Tuesday, September 19, 2006
A news article a few days ago lamented that according to a survey, fewer and fewer Filipinos remember the atrocities done during the Marcos regime. While this is not tantamount to saying that Filipinos are remembering less and less the EDSA Revolution that toppled such a dictatorship, it does suggest that it is so because the spirit of EDSA failed to deliver as was expected by the nation. No president so far was successful in alleviating the country from poverty and other social ills, and as the way the trend is going, the plight has become worse because the people feel poorer and hungrier than the previous years. With such a predicament, the gains of EDSA will just calcify in history.
It is true that there is a need to reinterpret the revolution that was EDSA 1986 because “old meanings are not enough, much has changed and the recovery of hope and meaning entails people’s continued responding.” The penchant of our disgruntled citizens in milling in Metro Manila’s premier thoroughfare located in Ortigas Area has incurred the negative remarks from international press that whenever we want political change, we stage parliament in the street, which is a wrong forum. This denigrates the cause championed by EDSA 1, not to mention that it somewhat illegitimatizes that of EDSA 2. Of course, what we did as a united people in EDSA 1 was sacred, believing that the voice of the people urging a tyrant into stepping down the pedestal of power was no less than the voice of God. The circumstantial gathering of the cross-section representatives of the society was phenomenal, so we need to update the meaning of these synchronic desires for change in the context of our present living. To remain wistful of the united act we made is not enough to keep our one spirit aloft, but to act that we can always gather for our revolution against daily struggles as a nation should mean much the revolution we had 20 years ago.
In the 20 years that transpired since EDSA 1, many changes occurred and so, a need to reinterpret the movement begs to be acted upon. The gospel tells that new wine should not be poured over old wineskin lest the container tears asunder and the precious liquid will be spilled away. When we apply the principles of EDSA today, it requires updating because tyrants and politicians have become more cunning so they can serve best their interest in the subtlest figure tolerable. We need discernment as a people, and our vigilance should be put to prime in order to keep the flame of EDSA 1 alive even as years have passed and much alteration has affected the way we view people power.
Ultimately, when we reinterpret EDSA revolution of 1986, we will refresh the hope felt by the Filipino people before right when we booted a dictator away from our midst. A change was in the offing, the people felt before, and even as times are getting harder, it is not likely that the EDSA 1 spirit will falter once the people power is reenvisioned. Our consensual work to radicalize the state of our country cannot be without meaning, because that tells much of our way of realizing our country’s longing to be finally independent. With renewed hope and meaning for our people power, we readily and continuously respond to the need to protect our democracy and not just let anyone divert the course of history. We must celebrate our freedom as a nation, and that we have shown and must continually show in the spirit of EDSA 1 revolution.