Editorial: Exorcising the ghosts of Edsa

Editorial: Exorcising the ghosts of Edsa

Yesterday was the 38th anniversary of the People Power Revolution.

On social media, it was notable that fewer netizens posted or reposted about the Edsa Revolution than about viral events like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or the most recent spectacle performed by Taylor Swift in The Eras Tour concert.

The fragility of memory is keenly felt even in classrooms where history is supposed to be part of the social context the youth are immersed in.

“You sense the palpable pause that follows after one asks students what they think about Edsa,” says an undergraduate teacher handling critical perspectives on communication at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu.

“Edsa for many young people stands for the billboards towering over Manila traffic. Edsa is not the sacrifices made in the past for the vestiges of democracy we have today.”

A memorable essay for the same teacher was one written by a college sophomore who pointed out that he believes the media are biased and unfair in reporting about President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. (PBBM) and his father, President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. (FM).

The student argued that the Marcoses have “longevity,” which he interprets as a vindication that the Marcos family survives the “black” propaganda spun by critics and the media. He cites the 31 million Filipinos who gave Marcos Jr. a landslide win at the polls despite the “bad publicity” over the Marcos golden years.

“Historical accounts should not be about the rise and fall of the Marcoses,” argued the student. “FM was our 10th president; PBBM, our 17th. If the (Marcoses) are bad for our country, would God have let them win?”

All citizens share the continuing challenge to tap education to counter miseducation among members of a generation not born yet when citizens took to Edsa and other streets and public places of Cebu City and across the nation in 1986 to call for Marcos Sr. to step down and end his dictatorship of the country.

Edsa is an arena where several narratives are contesting for domination of the popular imagination. Like Rodrigo Duterte, Marcos Jr. uses the digital media, particularly social media, for pushing not just his bid for the presidency but his advocacies.

Marcos Jr. calls for national unity, saying that Filipinos have to end the hate and the anger that the remembrance of the past induces so that the nation can move on. This call for an end of negativity resonates among many content producers and consumers on TikTok, an online platform whose short form videos emphasizing entertainment is popular among the youth.

Another challenge presented by technology is the youth’s reliance on artificial intelligence (AI), such as generative apps like ChatGPT, to carry out school assignments that are regarded as time-consuming. Many students use AI to create a summary of long reading assignments, which results in not just a curated record but also an oversimplification that erases key details and disconnects a young mind from engaging with complex topics like history.

Like the more popular Edsa thoroughfare that connects urban centers in Metro Manila, the Edsa People Power Revolution has a significance that stretches back in the past to connect to the people’s present and future.

The significance of citizens being vigilant and participating to steer and defend governance is a legacy of Edsa. Crucial for participatory governance is education since only by being informed and taking a critical stance can citizens advocate for the needs and best interests of Filipinos, especially those who are left out from reaping the benefits of development.

Education can exorcize the ghosts of historical amnesia and fake memories that are the real encumbrances that prevent Filipinos from moving forward.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.