Friday, February 24, 2012

EDSA @ 26

I was reading a statement written by SenatorBongbong Marcos on his Facebook account about the EDSA 1 Celebration happening in a few days’ time. In that statement he did not dwell much in defending his family or criticizing the revolt rather, he asked the obvious question what has happened to our country after that historic event.

Growing up, the grandeur that was given to that event has always been a story to behold. Although I wasn’t exactly aware of how these things have happened (I was born in 82), my generation just can’t rid of himself about stories of a peaceful revolution, with tanks, soldiers on one side; nuns, priests and ordinary citizens on the other. It was only later that I learned that EDSA actually meant Epifanio delos Santos Avenue. I thought it was a nickname for that event. What I do remember very vividly was the tanks that barricaded our subdivision during one of the coup plots in the late 80’s. Our subdivision was developed by the AFP Insurer AFPMBAI and at that time, most if not all the residents were officers in the Armed Forces from both the Government and the RAM side. I remember how, as little children, we would threaten our friends that we will report his father as one of the RAM Boys (my father was with the government). At that time though, I did not have a clue what RAM was, I just knew they were the ones being arrested.
I also had memories of the power shortage the country experienced were we dealt with daily blackouts up to 9PM. For us kids, it was a perfect excuse to go out of the house and play with other kids. I remembered the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption where we dreamed we were in some other country experiencing “winter” for the first time. There was also the earthquake where I learned that “linog” was actually the Visayan term for “lindol.” And then the 1992 elections where I idolized the now Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. At that time her brilliance was mostly considered “kabaliwan.” I would like to think that people then was not yet that accepting for someone as brilliant as she is.

In all these events in our country’s history, the glory of EDSA Revolution seems to be a spirit that provides inspiration and aspiration for the people to hope for a better Philippines. Today, as I read Senator Marcos’ Facebook statement, I realized that we have never moved on from that EDSA hysteria. Not that it is bad to relive the glory of that proud event, but considering the state of our country now, I think one can say that the EDSA Revolution is some dead star like the one described by Paz Benitez in her classic short story.
In the ABS-CBN Article that printed Sen. Bongbong’s statement most comments were criticizing how the late strongman’s son has no ascendancy to speak of such things, how he is still the part of the devil that brought about the horrors of martial law. But in his Facebook page, most were praises for a fine statesman he has become. My bias is leaning on Senator Marcos.

I think it is one thing to remember the horrors of the past so as to become vigilant so that we will not allow it to happen again but it is another thing to be tied down by these horrors and not move on. The question is simple, what have we done after EDSA 1. After 26 years, when we have been overtaken by many of our neighbors in terms of national development, our country’s laurels are still those that have been laid down by those who marched in EDSA. That was the question that Sen Bongbong asked but was missed because he is a Marcos.
In all important events the often missed point is the effect that event has done to the person. In everything there always has to have an effect that goes beyond the mushy feeling of that clincher. Like in a relationship there has to be something beyond the courtship. In the case of our country today, that is yet to be seen.

Today, I am in a barangay conducting Peace and Development Outreach Program. Many of the people here now do not know anything about EDSA, but like those who joined the revolution 26 years ago, they too want a good life for them and their children. While many will talk about the impeachment, about the Hazing in San Beda and the glory of the EDSA Revolution, people here do not give a damn. The truth of the matter is, we are missing the point why issues are ISSUES in the first place. We can have Renato Corona impeached or even all of the other justices be impeached, and then WHAT. We can eliminate hazing, and then WHAT. We can celebrate EDSA Revolution for another century and then WHAT?
Umiinit ang ulo ko… good day everyone

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