A peaceful people’s revolution towards freedom, justice, truth and peacce is the postmodern Filipino’s legacy for this world and its democracy. Classical literature tells of democracy as knowledge gift from the early Greek civilization, and so is politics. The French revolution, the American revolution, and the communist revolts in Russia, China and Cuba are rich texts of modern upheavals for democracy.
That three-day revolution in 1986 which ended the Marcos 20-year dictatorship marked the Filipino’s patriotism, nationalism and dignity to come one for a common cause. It is different, unique and special in its own right as it took a different turn. It debunked theoretical formulations for political change, that even those who claimed wisdom in political understanding faltered to predict it would happen.
The Philippine revolution in 1896 was tainted in blood. Attempts of people’s revolution in the mid 20th century were formulated to be a protracted, an arms struggle, yet failed to win genuine and en masse action from the Filipino people. The EDSA People’s Power of 1986 was spontaneous but deliberate of a single call, that unified the people to go the streets amidst the threat of iron hand of the defunct government.
In those days, victory was at hand for the people. There was certainty in faith among the people who marched through EDSA. Undivided in their cause, the Filipinos, young, old, rich, poor, political, apolotical, educated, uneducated, black, white, brown, risked their lives to end tyranny and to oust the tyrant from his throne.
They came, in numbers, as days passed, their numbers grew. The Church called the people, courageously, to express their rights, to claim their rights for freedom. The people, regardless of their religious affiliations, came and stood in front of tanks, unafraid of the harm that the militia could do against them. The Filipinos flooded the highway en route to bring back democracy.
The Filipinos succeeded. Corazon Aquino became the first Filipino woman president, the first in woman in Asia to hold the highest political position in a modern government (excluding the Empresses of China, Japan, Korea). Democracy was reinstated over a long period of dictatorship, without bloodshed, without armstruggle, spontaneous, natural and authentic.
The Filipino revolution in 1986 is our legacy to postmodern world democracy. Germany followed, the east and west divided by the Berlin wall reunited and is now one with a unified Europe. Then the people’s revolution in the Baltic states came after. More recently, the people’s revolution in Tunisia, then in Egypt.
E pluribus unum. Amidst diversity one. When a numbe of people gather, the voice of people united, their hearts and minds consolidated for a single cause that is for the common good, no other power can work with that. Vox popoli, vox dei. People are not gods, but their united voice, be it clamoring for an unpopular call, can awaken the consciousness of other people. Victory is to them.
The power of people’s revolution, does not rely in the strength of the arms. It rests in the willingness of the people to call for change. It reinforced by the steadfastness of faith in their action, in their capacity and in their cause to create the change. The success of a people’s revolution is the success of its people. The thing is Filipinos did it and won it 25 years ago.
The people’s power revolution on EDSA in 1986 is not something to be left and read in history books. It has to be retold and handed on to Filipinos across generations, for its spirit is the Spirit of the Filipino people as men and women for peace, justice, freedom, truth and equality. With the same traits Filipinos are able to conquer the world in thier own right, in their littlest contributions to the world’s postmodern democracy.