MANILA, SEPT. 10 -- In the midst of the most severe political crisis of her 18 months in office, President Corazon Aquino tonight tried to rekindle her popular support, appearing in an informal television chat with two advisers and telling viewers, "I need your help very badly."

Speaking almost exclusively in Tagalog, the most widely spoken dialect in the Philippines, Aquino said many supporters had contacted her during the current crisis asking what they could do to show they still backed her government. She suggested that her followers organize a religious mass. Villagers in the provinces, she said, could ease tensions with the military by inviting soldiers into their homes for a meal.

"I need your help badly, especially at this time when there are still elements who are out to overthrow this government," she said. "Bear with us if we have failed you in some aspects."

Aquino also told reporters today after a special meeting of a new advisory council, the Council of State, that she would make some changes in her Cabinet and make her decision known "probably during the weekend." Yesterday, her entire Cabinet submitted letters of resignation to give her more flexibility in reshaping her besieged administration. Today, officials said lower level appointees offered their resignations, giving Aquino the opportunity to launch a government-wide shake-up if she chooses.

Reaction today was overwhelmingly favorable to the resignation of the Cabinet members. But most analysts cautioned that Aquino should act swiftly to counter the mounting impression that her government is coming apart.

"She does not have the luxury of time to delay the formation {of a new Cabinet} because her government is rapidly unravelling," wrote columnist Amando Doronila in the Manila Chronicle.

Because of the current crisis, Aquino has canceled a long-planned October trip to Rome and the Vatican, where she was scheduled to attend ceremonies for the canonization of the first Filipino saint.

Despite her appeal for civilians to invite soldiers into their homes for meals, Aquino made no mention tonight of the 25 soldiers who died after accepting water from an unidentified civilian while they were jogging through Zamboanga City. The water apparently had been laced with pesticide. Yesterday, 106 other soldiers who fell ill from the poison were airlifted to Manila and are undergoing treatment in two military hospitals.

Seven soldiers are said to be in serious condition, and several others left behind in Zamboanga are still in a coma. Military officials said they suspect communist rebels or Moslem secessionists of the apparent mass poisoning.

Referring to growing military unrest, she said, "There is a way for us to overcome this problem and that is greater interaction between the civilian and the military. I have really tried my best to reach out, not only to the officers but to the enlisted men."

Her outreach efforts apparently have not succeeded. Soldiers in camps around the country over the last few days have criticized Aquino's government in discussions with Vice President and Foreign Minister Salvador Laurel. Aquino gave Laurel the task of gauging the sentiments of the 165,000-member armed forces in the wake of an aborted military coup that drew widespread sympathy from many sectors of the armed forces, and came close to toppling her government.

In Zamboanga City, for example, Brig. Gen. Angel Sadang, deputy chief of the southern command, warned: "If she continues to be a fool, then we will all be in Hell. Basic soldiery requires that if there is a failure in leadership, somebody must go -- whoever that somebody is."

Sadang's comments reflected widespread sentiment in the military and among the general population that Aquino's government is seriously adrift. Soldiers here, in Zamboanga, and also in Cebu seemed to show overwhelming sympathy for the grievances aired by the leaders of last month's coup attempt. A majority of the soldiers also thought the leader of the coup, Col. Gregorio (Gringo) Honasan, should be granted amnesty.

Honasan, who is still at large, is believed to command a group of up to 2,000 men. The capital remains uneasy because of speculation that he is set to launch another strike. One widely read newspaper columnist, Luis D. Beltran, today reported that Honasan has an operation plan called "RAMBO," an acronym for Remove Aquino from Malacanang Before October.

Aquino tonight appeared once again to rule out amnesty for Honasan. "The time is here for all of us to join hands," Aquino said. But she added that the leaders of the Aug. 28 coup attempt, which claimed 53 lives, were trying to assassinate her and take over the government. "We cannot allow them to escape from the law," she said.

During a two-hour meeting of the special advisory council today, Aquino pressed congressional leaders to take quick action to alleviate poverty and to enact a government land reform program, which appears to have become stalled in various committees.

Aquino's failure to act on those two crucial issues since taking office has reinforced the perception that her government has failed to accomplish its key economic goals.

In her television appearance tonight, Aquino said her government has neglected failed to advertise its own achievements. She cited a restoration of democratic freedoms, and an impressive economic growth rate of more than 5 percent for the first quarter of this year as two of her main accomplishments.