>> An iconic picture of nuns kneeling on EDSA in front of soldiers who were ordered to fire at them but instead shown mercy and joined the protesters.
The 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution…
now celebrates its 25th Anniversary since the historic revolution started and shook the dictatorship out of office. Though I belong to the post-Martial Law generation, I can remember the vivid descriptions of the event by the generation which my parents and grandparents belong to. This event has ushered the Philippines to a special place in the world. Many democratic countries that were once autocratic events somehow owe their formations to a people power revolution that were directly or indirectly influenced by the Philippines example. The Revolution is one of the many things that make me proud of having the blood of my native land running in my veins but, how have we fared so far from this proudly historic event? Let us take a look at the lessons we can derive from the events during and after the 1986 EDSA Revolution…
- Unity can be possible for the otherwise divided people. The Philippines is composed of many ethno-liguistic groups, many of which have bitter animosity towards each other. The Revolution exhibited that this can be possible.
- Peaceful means can be utilized in order for change to be made. People have the power because governments run not for themselves but for the sake of the people.
- The Church (not just the Roman Catholic Church) has a big influence on the lives of many people which can be a guiding institution for the people though the Church herself must respect the movements of the State.
- Though the people themselves can institute change, we need a strong leader who can implement these changes.
- A weak leadership after the revolution immediately weakened the momentum of EDSA. After the revolution, there was much political instability and economic deficiency.
- Though a government with a moral face is good, we need to be vigilant as well since no government is perfect. The First Aquino Administration (first, to differentiate it with the current Aquino) was in fact filled with corruption.
- The military is a powerful catalyst for change and we must reserve utmost respect to the defenders of the land.
The question that most daunts us is that if we even learned from the lessons of EDSA. Apparently, with the situation of our country today, we have not. Current representations of the glorious event are rather misguided. EDSA Revolution is not a revolution of Cory or Ninoy alone but of the Filipino people. It was the time that we learned that collectively, we have the power to change. Without the people, neither of the President Aquinos that served and is serving our land would even be there. This is the time that the people themselves shall reclaim EDSA for themselves. We have not progressed yet because we have dumped the responsibility of change to the government. The real solution to which we can live the Revolution is to be responsible citizens ourselves and not be slaves to media hyperbole or self-satisfaction. EDSA Revolution is now at 25, what have you learned?
Here is an old music video of the ever famous song “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” (translated: The Gift of the Filipinos to the World) which puts into colorful imagery the determination of the people for freedom. I hope that as we celebrate the 25th year of the event, we would not forget the lessons by which our parents have fought for…