EDSA Revolution

25 Feb

I was six years old when it happened. I remember being at EDSA with my parents and even at a young age knowing that something important was happening. They told me that we were making history happen and that nothing is impossible if the Filipinos unite for a common cause – which back then was to overthrow the Marcos dictatorship.

Flash forward to 2001, I was already working – barely a year out of college. This time the people wanted Estrada out. Again, I was on the streets of EDSA “fighting” for my beliefs, I would go straight after work to join in the rally. In my heart, I truly believed that I was doing something good – something for my country.

Soon after,  another revolution (this time unsuccessful) to overthrow the Arroyo government happened – some call it EDSA III, although others dismiss it saying it wasn’t in the same spirit as the previous EDSAs (revolution).

Today the Philippines is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, which is claimed to have spearheaded peaceful revolutions around the world (one of which is the most recent happenings in Egypt). I don’t know enough about history to contradict this, but my question is… Was EDSA really worth it?

The Filipinos fought for freedom, but are we really free? Freedom is defined as liberty or independence. It also means that the people should be entitled to enjoy their human rights, which include – food, clothing,shelter and I must also add education to this list (it’s a citizen’s right not a privilege). But the Philippines is still one of the worst poverty-stricken nations in the world – people die of hunger, illiteracy is growing and squatting continues to be a problem. More than ever, Filipinos are leaving their families and risking life and limb to work  overseas. The present government (which coincidentally is now headed by Cory’s son Noynoy) has done nothing so far (save for the much publicised “wangwangs” and his colourful lovelife) with nepotism and corruption ever present.

So again was EDSA really worth it? Maybe we should blaming the government and have a hard long look at ourselves – since we put them in their seats anyway. Perhaps we should have chosen better? Do we have to jump in every bandwagon? Are we too much of a sheep – that we just go wherever the herd is headed? Are we too fickle? Do we have a short attention span? Are we addicted to instant gratification? Are we too easy to forget? Too complacent? Or do we just don’t care?

 

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