Weygan–Allan: Remembering Edsa

Sangal Di Kultura

THIRTY-FIVE years ago, a major historical event unfolded in the lives of the Filipino people.

Unfortunately, today, the young do not seem to have any idea what that was all abouts. It looks that there is a lapse in our historical transfer and the political transparency so that those who came after Edsa will have a sense of history.

I remember then, 35 years ago, the tension that was in our country when a sea of people filled Edsa and stopped the tanks from advancing, and that a prayer vigil has been organized by the religious. How the people power toppled a dictatorial government that continued to perpetuate a government that deceived the people.

People power and not military power was what EDSA was all about. The people from all walks of life came out to Edsa to protest, to stand together to uphold peace and justice. To come together for a peaceful revolution.

For us who experience life under the martial law years, we welcomed the change. We desired the freedom to converge and express opinions contrary to prevailing conditions. We experienced the surfacing of underground organizations advocating justice and peace who are not connected with the revolutionary movement.

We saw the birth of non-government organizations willing to push for developmental programs and project. We saw the converging of many towards a constitutional amendment. It was a burst of people power that also brought out a burst of new developments and actions even through political instability that followed the Edsa revolution.

On a personal note, it was after EDSA that we organized the Association of Young Igorot Professionals Inc. (AYIP) the Upland Growth thru Basic Opportunities (UGBO) the Upland Development Institute Inc. (UDI) the Baguio School of Business & Technology Foundation Inc. (BSBT FI). We joined the Association of Foundations, Inc. (AF) and other organizations, federations and consortiums that were all towards post martial law development through people empowerment.

On that week of the Edsa revolution, I was then the Administrative Officer of the Baguio School of Business and Technology (BSBT) Inc. and with the uncertainties happening in Metro Manila, the news block out, the military visibility in the city streets, we were drawn to our knees and humbled ourselves in the presence of God.

I remember that Monday morning and every morning of that week, that we will converge in the lower hall of the then SUMMIT Hotel where BSBT was housed. As a school we come to the presence of God, as small groups we come together to pray and share information and sometimes in hushed conversations. We had mixed emotions which included fear, anxiety, helplessness and despondency.

These were moments where the Holy Spirit moved among us, where the Finger of God took the situation and changed it. It was a spiritual warfare and a battle done here on earth as it was in heaven. It was a battle won with God and man.

Yet, 35 years after those who were part of it, remember Edsa revolution vividly and with emotion share the experience.

However, there are those who were not even born yet at that time, who cannot connect or even have any inkling of what happened then.

There are those who have witnessed Edsa revolution who have turned cynical because their expectations have not been met or are simply cynical about government.

35 years after, we still hope that this will form part of history in the making of our country and the empowerment of our people.

In my opinion, it should be included in more modules for our young people to read, instead of modules that demean and portray Igorots who are socially behind and unschooled.


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