EDSA 25 Years Later

25 years ago, democracy won over a dictatorship. We Pinoys have always been proud of that – People Power started in this great country of ours.

Though we got rid of one great evil, we are still in the clutches of another –  corruption. It really is what’s keeping us from realizing our full potential. Our country has so much to offer. I believe that each province can sustain its own if only all its affairs are in order and priorities are set straight – and the national government could channel additional resources to the poorest provinces so they can generate more income and keep their people home.

So I hope PNoy succeeds in his quest to cleanup all branches of government.

In the meantime, I also hope that more and more Filipinos take up the challenge of being the torch-bearer for the EDSA spirit.  We must all remember that it was the people who made EDSA significant. It wasn’t Cory, or FVR or JPE, and not even Cardinal Sin. They were the movers, yes. But ultimately, it was the people who made things happen. It is that spirit of nationalism and love for country that needs to be rekindled.

EDSA has so many unsung heroes. Years before EDSA happened, young men and women have been working in the background fighting for everyone’s rights. Back when it wasn’t cool to rage against the dictator, they were doing it. When it wasn’t the ‘in’ thing yet to raise hell against the system, they were there. I truly believe that, if it weren’t for the seeds they sowed, the Filipino people would not have been ripe for the picking and People Power would not have happened.

We need them today. Perhaps not all their methods then will work now. But the principle is what I’m talking about. We need those who are truly prepared to serve the people. We need social entrepreneurs who will trust the poor enough to give them jobs. The countryside needs teachers and development workers who can teach them about sustainable development.

But I guess it’s a little too much to ask for that. Not everyone is willing to give up creature comforts for a life of servanthood. I can’t even really do that.

But that’s just it isn’t it? We don’t have to give up too much to relive the EDSA spirit. Each of us just needs to make a stand. A pact that we won’t settle for less, that we will not tolerate corruption in government, that we will not participate in anything that promotes it. Promise you won’t do “lagay” when a traffic cop catches you beating the red light. Don’t pay for a fixer when you have to fall in line for your license. Buy Philippine-Made products. Support locals! Travel within the country just as much as you travel abroad (or more). When you are given an opportunity to empower more people – take it!

Go ahead, let’s continue with our mediocre private lives. Sit in coffee shops and talk about which diet pills actually work, or when the next shopping spree’s going to be. There is nothing wrong with that. But let’s also accommodate the little changes that will help make this country the land that EDSA ’86 made us realize it could be.