When I read the prompt about compassion and courage, I immediately thought of our EDSA Revolution of 1986. I wrote a blog about it, that I was proud to be part of that history. That it was a story about every Filipino’s dream of being free and taking part in the process. It involved over 2 million Filipino civilians, as well as several political, military and religious groups. It was one of nonviolent protests that began in 1983 and culminated in 1986. The methods used amounted to a sustained campaign of civil resistance against the 20-year running authoritarian, undemocratic regime of the then President Ferdinand Marcos. It led to his departure from the Malacanang Palace to Hawaii and the re-establishment of the country’s democracy.
Corazon Aquino was proclaimed as the legitimate President of the Philippines after the revolution. The wife of slain political leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, she fought the aging dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the controversial snap elections for Presidency in 1986. She won but was cheated. Not a gun was fired, yet Marcos was forced to step down because millions went into the streets and demanded his resignation.
Revolutions do not take place overnight. The Marcos years, characterized by the unscrupulous exercise of power preservation and fomented political unrest. Allegations of graft and corruption against the administration would forge a disproportion of wealth. The declaration of Martial Law on September 23, 1972 started a feeling of discontent which would make this act of resistance essential, even inevitable to the reinstatement of democracy.
The EDSA Revolution of 1986 was about the people power that was of the spontaneous, disoriented, unorganized fluid and ambiguous kind. Filipinos from all walks of life discovered a collective will that they had never exerted before and a common bond they had never nurtured. Spontaneity, astonishment and interestingness were the very spirit of the vent. To conclude, people, when treated badly, can summon enough courage, solidarity and determination to stand up and resist.