Boy portrayed in old P500 banknote meets Leni Robredo in New York

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An image of the reverse side of an old P500 banknote from the website of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (left) and Angelo Gutierrez posing with Vice President Leni Robredo in New York for a snapshot on May 21, 2022 (right. (PHOTO: Angelo Gutierrez/Facebook, Bangko Sentral ng Pilippinas)
An image of the reverse side of an old P500 banknote from the website of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (left) and Angelo Gutierrez posing with Vice President Leni Robredo in New York for a snapshot on May 21, 2022 (right. (PHOTO: Angelo Gutierrez/Facebook, Bangko Sentral ng Pilippinas)

The boy portrayed offering flowers to a soldier on the back of the old P500 banknote, recently ran into Vice President Leni Robredo in New York.

Angelo Gutierrez, now working as a nurse, bumped into Robredo in Central Park. The Vice President was recently in New York for her daughter Jillian's convocation at New York University.

“Bumped into the Vice President of the Philippines. Thank you for being so approachable and kind! God bless you! Leni Gerona Robredo #Starstruck,” Gutierrez posted. It has since garnered more than 14,000 likes and some 260 shares.

Educator Gabby Lopez, who once taught Gutierrez in graduate school, then shared the post along with a screenshot of Gutierrez’s message to him:

“Dean! Nakita ko si VP Leni here in NYC (I saw VP Leni Robredo here in NYC)! I saw that you are her friend (on) FB. I messaged her and told her that I was that boy at the back of the old 500 peso bill. Sana mabasa niya (I hope she reads this) (smiling face emoji) I love and support her so much…”

According to historian and Inquirer editor Manuel Quezon III, who responded to the post, the photo was taken by John Chua in 1986. It can be seen in “People Power, an Eyewitness History: The Philippine Revolution of 1986” by Monina Allarey Mercado.

The moment was immortalised on the back of the old P500 bill.

The reverse side of the old P500 bill (PHOTO: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas)
The reverse side of the old P500 bill (PHOTO: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas)

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), after the 1986 People Power Revolution and the new 1987 Constitution was promulgated, the 500-peso banknote with the face of Benigno Aquino, Jr., the "main driving force behind the People Power Revolution", on the obverse side was introduced.

The yellow note "substantiates the purpose of honoring Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, Jr., whose wife, Corazon Aquino, made use of the yellow as her political color”.

Featured at the back of the note is a collage of various images celebrating Aquino’s life and political career, including "a scene showing some civilians offering flowers to soldiers signifying People Power at EDSA."

The People Power Revolution was a bloodless coup that unseated the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and forced him into exile in Hawaii.

His son Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is now the presumptive president of the Philippines following the May 9 election.

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