What the spirit of EDSA can teach us today
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - February 25, 2018 - 12:00am

Thirty-two years after EDSA, we should have already grown more mature. But are we?

The spirit of EDSA should enrich us with the wisdom to leave to millennials and other future generations. First, EDSA should teach us that no tyrant, dictator, or oppressive regime can last the moment the people unite to end oppression. Evil triumphs only when good men do nothing. Not doing anything during a dictatorship is a virtual endorsement of that regime. EDSA is perhaps of almost equal significance to Mactan, Luneta, Kawit, Biak-na-bato, Balintawak, Tirad Pass, Bataan, and Corregidor. It was the turning point on our way to freedom.

Second, EDSA taught us that when Filipinos unite, they can achieve the impossible. February 22 to 25, 1986 saw that rare moment in our history when the State represented by Cory Aquino, the Church represented by Jaime Cardinal Sin, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, united to end 20 years of being in chains. They inspired other members of society to rally behind the emerging government. Even military officials joined them.

Third, EDSA demonstrated that when Filipinos set aside their personal interests, they can achieve much bigger things. EDSA was the fruit Salvador "Doy" Laurel sacrifice to set aside his presidential ambitions to give way to Cory. General Fidel V. Ramos accepted the challenge of Juan Ponce Enrile to cut clean from the Marcos Regime. It was the consequence of the collective sacrifice of many Filipinos who joined us in EDSA. At those crucial days in our history it was the sacrifice of Lorenzo Tañada, Jose W. Diokno, and Ninoy Aquino. I am proud I was there for three days, risking life and security to become a part of history.

Lastly, the spirit of EDSA teaches us to always have hope, to have faith, and to love our country so much as to come forward, risk safety, and be counted in the tense-filled barricades, not unlike that spine-tingling scene in ''Le' Miserables'', when they sang "Do You Hear The People Sing." We did sing "Bayan Ko" with tears flowing from our eyes, holding hands. We beat the cannons of Marcos and Ver. Our hearts were deeply touched when we almost shouted: "Ibon mang may layang lumipad, Kulongin mo at umiiyak. Bayan pa kayang sakdal dilag, ang di mag nais umalpas...Pilipinas kong minumutya, Pugad ng luha ko't dalita...aking adhika, makita kang sakdal laya." And then we cried and hugged each other in the ecstasy of freedom and renewed hopes. EDSA has a special place in our hearts.

Today, we should have learned so much from EDSA, and we should never forget the lessons of that historic event in our struggle as a nation.


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