Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What EDSA Means for Me

This is a belated post about EDSA.

I kicked off this post during the EDSA celebration weekend two weeks ago. Opened my "Google Photos" and searched for "EDSA" photos. I was trying to find the photo we took when me and my high school friends, Chare and Mercy, went to EDSA II (we were too young for EDSA I). The search coughed up photos of my travels, family gatherings, events etc. I was disappointed at first because the search result was incorrect, but I soon realized that those photos was what exactly EDSA represents.

Freedom.

Freedom to live your life as you wish.

Without fear.

Without apprehensions that you would be penalized.

I was just ten when People Power happened in 1986. I may have been too young during the martial law years, but I remember there was always fear. Everyone had to be home before sunset. My Dad always gave us a briefing about the political situation over dinner and sometimes he would do this in hushed tones. I guess it was because one of the ministers in the cabinet was our neighbor. I remember also that we had to stop doing our annual summer vacations in Bicol because times were too dangerous. There was always danger. I wasn't even allowed to play in the street.

Fear ruled our lives.

And as I look at the many photos I have in my archive I realized that all of this would not be possible if not for EDSA. My life would probably be very different. I would not have been able to establish the communities I have worked on in the last ten years. I would not have been able to meet all the friends I now have across the country. I would probably not have the chance to go around beautiful Mindanao. I would not have the chance to meet all the friends I have in other countries.

It's really sad that this fear is back. My Mom, my colleagues keep telling me to just stay where I am right now. And it's really sad not to know what I could do as well. I don't think another EDSA will fix it because transformation has to come from each one of us. So I just pray that things would go back to what's best for our country.