i am an edsa baby
i am saddened that a teacher and a poll watcher lost their lives to a burning down of a school. that it is alleged that policemen were the perpetrators of this crime. when it is nearing the opening of classes, and the children of this school would have no choice but to stay in make-shift rooms or on grounds under trees while this country has one less schoolhouse.
i post this because i don't think i can post this anywhere else.
I am an Edsa baby. I was born in 1986. My mother was pregnant with me when she rallied at Edsa in February, praying fervently with strangers to stop the violence. I am confident that she was thinking of me as she hoped for democracy and for a country where I could live in peace and exercise my rights. I went to Edsa with her—in her heart and under her heart.
Now, two decades after that event, it is my time to change the world, to take part in nation-building. Frankly, there is not much to work with.
It’s disheartening when the leaders who fought for democracy and for our so-called future destroyed it in just two decades, right at that time when our generation is able enough to make a change. Democracy had been sought, it was gained, but it has not been maintained.
My dad commented to me one evening after dinner that our political arena now is reminiscent of the post-war and pre-martial law era: that it is filled with political dynasties, corruption, greed, insurgencies in the countryside, and politically-related violence.
As Ambeth Ocampo always says, history does not repeat itself. We repeat history. I may not have lived during the time of my father, but he knows enough to tell me that what we are experiencing now in the era after Edsa is also what was happening then. The only problem is, it is in tenfold. The population has increased since that time, so too have the number of poor people, as well as the percent of the population who have left the Philippines to search for greener pastures.
Some of my friends have lost faith in this country. Some of them would probably leave the Philippines, some of them for good. Most of them, if not all, believe that this country has a bleak future, even with the small hope given by the elections.
Many think that the election is the key to social reform, that their taking part will mean something to the history to be told. Many, still, are disillusioned, that whoever they vote for, anyway, would not make a difference in their dismal lives in the country. Better to just leave—this is the common thinking among youth.
I tell my friends that the electoral process is only one part of social reform, that it is not the only way where we can change the governance and the government. They can take part in their own ways in forging new paths for this country.
Our generation is a generation of Edsa babies—youth who were born at the time when democracy is the song of the nation. For many of this generation, this was the first or second time to vote. Many who were disillusioned decided not to. But still, many laid down their hopes for this country’s future. I also lay down the hope that the votes of the children of democracy will be guarded like life. For if these hopes that were cast will be destroyed, it would be no surprise that the remaining spark in the youth for this nation’s future will die out quicker than jets that fly away from this country.