Last night, i attended mass at the Ateneo which was a celebration/commemoration of EDSA. it was a solemn event. after the mass, the congregation watched a documentary, the Inquirer TV special on EDSA (shown on abc5). among those interviewed were jim paredes, june keithly, and the nun who led the rosary (parati nating nakikita sa mga documentaries, music videos of handog ng pilipino sa mundo, etc.).
halfway through the documentary (and while enjoying my fishballs and kwek-kwek), naiyak ako. i was moved by the memory of how much people sacrificed by being there in front of the tanks, praying, sharing food, giving of themselves, together fighting for freedom.
i was too young then - i was 8 years old - to understand what was going on. i remember my family and i were all in the sala, i was sitting on the banig on the floor, watching the news on tv. some relatives crashed for a while because they lived in whiteplains, too close to edsa. but as i was growing older, i realized how much influence the effects of EDSA had on my beliefs and value system. probably in the same way that my parents' generation is a scarred generation having gone through martial law during their prime. somehow, i believe my generation is a hopeful generation. nang magka-malay na, tapos na ang martial law, nangyari na ang EDSA at may bagong pag-asa.
it is true that 20 years after People Power, not much has changed. since then, our national situation seems to have been moving one step forward and two steps back. but i do not believe that EDSA has failed us. i think saying that would be like saying Jesus' death on the cross is futile because the world is still filled with sin and disarray. i think precisely, the hope that EDSA brought to my heart is what i can hold on to. like remembering why Jesus died on the cross for me (and you). the memory of EDSA gives me a reason to hope in the Filipino. it is a reminder of what we can be. i guess what sometimes slips my mind (and probably the minds of other filipinos, as well) sometimes is that fighting for freedom does not end in EDSA. i think that right after EDSA, we might have left the responsibility to the politicians to take care of our freedom.
i was in EDSA Dos. I remember standing in front of the edsa shrine while Gloria was being inaugurated as president. after the ceremony, i remember vividly saying outloud to paola, who was beside me, pertaining to gloria "you better be good...you better be good."
looking back, i wish i had done more AFTER EDSA Dos, to continue the fight for freedom and justice. i remember people kept on saying, "we must stay vigilant."
i am exhausted. i guess, a lot of us are. i am personally scraping the barrel for hope in the philippines. but i still believe that we have to keep on working towards development. because only our efforts now will affect change for future generations - for our apos and apos sa tuhod. it is important, i believe, to work towards making education more accessible to people to give them a chance at a better life. because as long as the number of people who are hungry, poor, and desperate stays the same or increases, we will continue to elect leaders who are just like the ones we have now.
Kumanta at Magsaya!