It's almost 1 o'clock in the morning, and it's officially the 26th anniversary of EDSA I. It's hard to believe a whole generation has grown up not experiencing that trying but exciting time. It's hard to accept that, after 26 years, little seems to have changed since then.
Our country continues to be under the grip of the social elite, and, because of it, our rich have become richer. Our poor remain poor. Our countrymen continue to go abroad for better jobs and better pay.
In politics, the political dynasties continue to dominate the playing field. Graft and corruption continue to be firmly entrenched in our government system.
Because of this lack of change, some of us who faced the tanks and held vigil at EDSA and Quezon Ave. have lost hope that our country will ever become great. Some of us who cheered Cory and Ramos and Enrile have become so jaded and cynical. Nothing will ever change, some of us say.
(Aside: At the same time, one of the benefits of EDSA I is the fact that I am
able to voice my negative opinions to the world, when, during Marcos'
time, I probably would have been summarily arrested, tortured, and
executed without the benefit of a trial. To this day, there are many
victims whose families do not know where they may be found.)
Almost two years ago, we placed our hopes and prayers that things will
change, when we elected the son of the lady who helped galvanize us
against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. However, those hopes and
prayers have dimmed in the face of the current President's inability to
move our country forward in the right direction. Instead, he has shown
that he can be every bit as petty and arrogant as our previous leaders.
To some extent, the problem lies with us, since we seem to be unable to think intelligently about the way we choose our leaders, and we seem to lack the love of country that has made other countries great. Instead, we allow our votes to be bought by corrupt leaders, and we become insular and limited in our scope of concern.
It is only by truly loving our country that we can find the national pride and unity in helping our country grow in maturity.
We must try to rekindle that spirit that helped us rise up against the dictator, and we have to harness that spirit to move our country out of the darkness and into the light. We must exhort our leaders to uphold positive values, and hold them accountable when they don't. We ourselves have to realize that, in order to become a great nation, we have to empower ourselves and show that we are Filipinos in heart and mind, willing to devote ourselves to the building of a great nation.