June 14, 2024

It had been legislated that Feb. 25 of each year shall be a national holiday.
It is a day to celebrate the “People Power Revolution.” It is a day when we are supposed to commemorate the events that transpired in 1986 when Filipino people gathered and expressed their anger against a dictator who purportedly robbed them of their freedom and of their wealth. It is a day that must be remembered because it is the day, we got back our democracy.
Well, that is what history tells us.
Quite noticeably, however, the yearly celebration of Feb. 25 is dwindling and sliding, both in terms of the number of people commemorating and the intensity of its commemoration.
The significance of the event is slowly but surely skipping our attention. If not for the fact that it is a non-working day, there is no reason for us to remember it for what it truly is.
Those who are old enough to proudly say that they were part of the people power or EDSA revolution are frustrated. The first time it was celebrated, it was full of fun and promises. We thought it was the start of something new and something big; big as in bigger than life. Big as in one that will uplift us from the cudgels of poverty. One that shall free us from bondage of graft and corruption; one that will usher a renewed society that we can all be proud of.
Somewhere along the way, the promise of EDSA was never fulfilled. Year after year, celebration and celebration, the people power revolution did not deliver what it promised. Graft and corruption systematically pervade, the same faces and political clans rule the country, and poverty among our people has not been properly addressed.
So, we are wont to ask, where is the spirit of EDSA? Where is the voice of the people who shouted “freedom” and demanded “justice and equity”? The silence is deafening. The promise has been breached. It is, therefore, not a surprise that those who believe in the ideals of the people power are faltering.
The problem with the EDSA revolution was that it was weaponized by those who authored it. Instead of using the momentum it generated to inspire the people to unite and aspire for greater things, it became a personal platform to promote vested interests. I dare say that the people power revolution is seen not as the victory of the Filipino nation against a tyrant, but a vindication of the Aquinos’ vendetta against the Marcoses.
It had become an extension of the never-ending political tug-of-war between two warring political clans that hate each other with egotistic passion. It is in this context that the significance of the EDSA revolution is lost to our consciousness.
Whether we like it or not, the EDSA revolution really happened. I know because I was there. Majority of the Filipinos at that time expressed their indignation. We shouted “tama na, sobra na” and we cried “never again.” Looking back, did we mean what we said? Do we regret that it ever occurred?
History cannot be changed. But no matter how indelible it may be to us, one thing is for sure. The future does not bode well for the EDSA revolution since those who were ousted when it happened are poised to recover their lofty positions. Even the mysteries surrounding its success no longer inspire the people. Is it time to forget EDSA? Is it time to admit that the people power revolution is a monumental failure? Is it time to forget?