It has become customary that every year, from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25, we celebrate the Edsa Revolution of 1986. The historic event is also known as People Power or the Philippine Revolution of 1986. Others describe it as the Yellow Revolution because of the presence of countless yellow ribbons during the street demonstrations following the assassination of Sen. Ninoy Aquino. It is as well touted as “the revolution that surprised the world” because it was bloodless, yet it led to the ouster of President Marcos who brutally ruled the Philippines for 20 years, and to the restoration of democracy in the country.
What do we know about the 1986 Edsa Revolution? We only know a handful of facts—like dictator Ferdinand Marcos being ousted, President Cory Aquino replacing him, and the revolution mantra, “Never again!”; the re-enactment of the “salubong” (loose translation: symbolic joining of the forces of then defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and then Integrated National Police chief Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, etc.
Is this all there is to Edsa Revolution celebrations? What about the values, life-lessons, ideals and challenges of Edsa Revolution? Have we forgotten them? Have we ignobly tossed them into the proverbial dustbin of history?
I asked some millennials about what they know of the 1986 Edsa Revolution. Many of their answers made mention to something like brutality, mass suffering, extrajudicial killings, Marcos, Cory, etc. Which made me assume that they must be thinking that the Edsa Revolution was a horrible event in our history not unlike the historical horrors of “Munich” “Pearl Harbor,” “Bosnia” and “9/11.”
Is the 1986 Edsa Revolution indeed slipping into obscurity? If true, the reason could be that we do not look back into our nation’s past with a genuine sense of history. We do not use the lessons of the past, like the 1986 Edsa Revolution as guide in designing and implementing government programs and projects, or in making decisions for the present or in planning for our country’s future.
I long to see the day a national program is launched and implemented successfully because it is “Edsa Revolution-inspired.” I long to see the day a local or national official is ousted for his dictatorial tendencies, because it is Edsa Revolution-inspired.
In other words, let us celebrate the 1986 Edsa Revolution not only from Feb. 22 to Feb. 25 of every year. Let’s celebrate it all year round, through various Edsa Revolution-inspired government programs, projects and activities, and success stories of local government units and public figures, which could serve as public reminders of the significance of this world-famous Filipino bloodless revolution in our history.
The 1986 Edsa Revolution only acquires meaning when we use it as reference from the past to serve as light and guide through our present experience and endeavors, toward our future—as a people and one nation.
REGINALD B. TAMAYO, Marikina City
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