EDSA 1986 + 20

Today (more like yesterday, given the time difference) in the Philippines, it is the 20th anniversary of the ousting of dictator Ferdinand Marcos by the EDSA People Power Revolution. Sadly, the celebration has been marred, not only by the attempts at a military coup, not only by the draconian measures taken by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to quell dissent and rebellion, and not only by Cory Aquino’s own alliances with forces very like those she helped to displace in 1986; but by the simple fact that EDSA has shown itself wasted. The democratic institutions it established have failed, the people it freed are still beset by poverty and ignorance, and the process repeats itself again and again every time this failure manifests itself in the form of the nation’s own poor leadership.

This is not a new opinion for me; the seeds of it formed even while I watched Gloria sworn in at the EDSA shrine, and I realized, while violence raged in the streets three months later, that the common Filipino’s liberation at EDSA had not resulted in the common Filipino’s liberation from himself.

Ah, but that’s the cynical reality of life and politics for you, in the Philippines and just about anywhere else in the world.

More links and commentary:


  1. Amee says:

    Hi Pau.

    Yes, I now officially have a blog. :)

    It’s just sad that our country is at this point in time again. The democracy in the Philippines is viewed as a joke by those outside looking in.

    I am obviously against the curtailment of press freedom. And the manner in which GMA is now going about her business, reinforcing her will that is, and staying in power, is much cause for alarm.

    Monitoring the news and blogs. Hopefully everything will end peacefully.