Wednesday, February 25, 2015

EDSA REVOLUTION: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT

EDSA People Power Revolution 1986
Source: en.wikipedia.org

Today marks the  29th  anniversary of the EDSA Revolution. As most Filipinos who were in Metro Manila at that time, I was there among the many, when it happened. All I remember, were the chaos and the confusion. People were running around and friends were in a frenzy telling everybody that a revolution is in the works.

Reminiscing...

I was one of those young professionals (yuppie) at that time. I occupied a top echelon post as Finance and Administration Manager of a quasi-government organization,  in a swank office in Makati City. I was young, carefree, and at the top of my career.

I was aware of the political upheaval at that time, but was too busy minding my life, to ever think of putting myself on the line. Friends were edging me to take a stand and join the different youth and church organizations that were in the frontline of the protest movement.

I never heeded their call as I was too comfortable with my life. Besides, I never wanted to ruffle the government hierarchy, since I was a part of it. I was paid good money to do my work, and it was all that mattered.

I remember having dinner with my group at the office, when a  commotion ensued in the building. Employees from nearby offices were banging at everybody's door cajoling everybody to join them at EDSA. We looked at our boss, and saw him on the way out of the office. He told us to either stay put or go home, as it's becoming rowdy outside.

June Keithly honored during EDSA commemoration
Source:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdRtE7-EWt8
Enroute to Camp Aguinaldo

We looked at one another, and most of the group decided to stay in the office to wait it out. A small radio was tuned in to the rebel station,  Radio Bandido, with June Keithly on the helm. I decided to go to Camp Aguinaldo, where people were congregating, together with one spunky staff. We were the only two brave souls in the office who were unafraid to join the fray at the gates of Camp Aguinaldo. 

As I drove my car, I was surprised to see people from all walks of life going on the same route. Some were students walking in groups, some were residents from nearby subdivisions in their cars, the nuns and priests came in bus loads with rosaries in their hands, and many were just ordinary people and bystanders who were there to make themselves be counted.

EDSA Revolution
Source: www.mtholyoke.edu/ 
I got startled when I saw military tanks going the same route. I got scared, and decided to park my car at the side street, and walk with the group of religious people. My thoughts then, was that, they will be the last group to be bomb if things get nasty. Upon nearing the gates of the military camp, I got scared out of my wits when I saw nuns and priests doing a human barricade between the camp gates and the military tanks. 

It was a highly tense situation, until I saw nuns giving flowers to the soldiers. I did not know what was to happen next. The nuns and priests were headstrong and did not move an inch. A few minutes later, the barricade swelled with more people, and everything was on a standstill. I felt then, that whoever blinks first, will die. To compound the tense situation, we heard attack helicopters flying up above, circling around us.

I can't take that anymore. I don't like to die young. I had goose bumps all over my body and was scared stiff. I don't know how I managed to get back to my car and drive home. All I knew was that, it seemed like a trip out of hell, and I got out of there fast --- like there was a devil running after me.

Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/578326/people-power

POSTSCRIPT

Everyone knew what happened next. The Marcos regime blinked. It was a bloodless revolution that gave birth to a new democratic order. That act of defiance through People Power, led to the fall of the dictator, President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

And I was there when it happened.


writer_csm


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