. That’s Bishop Leo Alconga of the Philippines for Jesus Movement.

  • @tonyo- thanks for the correction

  • Hi Noemi. I admire you for going there to support our country men’s cry for truth and justice to prevail.


    It’s time for a change.

  • @Jeans- it’s indeed a wake up call. I’ve finally updated my entry on my experiences during the Interfaith rally. The rally is a start for the Filipinos to be aware of the corruption of her regime.

    @edelweiza- I prayed that the rally would be peaceful. I am not as nimble as I used to be.

    @ami- i also blogged on the spratlys in my previous entry.

    @julie- looking at the “hands raised” photo, I remember the feelings of hope and faith of the Filipinos in that rally.

    @rach- actually I was a bit scared to attend. I was scared to be trampled during a stampede.

    @carlo- yes , it’s a time to change.

  • Thanks po ulit for letting me use some of your photos. Nasa front page na ng Manila Blog Times yung una. Will post another one on this afternoon. 🙂

  • Thanks for the photos ma’am. I wasn’t able to attend the Makati Interfaith Rally though I was itching to travel there from Laguna. And like those who went there, I also yearn for the truth. At the most, I’d be more than glad to see Gloria resign from a position which isn’t even her own to begin with. Anyway, thanks again for sharing. Isang mapagpalayang araw sa ating lahat 🙂

  • hi noemi, i may not be there due to work, but thru your entry i was able to have a vivid look of what has transpired during the InterFaith rally.

    i admire mr lozada, he has all to lose but he sacrifice it all even the safety of his family.

    ‘Though I’m proud of my roots, I can feel the angst and disappointment brought about by the corruption and unmorally of some public servants to the Filipino nation. I hope everything will turn out well.

  • To be honest, Lozada and his family are probably safer now than they were in the span of time right before he testified. The media have made him untouchable now. If he or any of his family members were to die, that could be an event of ninoy-like proportions.

  • @ederic- that was a good choice with all the religious leaders

    @spliceanddice- Being in the front row and wedged tightly with the media made it impossible to take photos of the crowd unless I stood on the stage

    @ryan- oh wow, Lozada was the most popular in the rally. The crowd loved him.

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  • Thanks for the link-love, we Lasallians from Cavite were so eager, even willing to risk even more just to be there at Makati. But lo, we had to re-think and focused more on the safety of our comrades.

    Still, we are not that sad. We proved to the entire nation, that Makati is not the sole battleground in this war to rid this country of evil.

    We will be back, much prepared, with greater numbers.

  • It’s good it turned out peaceful. Am concern because of EDSA 2 and the mob of People Power 3, the the people power culture inculcated in us will end up in mobocracy.

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  • noemi, i’m so proud of our people… time and time again there’s been the charge of apathy; what really is going on is that the apparent silence is that of a quiet anger, a simmering that could soon boil over.

    the day of judgment will come soon, i hope. until then, i am with you too, and everyone else who demands truth and accountability. 🙂

  • I monitor the rally only on radio, i am thousand miles away from our country. But my sympathy and spirit is one with the people fighting for their right to express their grievances with the present regime. The inter faith rally is one of the many huge rallies in the history of filipino people fighting for their rights. The rally has shaken the kingdom but more actions and greater in number of people will be necessary to throw out the evil from her cave.

  • Hi Noemi, I was supposed to attend the rally but got sick (after our dinner, maybe nahamugan ako, he he). I’m sure they’ll be more, hopefully can go na. I was in EDSA (Dos) with hubby and my baby Nicole before for 3 days. And all the while I thought di nasayang oras namin, but when I saw ERAP again in the inter-faith rally, parang nawalan ako ng gana. Sana next time, wag na sya akyat sa stage. Btw, saw you again on tv sa news when you’re in the Makati rally. Very visible ka na talaga in media…

  • is one with thousands in support of the people’s clamoring for the truth and justice. The inter faith rally should be furtherly push more forward in drawing out more people , thousands more or even millions for Pres. GMA to step down..

  • hi noemi, I am also a few kilometers away from the stage and we almost bump with each other. Anyway, i have also posted my stories for the interfaith rally…

  • hi there thanks for posting this. good job in documenting what happened. i was watching it in abscbn’s news channel in cable but they didn’t really show what was happening on the platform kinda disappointing. neway, lets continue praying for our country we need God more than anything else now. MABUHAY ANG PILIPINAS!!

  • Unknown

    im against Lozada. He’s a real joker like a JOKER as he knows how to smile and win people’s heart. He knows how to make too much people NOISE!! He’s making them FOOL who attended the rally. I respect people’s right, but it’s not the right time. PEOPLE! YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HIS BACKGROUND INSIDE EXCEPT OUTSIDE. THINK FIRST!!

  • Ram Ramos

    It was a cathartic experience to be there in Ayala. I don’t really join rallies but this time I felt the need for me to take part in it. It’s not that I haven’t been to one before because I was with my family during EDSA II. I was just really happy to see that most of the people, I think, were not really the regular rallyists or activists. The silent majority was definitely there breaking their silence and taking a stand. In our group alone (Im from the Ateneo AB Philo 06′ and presently taking law in the Ateneo too) much of the people who joined were not the regular rallyists but are now standing up for truth, accountability and reform. It was very good to see people from the buildings with fists raised shouting and clapping to show their support to us. Others threw confetti at us. Majority took photos and videos. Definitely, a lot of people who can’t leave work that day are part of this movement though they can’t really join the rally.

    It was just disappointing that Erap was allowed to speak on stage.

    To Jhay, hey, are you Jhay Rocas from Silang, Cavite? It’s me Ramil Ramos. Sayang hindi kayo nakarating, but us who were there know that a lot of people support the cause even if they weren’t there.

    To the guy above who just posted a message without leaving his name: dude, I admire Lozada, at least he had the balls to show his face despite the criticisms and the threat to his life. You, on the other hand, hide behind the curtain of impunity.
    I believe that Lozada’s allegations are very serious, and from a law student’s point of view, I think that he have to look deeper into it and find more evidence that can lead us to the truth. I agree with Lozada when he said that his testimony cannot stand alone because legally that’s true, we need to get Neri and the other officials to talk and connect a much stronger link to Malacanang. But I remind you all that this battle is not against Malacanang or Gloria, but a battle against corruption and deception. Let our goal not be to oust Gloria but to get the truth and make the people involved liable for any violations of the law they committed. Maybe, forcing Gloria to resign is just a step to our ultimate goal of having a clean government and society and ultimately a genuine democracy, but it is definitely not the end that we want to meet.

    God bless the Philippines!

  • to unknown…

    Lozada’s brother was killed by mistake by the Admin. since they were running after “a threat to the early Arroyo Administration”…

    in exchange, Lozada was offered a job to work fot the government… and he accepted it… that is his background…

    and I don’t see anything from that that makes him not credible to tell anything true… what is it for him anyway to do all these? fame, yes… but fame for what? for danger?

  • thanks thanks. at sana ay masagot na ang mga dasal nating lahat

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