Monday, February 25, 2008

the day the world tunes in

today is the 25th of feb. 22 years ago, a people of island dwellers of malayan descent somewhere in the southeast of asia decided that they had enough. they decided they had enough of living in fear. they decided that they had enough of being dictated over by a man who thought he knew better. they decided that they had enough of people disappearing for the sake of freedom. they decided they had enough when their beacon of hope was mercilessly gunned down in the airport when he came back from exile, despite the threat to his life. 22 years ago, this barely known nation, fueled by years of oppression, injustice and repression, under the leadership of the housewife of its fallen hero, decided that they had enough. in a demonstration none the world has ever seen, the people took finally what was rightfully theirs.

that was 22 years ago. EDSA had so much meaning back then. it was the icon of the century for the filipino. a hallmark that rivaled that of other events in our local history. it was a historic moment and we were all part and witnesses to its making. but like all great moments, their significance over time wanes, its relevance slowly forgotten. year after year, the celebration of that triumph in EDSA that toppled the marcos regime felt more and more distant, more and more... irrelevant. true, there were many EDSA's that came after, seemingly instigated by the same cries for change and justice, yet, i believe, none could compare to that day when the nation stood in front of tanks with only prayers and courage in their hearts.

the memory of EDSA, 22 years ago, should be revered. it stood not only of the day when a cruel oppressor was taken out of power and power given back to the people of asia's oldest democracy, but it stood as a testament to its people. that we are all one once we let go of our personal interests and really care for the welfare of our fellow countrymen. there was no army, no church, no school, no institution, no politics, no men, no women, no children, no old, no young, just a people united towards achieving a single ultimate goal. there were no need of bribes, no need of grandstanding politicians deflecting from one side to the other, no need of dramatic speeches. all there was was a pure calling for change and an earnest seeking for freedom. that was EDSA. nothing more, definitely nothing less.

22 years later, people are happy they had a long weekend. 22 years later, the news channels carry on with regular programming. 22 years later, i am anxious as to who will win in the 80th annual acadamy awards. i cried when they read the winners for best theme song. i don't know why, must be getting hormonal.

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