Friday, February 23, 2007

Remembering a Farce: EDSA Revolution of 1986


I found myself commuting again on a Friday afternoon. I came from a lunch meeting in Makati and my car was stuck somewhere in Mandaluyong due to the MMDA number-coding scheme. That means that I only get to drive my car from ten am until 3 pm during Fridays. They conveniently call it a "window of opportunity" for sorry lads like me who do not have a fleet of SUVs to side step the wacky number coding ban. Yet, I seem enjoy this "back to the roots" friday. I am used to riding all modes of public transportation during my college and law school days. During law school, my brother Jun and are a few of those "car-less" elite. Jun would even kid me about looking like those bible carrying pastors blessed with the ability to preach in a fully packed bus. Hell, I dont care. I used to hang from jeepneys when I was still a UP student in Iloilo. Ika nga - iba talaga ang Iskolar ng Bayan.

I took a delapidated bus with a busted aircon from SM Megamall en route to Cubao. I felt screwed though, it had "airconditioned" on its signboard but it was nearly steaming hot inside. What a farce. I could smell the another passenger's sweat as I move from one smelly laminated seat to another. Since it was nearing the dreaded Friday late afternoon rush hour, the bus was already crawling through EDSA. Worse, it has to go through all the roadside malls to pick up passengers. While the bus halted at the EDSA Ortigas intersection, I was able to take a glance outside and something easily caught my attention. It was a fire truck parked on the sidewalk just in front of the Shrine of the Lady of EDSA. But there was no fire nor fire hydrant in the vicinity. I immediately looked at my watch and realized that it was February 23. I also saw a couple of firemen sitting under the shade of the monument and seem to be waiting for something. It is not hard to notice that they are bored. No rally in sight, no job today - would be a thought that lingers in their minds.  Its really ironic - a celebration of victory against a dictator, now nearly banned by an administration accused of being a dictatorship. It has become just another ordinary day in February. Nothing changes..life goes on. 

What is the fuss about remembering the 1986 EDSA revolution? The younger ones like my sister Loggy and brothers Arik and Ak would wonder what is the big fuss at EDSA and the month of February. Well, I cannot blame them. How can I tell them that EDSA symbolizes an successful uprising against a dictator who has trampled on our nation's morale and squandered its riches. How can I tell them that it has ushered a new dawn for Philippine politics and ended decades of abuse of power, influence peddling, nepotism and political dynasties. How can I tell them that it curbed wholesale corruption and perversion of laws and government institutions. For the younger generations the older ones have been dreaming all the while - like stupid fools wishing of a perfect society ran by honest people. I could not blame them. After 20 years of EDSA, nothing has changed- the sacrifices of the brave people who faced the oppressor's tanks and awaited the rapid fire of its machine guns put to naught. The sentiments of nuns who prayed the rosary, the members of a awakened society who chanted "Cory, Cory" while offering flowers to the soldiers - all were put to waste. 

Now, I blame the people basked in the glory of EDSA only to ruin it...every time I hear shouts of "Cory Cory..." I cannot help but realize that we helped perpetuated the Kamaag-anak system (surely i won't vote for good for nothing Nonoy and his dancing queen and political butterfly of an aunt Tessie) and ushered Kris Aquino - who I think greatly contributed to local showbiz moral decay (adjudged by Mo Twister's program as the most plastic showbiz person). Whenever I saw student activists and intellectuals from UP and Ateneo ranting about society's ills, I cannot help but protest their apathy for breeding political hypocrites and turn coats like Edong Angara (whose Ang Gara ng Buhay campaign is totally opposite to his family's alleged participation in environmental destruction) and inutile Kiko Pangilinan whose lack of backbone has compromised the Senate investigation into the massive electoral fraud (Well he has the gall to confirm that indeed he was just lucky by being the Megastar's husband - as in Lucky Me, the noodles he is endorsing) And well, the former Ateneo economics professor Gloria Arroyo who despite her disgraceful admission of cheating in the last election and seemingly dictatorial existence remains to be our President. Whew....EDSA is a farce.

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