EDSA Dos: Remembered & Reflected Upon

Shari Cruz, Misteryosa.com
January 18, 2007

Beterano ako ng EDSA2!Here’s an entry dedicated to commemorate People Power 2,

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in support of the Blog Action Week spearheaded by Bloggers’ Kapihan.

I was a freshman student at Quezon City Science High School (map) back then. I wasn’t politically inclined (stop grinning, I wasn’t as obsessed in politics when I was a youngster as you think I was!), but I did like to watch the news and make side comments about the politicians. I mean, who didn’t? Politics was so much of a grand circus that I had come to like it enough to talk about it!

No one in my family remembers the things that happened the night we went to EDSA to participate in the uprising. Whenever I ask my mom, who, by the way, used to be a militant herself during her college days, she’d tell me she’s forgotten the date. My dad probably has no recollection whatsoever of what transpired that fateful night.

As for me, I have nothing but flashes of scenes. Seven scenes for the seven years since then.

  1. Scene One: Me dressing in black. Mom reminding me that I should leave my mobile phone behind.
  2. Scene Two: Us deciding that it’d be faster and safer if we took a bus to get to Ortigas.
  3. Scene Three: Us being sandwiched in the huge crowd. Me holding my mom’s hand tightly, afraid that I’d get lost.
  4. Scene Four: Some celebrities babbling on stage (thinking back, I wonder if they knew what they were there for better than I did).
  5. Scene Five: Us walking beside an ABS-CBN news van and looking at the reporter.
  6. Scene Six: Getting a couple of Commando matchboxes being given away somewhere.
  7. Scene Seven: Gary Valenciano singing and dancing. Us agreeing that he had to have no bones to dance like that.

I forgot how we even managed to get home safely. It was a week night, that much I remember. Maybe it was on the 17th, or maybe it was on the 18th. I — we remember nothing — absolutely nothing — except, perhaps, what we went there for. The glory. Or, well, you can call it anything you want. I could’ve gone there again, but even if I wanted to, I didn’t know how.

Some people may call it the cycle of mob rule. That EDSA Dos is merely a political tool. Sure, there’s some truth to those claims. I mean, look at us now! But, I beg to differ about the “same supporters” of Arroyo during EDSA Dos being the ones who want her to step down now. No, it doesn’t work that way. As long as someone takes advantage of his or her post, someone who has probably the worst human rights record to boot, these same people will fight.

I, for one, never wanted Arroyo to be the president. But hey, she was next on the hierarchy. It’s not like I was even allowed to vote, okay? The Supreme Court legitimized everything with a vow. Was I ever given a choice? Nope! But then, I wouldn’t have recommended any replacements either, so you got me there. It just turned out that the “next best thing” was Gloria. Too bad for the country, really. If only we had any way of knowing that it would all come to this….

So where are we now?

Reflection, my dear Watson, not anger, is the answer.

In all honesty, I’m done with revolutions — for now. It’s all too soon. It’s all too repetitive. What I want is some progress. Some real change. A change that doesn’t come with changing the president of the Philippines. Yes, I certainly don’t want Arroyo to remain in power. But frankly, you can’t make the Philippines a progressive country if all its people have all the excuses in the world to disagree. Progress won’t work if the Filipinos don’t even respect the other people living in the country, may them be from the north or the south. Change won’t take place if the Filipinos don’t even know how to discipline themselves. No matter how many times we try to oust the head of the state, if the people themselves are the same can of worms and the same bunch of rotten tomatoes, we’d get absolutely nowhere.

A few small steps can come a very long way, my dear Filipinos. What we need is more than a change in the system; what we need is a change in ourselves, in our own system.

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