The EDSA People Power Revolution and What It Means Now for Filipinos
It’s been more than thirty years since the EDSA People Power Revolution, but it is still being celebrated as one of the most significant events that molded our country into what it is today. Not only was it instrumental in freeing the Philippines from a dictatorship, but it also showed the rest of the world what us Filipinos could achieve if we joined forces and united in the name of freedom, change, and peace.
The EDSA People Power Revolution
The anniversary of this momentous event in Philippine history is still being celebrated every February 25, but sometimes, it seems like us Filipinos still need to be reminded of the significance of the EDSA People Power Revolution and what it means in our history as a people. We can start reliving the impact of this historical event by mulling upon the many lessons it taught us and passing it forward to our children.
Lessons EDSA Has Taught Us
1. A peaceful revolution is possible.
During the Martial Law years, feelings of fear and doubt ran rampant among the citizens, and many began to crave change in the country. But when the time came that they had the opportunity to enact change, the people did not resort to violence, as what happens normally in situations like that in other countries. Instead, they gathered peacefully, sang songs, and camped out in families, while iconic musicians like the APO Hiking Society came up on a stage and sang patriotic songs like “Magkaisa” and “Bayan Ko.” Meanwhile, civilians and members of the religious orders such as nuns and the like approached soldiers and handed them flowers and food. In that one instance, kindness won over weapons.
2. There is power in unity.
There’s that age-old story about a dying father who called his five sons together to his deathbed. Showing them a single twig, he easily broke it apart with his trembling fingers. Then he had them bring forward an actual broom, which had many twigs in it, and asked his sons to break the broom, or the collective group of twigs, into two. Of course, none of the brothers could do it, no matter how each tried. It was then that the father made a point of stressing to his young sons the importance of staying together, as it was then that they would be strongest. In short, nobody could break them when they were united. This short story and what happened in the EDSA People Power Revolution is proof of what we are capable of achieving if we just united our forces. During that fateful time, millions of Filipinos who were looking for change banded together, supported each other, and even forced a dictator out of his seat of power.
3. There are some things worth fighting for.
Filipinos are friendly and peace-loving people. But as our history books tell us, a lot of our ancestors were warriors, and when push came to shove, they were brave and courageous enough to fight for their fellow countrymen and their motherland. Their bravery was passed down to us when we chose to stand up against the abuses of a dictatorial government and to fight for the future of our children and for freedom—freedom to express what we want and to live as we want.
But the fight doesn’t stop at EDSA. While we’ve managed to topple down a dictatorship, our problems as a country haven’t stopped at all. Corruption is still rampant in all levels of society, especially the government, and poverty has crippled a large part of our population. It seems that we have quickly forgotten the lessons that the EDSA People Power Revolution has taught us. Maybe, now more than ever, all of us need reminding of what it means to fight for our ideals, to strive for peace, and to exist in harmony with each other.