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What was the beauty of people power in the first-ever Edsa uprising?


C.B. Fundales, Bulacan: Its beauty was our purely patriotic motivation. It was a selfless act of a people, not for anyone or anything else, but for love of country.  

Jose Fabello Jr., Cagayan de Oro City: That it happened at all. It will be a long, long time before we can see another such happening again! Edsa II was a far cry from the first.  

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It was a peaceful revolution

Jose Parco, Aklan: The main achievement of people power was that we got rid of a despot in a very peaceful way. For the first time in ages, Filipinos were united to make a change for the better. We showed the world that we are a civilized people as there was no bloodshed. It also taught us the power of prayer!  

Lydia Reyes, Bataan: The Edsa uprising was a peaceful revolt and yet it regained democracy in our country. That was the beauty of it.  

Pedro Alagano, Vigan City: The beauty is that there was overwhelming euphoria in our country and Filipinos were hailed around the world for a bloodless revolution that toppled a dictator.  

Cris Rivera, Rizal: It was supernaturally marvelous  a fight for freedom won not by bullets but by flowers and beads of prayers. The beauty of democracy unfolded.  

Renato Taylan, Ilocos Norte: A strongman was deposed without bloodshed. That was the beauty of people power at Edsa.  

Jim Veneracion, Naga City: The beauty of Edsa 1 was that it was bloodless and had no casualties. Briefly, we were at the center of the world’s stage. How I wish we could have another Edsa versus GMA.  

William Gonzaga, Marikina City: It’s revolting that corruption of historical proportions is now reigning in our country and is perpetrated by higher-ups in government. It’s likewise depressing that many prelates of the Catholic church that aided Edsa 1 are now co-opted by PGMA’s rule. Edsa 1 was an unprecedented and historical use of people power to topple a hated dictator who planned to rule forever. It’s a peaceful and bloodless uprising that inspired other nations.  

Sahlee Reyes, Las Piñas City: Edsa 1 was the culmination of a long resistance by the people against the authoritarian regime of then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. It was a non-violent protest led by Cory Aquino and Jaime Cardinal Sin that had the support of millions of Filipinos. It was a revolution without precedent. It was spontaneous and unrehearsed. The world’s problems are best solved if we respect humanity and the dignity of every human person concerned. This is the beauty of Edsa 1, a bloodless revolution.  

Benjamin Nillo, Las Piñas City: For reasons that Edsa 1 was successful and bloodless, people who watched as the event unfolded became aware that Filipinos were ready.  

United we stood

Marlone Ramirez, Dubai: Personally, reminiscing the memorable February 25, 1986 is a treasured experience. I played a significant role in that peaceful revolution. We were united and determined to overthrow a regime that had enslaved us for decades. It was also a profession of faith from the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia, proving that heroism is not a mere offering of the solitary self but a collective act of bravery.  

Felmar Rowell Singco, Northern Samar: The beauty of the first-ever Edsa People Power Revolution, which was also the first in the world, was that the many sectors of society united and acted as one. Gone for the moment were self-interests and selfish desires of those who were both desiring power and those who supported them. They worked and flocked together as one, and in good faith and in kindness towards each other, showed the world that the simple Filipino desires the truly immortal things in this world: Honesty, good faith, kindness towards others, loyalty, righteousness, and conviction for what is right and standing up for it.  

Aldo Apostol, Quezon City: It was the unprecedented unity of the Filipino people. However, after all the people power revolts that have passed, our country is still behind in all facets of development. Therefore, the beauty was undermined by future results.  

Ricardo Tolentino, Laoag City: The Edsa 1 uprising was pure. It was no hakot for it was a natural outburst of outrage from the people that transcended societal class.  

Vic Alim, Caloocan City: People were united, playing and breaking bread with each other.  

Dino Monzon, Caloocan City: As the musical Camelot noted, for one brief shining moment, the nation came together. Edsa 1 worked as it came at the right time and place.  

Nick Ocampo, Angeles City: In the first and second people powers, people were really united. Today, it is not people power, but political power.  

Ella Arenas, Pangasinan: That it affirmed the saying “United we stand, divided we fall.” It’s the beauty of people working successfully towards a goal. It also affirmed the power of and voice of God working through us. “Vox populi, vox dei” is indeed true.  

There was nothing beautiful about it

V. A. Natividad, Baguio City: There was nothing beautiful about people power in the first-ever Edsa uprising because it marked the beginning of the unstoppable downward spiral of our social and economic institutions and everything we ever value as Filipinos.  

It was spontaneous

Joe Nacilla, Las Piñas City: The beauty of the first Edsa uprising was that it was a work with originality from a morally and spiritually sound mind. It was an instant uprising without proper training. The succeeding Edsa uprisings were of bankrupt ideas under the state of severe mental distress bordering on outright imbalance. They pushed people to join by giving monetary consideration. There was no originality. It was blindly copied word-for-word under the belief that God’s continued smile and kindness was His approval and that His benevolence was a just reward for a hidden personal idea.

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: On the outset, Edsa I was not planned. The uprising was sparked by personages least expected to break away. People from all walks of life, from different religious beliefs, from different regions came in droves spontaneously to support the rebels. There were no leaders nor authority figures along Edsa, but the people prayed and acted in harmony, marking a phenomenon in world history where the unity of the helpless weakened the strength of the powerful iron man. Sayang nga lang, where are now the ideals we risked our lives for?  

Ed Ledesma, Iloilo City: Spontaneity. I think a lot of us, if not all, were willing to risk life and limb to block tanks. It was our one shining moment.  

It was a proud moment

Ed Gulmatico, Middle East: I was in Iraq, Saudi and Kuwait prior to the first Edsa uprising. The people in those states looked down on Filipinos. They believed that we were a people with no spine, no guts and with no intellect to differentiate right from wrong. After the first (and the only real) Edsa, and considering that not a drop of Filipino blood was shed, Filipino pride and self-respect were restored. Now, we are back under the same impression and situation as in the years 1973 to February 1986. It seems that nothing has changed at all, except the animal nature of our government and political leaders. From crocodiles and leeches, they are now vultures.  

Enid Abracia, Metro Manila: The 1986 People Power Revolution was such a glorious historical event that made every Juan dela Cruz proudly say “I am a Filipino”. I believe it was a huge success because it was anchored on a genuinely noble intention to restore democracy in our country. Everyone that participated in the historical event, from the personalities that sparked the uprising down to the simplest member of our society, knew exactly why they were there and what they were fighting for. Everyone came voluntarily, armed only with courage and faith and whatever they could share, unmindful of the long distances that they had to walk, or the weather or the dangers that they would face or even how long they would have to be there. Indeed, it was a shining moment for us Filipinos, a rare and extraordinary display of Filipino unity which we’re not able to sustain nor replicate.  

Ruel Bautista, Laguna: It was the first bloodless revolution in the world that made everyone, here and abroad, proud of being a Filipino. It’s sad that we failed to nurture it.  

Rose Leobrera, Manila: It was so touching, dramatic and intense. For the very first time, naging bida ang Pinoy before the world. Just imagine tanks against crowds or people holding hands, clutching their rosaries and fighting to topple the dictator. I cried nga eh. Kaya lang, the usual ugaling Pinoy prevailed. We’re only good at first. As expected, the spirit of Edsa was forgotten. Instead of helping rebuild the nation, the military bombarded the Cory administration with uprisings, endlessly criticizing the government so they could topple it down. Edsa 1 really moved us. It made me proud of being Pinoy.  

Dennis Acop, Baguio City: People power at Edsa in 1986 was a miracle. It was a perfect example of democracy at work manifested by mammoth crowds who braved loyalist soldiers and tanks to express their stake in the leadership of the land. And because the people’s courageous defense of a beleaguered group of coup plotters eventually led to the dictator’s removal, the uprising became a contemporary case study for aspiring democracies worldwide to emulate. It was indeed a proud moment to be a Filipino. I was a coup participant in 1986 as a young lieutenant and member of Gen. Fidel Ramos’ security group. We initially defended Camp Crame, gradually withdrawing inwards as defecting reinforcements arrived. I can never forget the euphoria in the aftermath of that fateful revolution. I think I understood then what elder veterans must have felt after World War II ended when the people unabashedly expressed their gratitude to them with kisses and flowers. Public affection was showered on us as we marched with Ramos and Enrile from Camp Crame to Club Filipino for the assumption into office of Cory Aquino. It was a glorious day. At that moment, Filipinos felt they got a second chance at good government believing that change for the better has finally arrived.  

Ishmael Calata, Parañaque City: The beauty of Edsa 1 was the spontaneity of the movement of a suddenly disciplined and united people from all walks of life converging on Edsa. Those people moved in unity when there was a need to move, bravely blocking the movement of tanks, using only their bodies against these weapons of war and raising their hands, which held either a rosary or a bunch of flowers! We saw the willingness of millions, who were filled with the hope for a new change in our way of life. They were there not just to watch a historic event, but to participate and to die if needed, so that the peaceful uprising could succeed. Yes, it was one historic event that drove the whole world agog. To this, I must include the experiences of my children who, in their trips abroad during the first year after Edsa I, happily called to tell us that many people who identified them as Filipinos in airports in Europe, where they landed, spontaneously embraced them like heroes because of that bloodless revolution!  

We’re worse off today

Leandro Tolentino, Batangas: The beauty of people power in the first Edsa uprising has slowly faded into oblivion after the chaos and plunder of succeeding administrations.  

J.R. Mondonedo Jr., Parañaque City: People then had unity among themselves, but even though they were able to overthrow the Marcos regime, we are in a much worse situation today.  

Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: It was that glorious moment in the Philippines’ tattered history that the people thought they slew the ogre, only to find out that the ogre never died. It still appears in many forms and in many political colors. And it will reappear for as long as we have the kind of leaders and politicians we have today, and the kind of uneducated, poor and ignorant voters we have.  

Gerii Calupitan, Muntinlupa City: Edsa 1 was beautiful because Malakas and Maganda overstayed and made us their slaves. May relevance. Edsa 2 was versus a plunderer. Okay pa rin. Edsa 3 was a mongoloid power. Edsa 4 (Oakwood) and Edsa 5 (Penn) were pa-pogi ng Magdalo corps. FM and Erap were kicked out but their corruption is here to stay.  

Col Ben Paguirigan Jr., Ret., Zamboanga City: Edsa 1 very clearly showed, and every Pinoy can attest this, that in unity there is strength. We were able to oust a strongman, only to repent now because PGMA is worse.  

Josh Pacatang, Dipolog City: The beauty I saw in the 1986 Edsa uprising is that the middle class in Metro Manila, like fat sheep and lambs led to slaughter by their shepherd Jaime Cardinal Sin, took the side of Enrile and Ramos and drove an authoritarian ruler away. The ugly part of it is that it installed an incompetent leadership. Like the solidarity movement of Poland led by Lech Walesa, Edsa 1 created chaos in the streets and weakened established public institutions.  

The miracle of Edsa

Ryan Pahimulin, Rizal: I was there. The number of people protecting Camp Crame was unbelievable, even disabled people were there, in their wheelchairs. No quarrel broke out; everyone was kind to each other. I felt no fear, God was with us.  

June Deoferio, Cavite:  It was unity and courage among people with different lives. They prayed together for a peaceful resolution against the Marcos regime.  

Norberto Robles, Taguig: Edsa was bigger than all of us. The crowd was so thick, the jeeps I hired only got as far as Guadalupe and drivers didn’t accept the pay.  

Passion, heroism

Digoy Coro, Batangas: The beauty was the courage shown by the Filipino people wherein every man looked into his own soul.  

Eddie Yap, Kabankalan City: The beauty of the very first Edsa uprising was the passion, the smoldering rage, the sincere tears and the heroism displayed by the people who risked their lives. The succeeding Edsa uprisings sadly became a venue for grandstanding, especially of ambitious politicians and militant groups pretending to be modern superheroes  

Elpidio Que, Vigan: It was a phenomenon. It was copied by other nations as a bloodless coup. People rejoiced, thinking that the nation was headed for better things, only to be disappointed and disgusted later. It is like Harold Robbin’s novel “The Adventures”, whereby the revolution that toppled a corrupt government evolved into a succession of revolutionary governments, from El Rojo onward, that only got worse and worse in a vicious cycle.  

Alayne Carrera Cochon, Laguna: The personalities behind Edsa 1 were genuinely sincere, thinking of really restoring democracy in our country.  

Felix Ramento, Manila: The people power that brought about Edsa 1 was magical in that the Filipino voice for a moment reverberated through all corners of the world, captivating peoples’ hearts regardless of color and creed.  

A showcase of democracy

Rodolfo Talledo, Angeles City: It was a showcase to the whole world on how to initiate a revolution with minimal violence and collateral casualties.  

Manny Cordeta, Marikina City: The first-ever Edsa uprising, to my belief, is a living testimony of how democracy worked during that dark chapter in the nation’s history. The Filipinos’ resiliency was proven once again. They were oblivious to the sight of loyal armed soldiers out to shield the power-drunk late strongman Marcos from the wrath of his countrymen. A first of its kind, it was a particular type of uprising that saw clergy and nuns offering prayers and flowers right in front of cannons operated by soldiers who were probably “melted” by the heart-rending gesture. It was a sight to behold! It created so much impact in many parts of other troubled countries that it has been replicated countless times. Certainly, the Philippines prided herself, at least, for once. Iba talaga ang orig.

Robert Young Jr., San Juan: Edsa 1 brought the country into the limelight. The country was featured in headlines all over the world. We became the beacon of democracy. For once, Filipinos were proud to be Filipinos with heads held up high. Several countries with despotic leaders followed the Edsa revolution and gained their freedom. But being an icon of democracy did not last. Leaders that followed Pres. Cory became worse than Marcos. Corruption is so rampant we have held the top position of most corrupt nation for the past few years. It makes me wonder, could we have been better off without Edsa 1?  

In aid of a military uprising

Dave Velasco, Marinduque: The beauty of People Power 1 is that the Edsa uprising became the protector of military coup, hastening the escape of conjugal dictatorship.  


Ryan Pahimulin, Rizal: Edsa was merely a beginning. The fight still goes on.  

Nony de Leon, Bulacan: Who among the aspirants for the 2010 presidency will vow to shake up the establishment in politics, church, business and media? a radical transformation is what we need to rise from the morass of corruption into which we have sunk. A business-as-usual attitude will not do.  


C.B. Manalastas, Manila: Their must be a law banning all types of motorcycles in all main thoroughfares in Metro Manila to prevent daily accidents and loss of lives.  

Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit.

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