EDSA People Power at 25th Anniversary: The Gift of the Philippines to the World
The original. bloodless revolution that happened in the Philippines was the EDSA People Power. It happened February 25, 1986...25 years ago. It was still fresh in my mind how the people converged at EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos avenue) that made a huge difference in our society and to the world. It toppled the dictatorial reign of the Marcos family (they're making a comeback) and most Filipinos regained their confidence to invest their money and time here and helped shape the present democratic governance.
What have we done for the past 25 years?
When the Marcoses vacated the Malacanan Palace, the unprecedented victory of the late President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino (mother of our present President Benigno Aquino III), the power of this woman were clearly seen on the transformation she envisioned and realized it through projects alleviating the full-blown poverty that plagued the nation during the Martial Law (September 21, 1972-until the snap elections on February 21, 1986).
People Power Revolt 1 enabled Filipinos of all ages and different economic status to:
- express their opinions without being afraid of being killed.
- build business without being sequestered by the government.
Aside from it, the1987 Philippine Constitution was promulgated in 1987. Although, it's been questioned and some critics from the government want it changed, it's still considered to be one of the tangible legacies that the new-found freedom instilled in the hearts of every Filipino.
Effects of EDSA People Power around the World
One by one, the people of the world saw changes in every country's government. The Communist curtain was trampled as every state of the former superpower nation, Russia, pulled away from the oppressive governance of Communism.
I was lucky to visit one of its fallen state, like Ukraine. As a sailor, in 2002, I happened to witness the transformation of its government from Communism into a democratic-type of governance. Although, there's still a trace of the former government, people are more aware of the good points of democracy.
Prior to it, people of Myanmar can now enjoy the effects of democracy due to the steadfast inspiration of the lady president (not anymore in house arrest) Ang San Suu Kyi.
How about the political uprising in the Middle East. Egypt's old leadership was recently toppled. Transformation is being seen in Bahrain, much more the Libyan government. people are clamoring for democratic change and it can be traced back to the Philippine version of bloodless revolution. And that is EDSA People Power.
EDSA: The Road to Freedom
EDSA or Epifanio delos Santos avenue is the main road of Metro Manila. Before the MRT was constructed, it became the silent witness of many rallies being held to voice out public opinion whether its political or non-political.
It became the salient point as people gathered at the Ortigas center of EDSA and performed their historic march to the Malacanan amid the barricades (barbed wires)with the soldiers waiting during the EDSA People Power revolt.
EDSA have seen better days of the Filipino people. And to closely know the acronym, here's a special tribute to the man behind this road.
Most of the street names are usually addressed to politicians who made a big contributions to the country. But this road is an exception, the name was given as tribute to a prolific historian named Epifanio delos Santos.
Known as Don Panyong, he was known as a revolutionist, a publisher, writer-translator during the Spanish regime. His major contribution was the translation of a well-known literary prose, Florante at Laura ( written by Francisco Baltazar known as Balagtas or orator).
As a historian, he painstakingly collected documents, arts and literary works of noted Filipinos during those times. He traveled around the world just to have those authentic documents.
As part of his legacy, many streets, colleges, hospitals and even a printing press was also named after him. Much more with the auditorium at the Philippine National Library, his name echoed in many books of Philippine history.
To us, Filipinos, this road signifies hope and freedom to the future generation.
We've done it already since 1986, the inspiration continues up to this year...2011.
Mabuhay! Long live to us all!!!