Chasing The Dreams of Edsa

I was still a kid back then. I didn’t know anything outside my personal scope. I remember a few years back when a certain Ninoy was shot dead. Seeing him on TV moments before his death made me realize that this surreality is a signal of a wrong. Something tremendously wrong.

Then EDSA came.

I didn’t know what to do. I can hear the sounds of planes hovering above our rooftops. The number of people outside our street in Dimasalang carrying transistor radios blaring modulated noises are enough to let a kid know that there is something big going on.

I wanted to go to Malacanang, and be part of this unfolding history, and somehow try to get some of those silly rumored bags of money being found inside the palace. But I was not permitted to leave the house.

At that time, I was just expected to be a kid.

I didn’t know anything about Marcos nor how he ruled, nor how this EDSA happening might affect me and my life. All I know is that every time I set my eyes on the TV, every chance I hear a commotion on the radio, it’s that I wanted to be a part of it. Those nuns and ordinary Filipinos putting themselves in front of the tanks, praying and crying, crying and praying, I cried and prayed with them too.

Soon, everything went back to normal. I went to school, grew up. Never had a chance to really know what EDSA meant.

I was already in college when I started to realize its meaning. And while trying to understand its significance to me and my country, I realize that while it was a successful attempt to democratize ourselves, it is also a failure. That after so many years, the real agenda of the very same EDSA spirit was never achieved.

Inequality still prevails. The old fiefdoms are still ruled by landowners and traditional politicians. Human rights abusers of the Marcos era still runs free and there is no single crony in jail that we see.

Someday, I said to myself, the spirit of Edsa will once again rise. Only when that time comes, we will make it right.

Then Edsa Dos came.

Personally, the only Edsa spirit in this one is that we get to overthrow a corrupt sitting president, which makes you feel like you’re part of the cool crowd when you do.

I was already working at that time. My college friends are asking me to join them in Manila. Finally, we will get the chance to be a part of history. This might be my chance. “This is Edsa man, join us!”, was what they said.

But I don’t know. I’m not privy to sensitive matters that were going on behind the scenes at that time, but something I felt was wrong somewhere. I mean here’s another Edsa, we kick out somebody and replace it with another, then what? Besides, I sensed a power play. (Months into the Arroyo Presidency, FG Mike Arroyo finally admitted conspiracy)

Now here we are, reliving the memory of that glorious past. But then…

Had a single crony ever went to jail? Are traditional politicians still traditional? Are victims of human rights abuses been rightfully compensated? Did any of those abusers ever went to jail? Isn’t it true that after all those years and even while the Cory constitution prohibits political dynasties, it had thrived even more? So besides the way we communicate, what have changed since then?

Here we are after all those years, still chasing our dreams of EDSA, the dreams that never faded, simply because it never materialized. Soon when the time is right, another Edsa would come. My generation and I will be part of it, and we shall seize that dream.

We should not stop at Edsa, but in fact move beyond it. We have to achieve the initial dreams of EDSA and exceed it. We need to move up our expectation of our government, of our people, of ourselves. Thus raising the bar of excellence that we might have to achieve.

Because we deserve a better government, we deserve a better country.

We deserve better than this.

Angels and Demons
The Endless

2 Comments

  1. Buraot,

    Good read, Buraot.

    Like you, I was still relatively walang pakialam back in 86. All I remember was my parents and uncles were all excited back in those days of Feb 86. Whatever happened to that excitement?

    Imho, the ’86 EDSA spirit retired as soon as people started singing Virna Lisa’s song, Magkaisa. Kidding, of course. Seriously, I think the revolution failed because it placed all the blame on one man — Marcos — and a the typical Pinoy ugali of puwede na. Wala na si Marcos. Puwede na mag happy happy. 25 years later, may happy happy pa ba? The overhaul of the system was just to remove the obvious traces of the Marcos dictatorship. That is why the deep-seated problems stayed on, hence, your question on cronies going to jail. This is the same reason why PNoy will fail in his drive to get rid of corruption. He can’t even get rid of his buddies in the government.

    Bottom line: The kind of government we have is a reflection of what we truly are — victims of “puwede na.” It’s the same puwede na mentality that allows us to tolerate corruption as normal behavior. Puwede na maglagay para mapabilis ang papeles. Puwede na si GMA kesa naman kay Erap. Puwede na si GMA kesa naman kay Da King. This can’t be more evident than in the last EDSA celeb. Erap was even on the same stage as PNoy. The straightest arrow on this archipelago together with the biggest ever pardoned convict of the Philippines. Come to think of it, puwede na was also behind PNoy’s win last year. Puwede na kesa naman sa corrupt. Puwede na. Aquino naman eh.

    Puwede na created those loopholes we have in our laws that creative criminals exploited.

    I bet that in the future, BongBong Marcos will be puwede na as president. Puwede naman wag na rin. Sa bagay, puwede na rin kasi feel nya na puwede daw tayo maging Singapore…kung buhay pa tatay nya.

    I am glad that you mentioned “move up our expectation of our government.” I hope the rest of the Pinoys feel the same way — pressure government to adapt to citizens’ higher standards. In the bigger scope of things, how do we move people to expect more than just feel good slogans? Let’s go beyond statements like: “We could have been a Singapore.” In my opinion, we can be greater than Singapore…let’s just qualify. Hopefully, it won’t be just in terms of population.

    You know what’s ironic in this country? We’re a nation of dreamers and yet we settle for things that are less than what we originally dreamed of getting. It’s like betting on a sure-win lottery ticket worth millions and getting only a thousand pesos in return because that was the only cash on hand when you won and then just simply forgetting about the whole incident.

    Sorry for the long rant of a comment.

    Cheers!

  2. BURAOT (Author)

    yep. we are nation of pwede na.

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