Why the spirit of EDSA has faded


    MANY Filipinos, as well as foreign observers, are straining to understand why the spirit of EDSA and People Power has faded so drastically that it now takes a ton of effort to cajole a crowd into attending the official commemoration of the event.

    The answer is not simply that there are many more among us who are skeptical of EDSA than those who are enthralled by it. More telling, we think the reason is that the EDSA commemoration has become confused and torn by warring objectives and personalities.

    Some believe that one should go to the avenue on the historic dates of February to commemorate a special day. But others believe that people should assemble there instead to protest against the government, demonize President Marcos, and re-fight the battles that they have lost. And then there are those who think that EDSA is irrevocably married to the Aquino legacy or family brand.

    Offended by the propaganda, some think an anti-EDSA commemoration would be a fitting change.

    The essential purpose of commemorating an event has been lost because some have mistakenly loaded on the annual remembrance goals and objectives that are not validated by what our people truly feel or believe.

    The official EDSA commemoration has also been distorted by incessant misrepresentation and false counts of the numbers who do attend.

    Some have also foolishly made the EDSA remembrance a mock battle between the administration and its critics – leading to frenetic efforts by both sides to load the numbers on their respective ends, in order to claim an illusory victory.

    These conflicting goals miss the point.

    The poet John Greenleaf Whittier has written, “Each crisis brings its word and deed.”

    The crisis hour in February 1986 brought the deed, but we still have not found the words to remember properly what happened.

    While other peoples have had no problem recalling the great events in their history, including their civil wars, we Filipinos have perennially been tormented by the task of perpetuating EDSA.

    EDSA or People Power has lost its luster because successive governments from President Corazon Aquino onwards have been unable to find the right approach to memorialize the event.

    The first Aquino government, with a push from the Philippine Catholic Church, tried to foster the fable that what happened in February 1986 was a miracle. And yellow propagandists and hagiographers foisted the foolhardy scheme of elevating Cory to Catholic sainthood.

    Other compatriots, who truly figured in the military revolt, have tried to expand and magnify the event, beyond what it could realistically bear.

    Perhaps most unfortunate of all, some have sought to make EDSA a partisan in the nation’s politics. This misguidedly leads to a situation where every ruling administration is forced to manipulate the EDSA remembrance to serve its political objectives.

    The 2017 commemoration of People Power was precisely disfigured by such conflicting objectives. While administration critics fanned talk about a new people power uprising on February 25 that would oust President Duterte, supporters of the administration trooped to the Quirino Grandstand at Rizal Park to do their own rally of support on the same day. And they swamped the paltry numbers at EDSA.

    While politicians and partisans battled for media time and space, the event at EDSA faded from our memories and into the background.

    The saddest irony is that EDSA, a real explosion of People Power, was relegated to the status of a false event like the Jabidah massacre, which never happened.


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    1. EDSA People Power Revolution was the biggest and longest FAKE NEWS celebrated in the Philippines. I’m glad people come to senses.

    2. EDSA has lost its glory, EDSA is not for the Yellow supporters nor the Aquino supporters or the Marcos supporters. It is the freedom of what you believe, that has a moral responsibility and to speak freely without coercion.

    3. For me, EDSA is history ala na, buko na, nabisto na kung talaga ang layunin ng mga aquino. Next year kung buhay pa ung dalawang mama na nagpasimuno nyan, baka nga meron pa kahit papanong sasali. Pero kung matigok na ung dalawang yun, mabuti pa burahin na sa kalendaryo ang pagiging pula nito (holiday) dahil useless lang lahat ang pinag-gagawa nila. Ala namang nagbago sa pamumuhay ng ordinaryong pinoy, lalu pa ngang lumala.

      Kaya please lang, tigil tigilan nyo na yang selebrasyon na yan dahil sagabal lang kayo sa trapik!!!!

    4. edsa was our contribution to the world.
      but it has evolved to be a sirang plaka every year we hear the same thing.
      maybe it is providential na ang edsa today ay super trapik…kasi tyong Pilipino HINDI na nag MOVE on.

      Maybe if we learn from the past w/o blaming others, we can rise above the challenges.

      Marcos years ended when from silent whispers people, believing in their power and in their rosaries, were emboldened to shout: “Tama na, Sobra na”!

      When Juan de la Cruz learned, after so many years of the national lie, that the hero was but an INCIDENTAL HERO, asseverated by the helpless incapacity of those in power to correct the Country’s history books that would tell who really stopped the INCIDENTAL HERO … Juan de la Cruz heard a “loud whisper” from the roadside saying, “Tama na, Sobra na”.

      When for so long a time, almost as long as the Martial Law years, thirty years in all, despite the amassed power of those who benefitted from the martyrdom of the INCIDENTAL HERO, they were not able to bring to justice the author of the stoppage of the INCIDENTAL HERO, Juan and kababayans started to be convinced that the national gossip must have been true.

      Worse, they were deeply hurt to have been led to believe that they were also heroes for having marched at Edsa and for letting them believe that it was a MIRACLE.

      Worst, to revive the spirit of Edsa, Juan was lured to shout again, now versus capital punishment and extra-judicial killing. But Juan thought aloud, “But why is there nothing against the evil of MINING INDUSTRY in the Philippines except the voice of the Lone Ranger (Ulilang Cowboy) Gina Lopez? Juan said, “If after raping a virgin you give her P100,000, could you call it RESPONSIBLE RAPE?” After seeing the footages of the mining in Marinduque, Zambales, Surigao, etc., vis-a-vis the scientific defense of their lawyers and political supporters, can you afford to say it is Responsible Mining?

      And so one by one Juan de la Cruz and friends were also emboldened to shout the same refrain that killed the Martial Law years: “Tama na; Sobra na”! hoping against hope that this time around their sons could be heroes and that a miracle should be possible.

    6. perhaps the truth behind edsa is coming out. three decades is quite long enough for all those holders of lies to keep it in. it came out by itself. you can’t keep lies forever, period…you can’t fool people that long…

    7. Jacinto Decena on

      EDSA 1986 has done nothing to the Filipino people, After EDSA revolution, more government instituttion had been ransack by corrupt officials, more criminalities, addiction became rampant and more people became hungry. So, do not be surprise that after several more years to come, nobody will remember EDSA 1986 anymore.

    8. The Great Defiant on

      31 years of crimes, drugs, greed and corruption…
      oligarchs controlled church, media, water. electricity, hospitals and internet…
      while 80% is living below poverty line…
      93% of youth is drug crazed…
      OFW diaspora…where many Filipinos were killed, rape AND IMPRISONED in foreign land

      and nobody give a damn…

      is this not enough to FORGET, FAKE and FAILED EDSA??????

    9. The primary reason EDSA power loses its appeal is because its primary figures has gone the Marcos’ way.

    10. Edsa spirit was alive only until Ramos’ time. Now only a handful LP card bearing members insist on reviving Edsa, syempre sila sila magbibidahan. Di nga sumasawsaw si peping babalu na uncle ni abnoy.

      Last saturday’s LP show of force was obviously a nail in the coffin. They only numbered 1,500 or maybe 2,000. With Pnoy, Leni, Piggy Drilon, kiko cuneta, ninoy aquino look alike/impostor Bum around, getting that few crowd was really a wake up call. Try nyo next year uli, baka 750 na lang yan!

      • Nicanor Funelas on

        I doubt whether that number can be achieved next year…What will be certain next year is that trafficduring the EDSA commemoration will be very smooth with no people blocking the Hi-way as compared before….People had already awaken from the hellish nightmare theyve experience from that sham EDSA revolution.

    11. The “SPIRIT OF EDSA” faded so fast because the Aquino family used it for their political purpose. Not the real spirit of the people. We are sick and tired of the Aquinos using EDSA for their political purpose.Its a pity that some people still believe in them.

    12. Because there was NO POWER in the first place. It was all media manipulation and greed for the Oligarchs and the Catholic Hierarchy! The Americans spearheaded it while the Yellows and some Filipinos were intentionally caught in the middle! And that is life for the past 30 years!

      • Indeed, EDSA was the handiwork of Catholic Church. Ditto EDSA 2. Its primary figures has done what the Marcos has left. Today, it is heavily promoted by the church. They are worried by the decline in popularity among the youth.

    13. In essence, what was rooted and perpetuated in hate will never prosper. If people fail to see the good and just continue to demonize Marcos, the vision is muddled and is eventually lost. The EDSA Revolution was never about Marcos; it was all about the Filipino people, rising up in unison to reclaim their democratic freedom and to chart their own destiny. Yet, because the leaders were self-serving, hallow, myopic and negative, they kept on bringing Marcos to the forefront. It’s them who’ve been immortalizing the hate for Marcos instead of bringing genuine progress to the people. Yet, again, hate is not of God and therefore it will never ever prosper.

      True, EDSA was a lost opportunity because the yellows never evolved to greater heights as they choose to remain stuck in the pit and limbo of their own harrowing darkness. Though not everything is lost. Good news . . . in electing Duterte, again majority of the people has come around for a true change. And because change for the better is something good, and that the heart of Duterte is in the right place (for the people), therefore, this time around, it will prosper for the good of the masses and not only for a select group.

    14. For everyone who’ve lived under Marcos rule, there was good and evil. The evil, of course, is the whimsical authoritarianism of Imelda & other closed-in Marcos’ supporters, and the cruelty of a police state and arbitrary arrest & detention. The good, however, was that there was real discipline, and economic progress. People follow traffic rules. Traffic jam wasn’t as horrible as it is now. Corruption isn’t as insidious and widespread. Wages during Marcos’ time were higher than those of many of the country’s Asian neighbors. It short, the country paid a high price to get rid of one man rule while succumbing to a rule by the much more corrupt elites hiding behind a fake paper democracy. Democracy now is only felt by the elites but an illusion to the poor. How can one be free when, for every little things, one has to get a clearance from the community leader (barangay), police, and NBI? How can one be free when, aside from having to pay a tax to travel outside of the country, those who are deemed not wealthy enough are arbitrarily bared from departing?

    15. We have given 30 yrs to the yellows and 20 for Marcos. So it is a 60-40 percent split . Now lets weigh the comparative positive results of the 30 yellow years and 20 of Marcos’. It is as simple as this.

    16. “The saddest irony is that EDSA, a real explosion of People Power, was relegated to the status of a false event like the Jabidah massacre, which never happened.”

      Eh who invented ba the fictitious Jabidah massacre ? ‘Wasn’t it a talkative prime bearer of the Aquino sourname ?

    17. EDSA or NOT, the Philippines is similar to the USA, citizens are divided. The thing is more highly likely this will go on forever. The big difference is, the poor in the Philippines do not enjoy the freedom because there is no middle class. The reality is as long as there is massive unemployment, poverty will be hard, or nearly impossible to solve.

    18. We all got caught up in removing a dictator and never thought about who was going to take power. We ended up with the nice lady Cory becoming the puppet President for the elite. Then we were mobilized again to remove another President because of an empty envelop drama. Now we realize we had been manipulated and that our real power is in voting. We voted an outsider as President to come in and clean up the mess. That was real people power. The vast majority support him and the only demonstrations we will attend will be those that support him.

      • I have taken the view that EDSA 1986 was nowhere near a Revolution that the Yellows and their media suck-ups want to call it. It was a Restoration of the pre-Martial Law oligarchy that came roaring back on the skirt of their anointed saint Cory Aquino. What followed was 30 years of mainly cosmetic change that saw hollow and self-aggrandizing exploitative politics and free-wheeling economic policies that did not cure poverty and the grossly inequitable distribution of wealth. The supposed restoration of political and press freedom did not translate nor lead to inclusive development and the strengthening of democratic institutions. We became a ‘restored’ democracy merely on paper and our violent elections became popularity contests steeped in showbiz entertainment. Whatever EDSA 1986 was supposed to achieve ended in failure and disappointment. We went back to the same rotten system of pre-1972.

    19. The yellow Edsa revolution in 1986 was the only revolution thay failed during the cold war. East and West Germany reunited, dramatic changes in the former USSR, China becomes superpower. Because EDSA 1 is about hatred against a nationalistic president despised by greedy oligarchs. Without US intervention, edsa should have not happened.

      • You got it right Ted I agree Edsa should never have happened. We had an elected president but the so called people power decided they knew better. Where are we now?

    20. it is very much associated with the aquino family, who hijacked it for their purposes. given the family’s now obvious non-contribution to the country, or worse, the people want to stay away from it as far as they can.

    21. Para sa akin bilang isang simpleng mamayanang FILIPINO maraming mga dahilan kung bakit di tumatak ang EDSA revolution sa mga FILIPINO,
      Una wala as in wala kang nakitang magandang nangyari after the revolution ang Politika gumulo at matindi pa ang corruption, lumala ang krimen sabi nga nag mga dayuhan DEMOCRAZY ang nangyare,
      Pangalawa parang Aquino at mga kaalyado lang nila ang nakinabang yun ang pananaw ko
      Pangatlo parang inaakin nang mga katoliko na kanila lang kase nandyan sila at nakikialam sa Politika parabang pinapakita nila na kaya nilang mag people power ulit,
      Kung na monitor ninyo mas marami ang nagpunta sa Luneta kaysa sa panawagan nang LP at Katoliko, Kalimutan na natin ang EDSA kase nga parabang bumabalik tayo sa MARCOS vs AQUINO lang kaya mas maganda mag MOVE on nalang tayo dahil wala talagang nangyaring Maganda,

      • tama ka, leon g, tumindi at lumala ang coruption.
        noong last year ni macoy sa puesto, tatlong director namin ang na-dismiss dahil sa ilang milyong anomalya. nang si cory na ang umupo, LAHAT ng direktor nationwide ang ‘nangolekta ng milyones’ pero walang nakasuhan isa man sa kanila.

    22. An irony of Edsa for it lacks the purity of people’s unity representing the entire archipelago. The people’s power dictated by the media is not the real explosion of support as they it to appear to be. Years goes on muddied by self-serving manipulators that they freed the Filipino people from economic starvation and their freedom of oppression from a dictator. In all sorts the Edsalist led the people to believe of heroes, saint and saviors were on their midst. For 31 years the believers waited change. They branded Edsa revolution victory on family character which the church favors.

      More Filipino population has awaken and knew more of contents on Edsa. The myth of Edsa was not theirs. There’s no people’s power when they’re in poverty, exploited, and no jobs in their country. No matter the pain for OFW they’ll prefer to suffer elsewhere just to gain economic freedom.

      Cast of political elite stars, LP power party, military ranks have associated with Edsa cult. 2017 anniversary began the struggle for celebrities of their glorious past identity. Edsa spirit fades fast but already promise in 2018 that Edsa celebration would be stronger. If so this editorial observation is premature and not believable. Is this the trend of Edsa losing on its own weight of falseness? Edsa history is investigated in its authenticity.

      The new breed of rallies are not fond of people’s power made up by media hypes.

    23. One must admit that EDSA 86 was never the real will of majority Filipinos. Martial Law is good or bad depending from one’s perspective. To me it brought fast tracking of massive infrastructures, industrialization, discipline and crime control. For enemies of the state it was a curtailment of freedom. Yes it is, for a limited time in exchanged for a better future envisioned by Marcos. Edsa 86 will be forgotten in the coming decades but Marcos’ legacy will be remembered always.

      • Yes…you are right…I was in FEU year 1974 to 80…I am also a working student…actually mostly my classmates are working….live free at night…kung may gulo ay labanan ng mga frat..but snatching, holdapan sa kalsada or jeep is once in a blue moon you can heard…my 1st 2 yrs in college is in MLQU year1974 to 1976..before transferring to FEU…I used to get out at home at 4am dahil I play basketball varsity for MLQU..my daily walk at Hidalgo..nobody touch me in that early in the morning…it’s really safe walking in those kalye going to High School basketball court….I took up Architecture course and this is the reason why I give basketball and move to FEU…and you are right about Marcos legacy will always be remembered.

    24. Or maybe, an alternate but point of view, is that those who led the edsa mutiny, together with those who actually grabbed sat in power were proven to be utterly evil, never did anything good for the country.From ramos, enrile, honasan, to cory, etc they were all exposed as fake makabayan, just plain evil doers, who really don’t give a shit to the plight of country.

      The fact that even when the international community already revealed who killed ninoy, and that the edsa mutineers are ignoring the fact, is clear indications of who are the manloloko.

      With deterioration of philippine economy (despite the claims from the stock market players), the ordinary majority has realized who had done more for the country.

      The mutiny was bloodless, out of respect for the ordinary people’s sympathy at that period in time.

      Now that same group of people have realized what it was, simply a power grab by ramos, enrile and other traitors.

      From then on, these traitors proceeded to ransack the country.

      And now we just realized and understood, after all these years, what a visionary we have lost in that edsa mutiny; and that maybe we can get another strongman, another visionary, brave enough to standup against true evil, to lead us into a new direction. (didn’t Duterte win?)

      So who cares to commemorate an evil deed/ a mutiny, and pass it as something approaching the miraculous – because it is not – who cares for a lie?