it's strange. everywhere i see testimonials, videos, articles, tweets, and i hear the songs of Edsa 1986. it's on tv, on the radio, online, and in the papers in various shades of yellow. ninoy and cory photos and sketches abound.
like i said, it's strange. i came from a family that supported THE dictator. my grandmother who i think was in government then would distribute sports equipment bearing the "i (heart) fm" stickers. some stocks were kept in our house. we had jackets, stickers, caps, shirts that said "marcos pa rin."
i was all of ten years old, happily oblivious to the change that was going on around me. all i knew of martial law were the stories that there was a curfew and that my brothers had really short hair that time. i lived in baguio city and at 10 years old, all i was concerned about was playing after school, and reading junior classics.
to say that my family supported marcos is an understatement. my grandmother hailed from ilocos sur and had a picture with "apo" hanging in the living room. my 3 year old nephew was chanting marcos pa rin over and over. my dad knew marcos personally. i kept repeating the same thing to our principal in grade school then who told me i knew nothing about what was going on.
and she was right. i knew nothing. i lived in a sheltered home. i was never really exposed to the outside world. we were in a private school, there were so many of us at home that we did not need our neighbors as playmates, and my mom drove us to and from school. we had piano lessons, sunday lunches, ballet classes. i was loved and protected, and for as long as i had a book to read and my grades were okay, i was fine. i never knew oppression. i never knew hunger. i never knew fear.
to make the long story short, i knew nothing about the happenings on edsa, or in the philippines for that matter. ang alam ko lang, marcos pa rin.
the news coverage held no interest for me. the adult discussions even less. but if there was one thing i remembered about edsa, it was the songs.
we sang "magkaisa" in school. i even played a lead in one school presentation where we sang it. i knew who sang it. virna liza. my teachers were all hopeful that change was coming, a change for the better, and they involved the students through plays and singing.
i'd stop in my tracks whenever i heard "handog ng pilipino sa mundo." i knew the song by heart. i'd hum it to myself, i'd sing along. i knew the voices, the changes in song, i knew when to stop to take a breath and sing at the top of my voice.
i did not understand edsa or the events that led to it. but i knew that every time i heard handog ng pilipino sa mundo i would sing along and sing from the heart.
i heard it again today, and i sang along with it. i felt a bit teary eyed. i was thinking had i been older then i would have been teary eyed too. marcos pa rin or not.
it's been 25 years. i've grown up and i've become more concerned with my surroundings and eventually, i learned about edsa.
edsa was about hope, a new tomorrow, the end of a dictatorship that sowed fear. i never felt the fear, but it was there. i feel sad, though, that the years (and the subsequent presidents) have not been kind to our country.
cory's heart was in the right place. she just wasn't equipped to deal with the responsibility so suddenly handed down to her by the people no less. the following leaders fell short too, of what the country needed.
25 years later i think the hope has dimmed. but it's still there.
the new president has the potential to be a good president. but ONLY if he stands firm in the beliefs he claims to have grown up by. only if his heart is in the right place, and his head on right too. i hope against hope that he does not disappoint the people who put so much of their faith and trust in him. i hope he does not mar the good memories brought about by his mother.
i hope. and i pray. and today, i remember edsa.