I have no recollection of the events of February 22 to 25, 1986. I had just turned seven a couple of weeks before. I remember the birthday party that I had. I remember little else.
Little did I know that events shaping my nation’s history were taking place. A military breakaway. Defiance against a dictator. A call for people to take to the street and protect the rebel leadership. A bloodless revolution and the end of a dictatorship.
I only read about EDSA in the People Power coffee table book published after the revolution. Stories told in the perspective of those who were there. It began from the time of Ninoy’s assassination, up to the time of Marcos’ final flight out of Manila and into exile.
I read that book numerous times. It never failed to move me every single time I read it.
Now, I realize, where has that spirit of the Filipino gone? Where has that unity, determination, selflessness and love for country gone? Did we really just put up that noble fight in order to restore the same kind of self-serving principles and personalities to enrich themselves while keeping the masses blanketed in a dirty shroud of democracy and freedom? Have we really traded the concept of freedom and our right to enjoy it for the rich to get richer and keep the poor and the middle just right where they are?
It’s been thirty years. A lot has changed, but the changes are barely perceptible in the eyes of the ordinary Filipino. It’s no longer enough to clamor for change. It’s no longer enough to protest the wrongdoing and call out the offenders.
It is time to hold ourselves accountable for everything that’s wrong about the Filipino mindset and measure ourselves up against a higher standard of being.
Now, all I really want and pray for my home country is that in this coming elections, they choose the best person for the job – one who would lead by example, one who can truly inspire change amongst ALL Filipinos, and be the change that the Filipino needs.