02/24/16

A Walk Along The EDSA 86 Trail

With the risk of betraying my age here, I was wee little toddler when the first People Power Revolution of 1986 happened. As such, I have no recollection of what happened during those historic 4 days in February save from what I eventually read in history books, in school, and the stories my mom who was there told me.

(courtesy of Gel Santos Relos on Typepad)

As such, I must admit I have no idea what it was like for the millions who flocked to EDSA despite the danger that loomed, who only had hope and prayers as their weapons against tanks and guns. Instead, what I feel about it is frustration and cynicism, that it was an opportunity wasted by those same people. Now some of them have the gall to generalize that those who are supporting the son of the president who was overthrown 30 years ago are “zombies” and “retards.” While others have made the symbols of unity and freedom in 1986 become symbols of divisive politics in 2016.

With such mixed sentiments, I needed to be reminded myself of what made the People Power Revolution a defining moment for the country. I needed to understand too why we failed to follow through the ideals the revolution wanted to put in place. And the best way for me to do this is to take a walk right along the great historic avenue that is EDSA where it all happened in 1986, a walk along the EDSA 86 Trail. Continue reading

02/25/15

A Shrine to People Power

Today, the country commemorates the anniversary of what is considered to be the one of the first nonviolent revolutions that has occurred in the history of humankind. I am referring to of course to the first People Power or EDSA Revolution, the four-day uprising which culminated this day in 1986 when the authoritarian rule of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos ended and a more democratic government was inaugurated with Pres. Corazon Aquino, widow of the assassinated anti-Marcos figure Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., at the helm.

The revolution would not have been possible without the efforts spearheaded by the Catholic Church at that time, particularly the efforts of the Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin who called on the people to support then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces vice chief Fidel Ramos who had earlier withdrawn support from the Marcos government and have barricaded themselves inside Camp Crame along EDSA. Thus, while the People Power Revolution is considered a multi-sectoral effort, it was in a way apt that it would be the Catholic Church who would spearhead the effort of building a structure to commemorate this event.

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