Edsa at 21

The reflections on the Edsa Revolution are invariably wistful, even touching, though some conclusions are of course, harsh. There are those of course, for whom it was never harsh or inexorable enough. For others, it served as an inspiration for future people power, which despite all that’s happened since can still be remembered as a high point in many young people’s lives. A very good observation is that if people power has been defanged, it’s thanks, in no small part, to the Catholic Church.

Yet as editorials both in Manila and in the provinces note, people power continues to live on at least as an ideal. The PCIJ comments on the irony of a beleaguered military facing human rights questions as it did 21 years ago.

But the writing on the wall was there for everyone to see it, in Edsa and Fort Bonifacio, a year ago. It seems like a lifetime, since: and as if we’ve come full circle. When the President began speaking of “first world status” by 2020, it reminded me the resolution of all this -all that’s been going on since 2004- may be 13 more years in the future.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

13 thoughts on “Edsa at 21

  1. This is not the full circle that I would have imagined or even dreamed of.

    Let me out of this circle and draw me an exponential graph instead.

    We need to grow. Learn from the past, plan for the future, and insure that the present is utilized fully.

    The recen EDSA anniversary was lackluster and indicative of the indifference that many, except maybe politicians, feel for this once great moment in our history.

    Let me out of this circle.

  2. Edsa 1986 was a high point in our history, In my graph we are experiencing a pullback, and I am waiting for the upswing… I’ll be riding it..

  3. Mr. Quezon, III

    I find this really very difficult to say but EDSA means absolutely nothing to me. This is true not only for me but to a lot of proud Filipinos who are American born or even for those who grew up in the states but came here when they were very young, like when they were two years old, or something ridiculous like that.

    Besides, how can anyone point to this tumultuous period of Philippine history and proclaim a revolution when nothing has changed fundamentally. Like they say, “Meet the new boss, same as the boss”.

  4. betol:

    Like you said, you weren’t here. So you can’t compare the before and after.

    Ever been flag down by a soldier for a haircut?

  5. A few Filipinos yearn for EDSA-1986 — the original version 1.01 release. On the other hand, the politicians and other power-mongers have rewritten the script several times over, and release 4.12 is already in play.

    The original release is okay for the romantics, but if you are really into Out-of-Cycle-changes-in-Malacanang, one has to know the intricacies of the newer version of PeoplePower. The newer release has “more tricks, more intricacies, more power-play combinations” and can run circles around the Version-1 1986 release.

  6. when you think of EDSA 1 you think of cardnal sin summoning his flock. when you think of EDSA 2 you think of sen joker arroyo airing his grief. when you think of so called EDSA 3 you think – otherwise! therefore only leaders with moral credibility will stir up a nation. nothing else will. think of mahatma gandhi.

  7. [quote]This is not the full circle that I would have imagined or even dreamed of.
    Let me out of this circle and draw me an exponential graph instead.[/quote]
    Nick: haha. same sentiments here.
    [quote]Edsa 1986 was a high point in our history, In my graph we are experiencing a pullback, and I am waiting for the upswing… I’ll be riding it.. [/quote]
    Francis: Yes. EDSA 1 was a high point in our history. We have many of it. Lapu-Lapu defeating Magellan, the GOMBURZA priests awakening Filipino’s hearts and minds, Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom, Andres Bonifacio and KKK almost defeating the colonials, victory being snatched at the last moment by the arrival of the Americans. Yes. We had a lot of those high points, but sadly, we did not use any of them to make it the “turning point” in our history. Like Ninggas-Cogon, our greatest inspirations are wasted by the same innate qualities in us that damn us and this country. Remove technology and a bit of democracy, and we see Filipinos now and in Rizal’s time the same. No sense of history and no sense of country. And those who do are giving up their lives for nothing. Rizal may have bought our freedom with his life, Ninoy may have bought us freedom from Martial Law with his life, but they have died , not in vain, but almost. Yes, evil we must fight. But ourselves first before others. This country is sick, and there is a social cancer so deeply rooted that nothing short of a brainwashing of 3 generations of future Filipinos would be able to correct it.
    Yes, there is a growing movement within civil and civic society. Like AM’s GK. But that is not enough. Whatever gains and goodness it creates and promotes, one swat of the Devil’s Mistress’ (that’s GMA. Bush is the Devil incarnate) hands, and everything we’ve worked so hard for could all be erased in a single EO. What well-meaning civilians like AM dnt realize is that, you cannot seperate activism with politics. Always, when you try to help/change society, you would always be confronted with that dark miasma, that conundrum we call politics. The tragedy in our country is that those who may best served it, opts to go into civic activities and advocacies, and avoids anything to do with government, thinking that all politics is evil, and thus would turn them into one when they do join the fray. The rest brave enough to do go into politics, are either killed (Ninoy), swallowed whole by the system (Cory), or marginalized or aren’t popular enough to evince any meaningful change (MLQ3/R.David)
    Dr. Jose Rizal had it right. Education. With Light we fight Darkness. That’s why Arroyo and her Machiavellian supporters will never amount to more than anything but a dung in this country’s history. They have abandoned all sense of right and wrong, believing that only theirs truly could lift this country out of poverty.
    That’s why my hatred burns the greatest for TRI-MEDIA. They who have the power have wasted it, oh so stupidly. A sense of hopelesness engulfs me when I see programs like WowoWee and EB promoting a vicious cycle of poverty, mendicacy. Not helping any are the primetime NEWS, so hopelessly devoid of real education. WTF do I care if somewhere halfway around the world a pig had 3 eyes and 2 sex organs?
    It’s nearly May, yet have you seen anyone in Media, broadcast in particular, do anything about the apparent lack of information on the candidates? Their voting preferences, their previous works, anything at all that would truly be useful to a REALLY serious voter?
    I heard of a website http://www.ivote.ph , but that unfortunately, as of this moment, is still under development. And would probably be finished the same time the elections would be.
    When MLQ3 waxes melancholy about our country’s past, and envisions a bright future ahead because of OFW families rising out of poverty, and thus into brighter education with all that money, all I see is his greatest disappointment.
    Manuel, I fear people like us will die without ever seeing our country free from bondage our own countrymen have created. The uneducated are too many, and the evil ones too powerful, for us few to break the cycle. The middle class are apathetic and cannot be moved from their stupor. The brave few who fight on are systematically killed.
    I’ve always asked God how we can fight evil when if we try to fight back by killing those who spread evil, we risk turning into one of them. But if we try and just always be on the defensive, nothing is gained.

    EDSA our high point? I think not. I think its our greatest tragedy.

  8. Manuel, I fear people like us will die without ever seeing our country free from bondage our own countrymen have created. The uneducated are too many, and the evil ones too powerful

    Someone need a seminar for positive thinking. Oh well that is why practice of psychiatry is burgeoning because of too many negative people in the planet they call Earth.

    Bring with you a crucifix, it helps all the time. (shriek).

  9. The Cat: Wow. What wit. However, will a few more jokes and witty replies change anything?
    I say it as I see it. Have I said anything untrue? If so , please do tell me.
    I’ll take your advice and attend a seminar on positive thinking. Perhaps it’ll help me not think of negative thoughts EVER again. Help me build a bubble of happee-happee thoughts so I won’t be affected by what’s happening in our country anymore. Wouldn’t that be good never seeing anything wrong. Mayhaps I would turn like GMA et al?
    FIY: demand for psychiatrist is not increasing because of negativity. If you must know, most of humanity’s psychoses are inherited, and the rest a result of their environment.
    And for me being too negative for you, well I guess you’d be happy then at what I’m gonna say next.
    There’s hope. It’s the natural course of humanity’s evolution. An implosion when tipping point is reached, and then a rebirth. It’s all in the bible of course (for you die-hard believers in the “crucifix”). But it does help being a keen student of history and of human behavior.
    (shriek) My god! I’m late for my seminar!

  10. The Filipinos started to loose the chance at an honest-to-goodness revolution when they started to believe in ‘people power’.

    What moved the people to face the tanks at EDSA was not ‘people power’. What kept the soldiers from shooting at the crowds was not ‘people power’. It was a power more powerful than ‘people power’.It was the only power that could have made a difference, the difference between a mere uprising and a real revolution or something more — an inside-out revolution, a collective conversion or a national renewal.

    The Filipinos started to loose the true spirit and power behind EDSA the moment they started to believe in ‘people power’.

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