I have no exact memories of EDSA 1 the same way I vividly recall our extended family watching in our Lola Cuala’s sala the footages of Ninoy’s assassination in August 1983. I also clearly remember several Cory-Doy campaign sorties held in our town. Our family all dressed in yellow Cory-Doy shirts and “Ninoy Hindi Ka Nag-iisa” accessories joined the short march from our street to the rally venue.
My Tatay and his equally “politically active” brothers were solid Cory-Doy campaigners in our community. One of them even has his collection of the 1986 snap election campaign accessories until now – from stickers, flaglets, shirts and button pins. I grew up in a household where TV and newspaper headlines are discussed during breakfast or over at our small sari-sari store.
I was only 9 when EDSA People Power happened. Wala ako noon sa EDSA 1. When I see photos of kids who were with their parents during those eventful dates, I often wonder “Bakit kaya hindi kami nagpunta ng tatay ko sa EDSA?” Maybe I was too young then and Tatay thought it would be unsafe for me to join.
Looking back, I realized why we weren’t present in EDSA People Power — our political participation started and ended on the dining table with an exception of a few short election campaign-related marches.
After 14 years
Tatay wasn’t around when EDSA Dos happened. He passed away in September 2000, a few months short of witnessing our generation’s version of People Power.
This time, I made sure I was involved and physically present as the events unfold in the historic highway. I was part of the youth contingent led by the Erap Resign Youth Movement (ERYM) from different private and public universities. I have countless and colourful memories of EDSA Dos that I plan to share with my son Rio.
After 27 years
Now that I am a parent myself, I have decided to make my #EDSA27 pledge to my son.
Two EDSA revolts and almost three decades have passed but still there are no fundamental changes in our society. Ironically, living conditions have become worse. This is why I believe that there will be more people’s marches in the future, possibly bigger than EDSA 1 or 2 and hopefully more life-changing for the majority of the Filipinos.
I will try my best to answer his questions like “Nay, bakit may mayaman at mahirap?” “Nay,bakit may nagrarally?”. I promise to show him the situation of the poor and the oppressed believing that one day he will share what he discovers in his twitter and facebook timelines.
I pledge to be with my son Rio from our breakfast discussions of current issues, heated debates on controversial topics up to the day he decides to get involved and join street protest marches. So when it’s his time to recall where he was on a historic date like EDSA 1 and 2, he can proudly say “I was there”.
I am also hoping that he will post in his facebook page this status: “I am marching with my mom and the people here in EDSA”.