When the revolution was won at EDSA in 1986, I was 12 years old, in Grade 6 and living a very sheltered life here in Bukidnon. I was happy with the four corners of my home – the trees, the grass and my studies and I wasn’t much into what was happening in Manila. Little did I care that history was being made.
I remember my parents were very worried about it though. They had the radio on for most of the day (television back then had only one channel and it had been taken off the air) and I remember my mom would be wringing her hands and pacing back and forth. It was only later that I learned that my sisters and brother, who were working, studying in college and high school, had decided to join in the efforts to “liberate” the Philippines from 14 years of dictatorship. What did they do? They had made sandwiches and were distributing them to the marchers and rallyers. This was what our helper told my mom anyway.
Well, we all know what happened after that. The dictator was ousted, the heroine was declared President and Filipinos rejoiced all over the world. EDSA was the first ever revolution in history that was won without bloodshed.
It’s been 25 years, 5 presidents and 2 more EDSAs since. Have we learned anything?
Of the 5 presidents, one was the Heroine who led with grace but not much with innovation. One was the former General of the dictator who was an advocate of righteousness but who could not make split decisions. One was a Movie Actor who was made out to be drunk and stupid and was accused of plunder. One was supposed to save the country from eventually following in the drunk’s footsteps but turned out to be a very big Crook (even bigger than the previous). And one was elected because he is the Son of the EDSA heroine.
The EDSA Heroine led the transition administration, who made some new laws but didn’t really make a huge impression on the people. The General did okay by my standards, though some said he was too exact. Hey, what did I know? I was 18 and it was my first time to vote. The Movie Actor was ridiculed and eventually got caught in a bank and bribery scam. The big Crook, who used EDSA Dos and Tres in 2001 to gain the presidency, cheated in the 2004 elections, bought gigantic houses in the US, ate horrendously expensive dinners with her entourage and refused to charge the ultimate source of corruption simply because he was her husband. The heroine’s Son is now on his 8th month in office and just recently bought a (second-hand) Porsche.
I ask again, did we learn anything in the last 25 years?