Editorial: On Edsa and recovery

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


IT TOOK 28 years, but the National Government finally found a way to celebrate the first People Power Revolution that more clearly included communities outside the capital.

Here’s one more thing the Aquino administration did right in this year’s People Power ceremonies: the President celebrated it among communities still recovering from typhoon Yolanda. The Official Gazette said the decision to move the celebrations away from Epifanio de los Santos Ave. (Edsa) was “in consideration of commuters” who have had to bear with increased traffic from infrastructure projects on the thoroughfare.

But by celebrating Edsa in Bantayan, Cebu and Tanauan, Leyte, President Aquino reminded Filipinos of the massive rehabilitation challenge that continues to unfold.

So what we saw was a day that not only honored the past, but reminded us of the continuing challenges of recovery and change.

There is that commingling of nostalgia and disappointment that compels some of us to focus on what went wrong after Edsa. It is, perhaps, the same impulse that makes older generations insist the good old days were so much better than the present.

But many things went right, too. There were institutions—yes, even Congress—that emerged from the ruins of Martial Law; flawed, but still better than anything the dictatorship had to offer. We take for granted our freedom to vent our every complaint, forgetting that to do so before Edsa, one had to put one’s life on the line.

What if, instead of lamenting the failed promises of Edsa, we commit to do what we can, in our daily labors, to make our communities better? What if more of us refused to give or accept bribes, or spoke up to commend an honest public employee? What if we each found a way to keep contributing to the communities, scattered across nine regions, who still have to rebuild all their schools, fix a million homes, and help the families of more than 6,200 persons who died find a way to move on?

Many of the nuns, students, homemakers and workers who stood on Edsa 28 years ago to send a dictator packing may no longer be with us. But the spirit of Edsa remains, and may yet prove to be the key to our recovery.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 27, 2014.

Opinion

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