History and Culture
Remembering People Power, The Hope In These Filipino Youths Live On
Gari Sy Rivera | Feb 24, 2020
“The EDSA Rev may have passed, but it doesn’t stop there. We see what is wrong and what should not be tolerated, so it’s up to us to prevent anything from happening again.”
“The monument is a symbol of Filipinos, no matter what age, class or gender, and their unity against the tyranny. These people disregarded their safety in the light of Martial Law and simply led a peaceful revolution. It showed their freedom from this plight. Seeing the monument, I am reminded of the strong will and resiliency of the Filipino people. The Filipino people still fought for what they believed in, and for their rights to the country as well.”
“We take from our history and we learn from it. The Edsa Revolution has given me the chance to exert my freedom, to express myself and what I stand for and believe in. It made me realize that I had a voice and the freedom to say what I have to say; na may ipaglalaban ako, at ‘yun yung bansa ko.” (“I have something to fight for, and that’s my country.”)
“There will never be a country that will unaffecting affairs on its people, but we, as the people, can strive to improve, to prepare and to be a better country for the future. We may not have been there, but we embody and fight for the souls who weren't able to fight.” - Dom, 21
“When I took a look at the monument, I thought, one can probably think of a thing or two to what it could represent. People standing their ground with their elbows locked meant together, they can fight for something they yearn for. Someone holding up an idol represents something worth praying for, and the the person extending his arms, for me, means peace and freedom.”
“People decided to take matters in their own hands and fought for freedom. It has reminded me to always fight for what is right, that we must remember to never let such a dark age to occur again.”
“There's a saying by Jose Rizal, "kabataan ang pag asa ng bayan", and therefore, we must act towards having a better future. Just like how people fought for what was right back then, I hope we do too as well.” (“The youth is the hope of our nation”) - Dave, 22
“I seldomly pass by the monument through commute, it became a sort of checkpoint as to how far I am from my destination when I do. Recently, however, I had the chance to observe it up close and see how symbolic and important it is for us as a part of our history. Who would’ve thought the same road I'm traversing was the same place history was made? I see the individuals on the monument who went through their own kinds of suffering, yet share the same tenacity for justice; Filipinos who became one through individual pains. It made me realize that we can come together no matter our identification, as long as we strive for what is good.”
“I believe the story of the PPR affected the younger generations both positively and negatively. Since I was exposed to documentations of Martial Law survivors sharing their story to the younger generation, I believe that at least, through them, they were enlightened to the truth of the revolution. Yet, of course, there will be those who believe the other side of the story. It is up to us to share the truth to those who do not.”
“From the videos I've watched and the stories I've read, though I wasn't born yet during that time, I could feel the pain and suffering of those who were part of the revolution. It made me realize that we don't have to experience an event to understand it. Its not much, but I would always remember the stories that have been shared in my mind and heart. As long as I'm alive, the stories of those who fought for us are alive as well.” - Carissa, 21
“I associate the word “Puso” (“heart”) with the People Power Revolution, we always say and use that word because of our fighting spirit. That no matter what the challenge is, we always give our best. All of the people that were in EDSA in 1986 showed “Puso” as they fought for our country, for peace and democracy. They didn’t care what could’ve happened, they just knew that they needed to stand up."
“We should continue to be inspired by what happened at the PPR, to use it as an example of how the Filipinos are strong and faithful. I am very hopeful of the future of our country. A lot of Filipinos are very talented and passionate to change or improve not just the government, but the country itself.”
“I’m reminded of how grateful I am for the all of the people that was there back in 1986. This monument is for them, so that we could commemorate what they did for our country.” - Lance, 21
“It was the nation at work, where there were no individualities, but pure unity of a country. I really am reminded of how much more we can do as a country. How we can achieve much greater things as a nation. The power was never to any person sitting on some chair, the power is and will always be to the people.”
“The People Power Revolution gave me a somewhat better view of our nation, and it is very beautiful. There really are a lot of unimaginable things that a country could do when in unity. Up to this day, I am still trying to imagine the what-ifs with this tiny finite mind. I only hope that every people of our nation would keep choosing the right choices and that we keep living as a united country, without any form or division or disputes. And of course, I hope all the best for our country.”
“The story of People Power should not just be in the books, it should be in every Filipino’s heart. It does not happen often, but I’d share what I know and how it affected me to people who ask about it, namely my own niece.” - James, 20
“The monument here gives the representation that no matter if we’re rich or poor, we can all unite and stand against anything, which displays our own Filipino trait- bayanihan.”
“People Power made me believe that Filipinos can unite and make a better Philippines for the new generations.”
“The story of the Edsa Revolution might have had an impact on past generations, but those of the late gen-z to gen-alpha might not be or feel as affected. The younger generation must still be informed about it because as we know, history repeats itself. People Power could happen again, it might not be in the same place, time, or event, but in another circumstance, perhaps.” - Djared, 21
“The People Power Revolution showed the true power of democracy where the people displayed unity without tolerating violence. The People Power Revolution is more than a story. It’s the identity of who the Filipinos are. Ang Pilipino ay ang mga taong nadadaanan tuwing byahe pauwi, habang naglalakad sa mga kalye, mga nakakasalubong sa daan. Kita sa monumento na iba-iba ang lakad sa buhay ng mga tao ngunit iisa lamang ang sigaw ng puso noong rebolusyon- kalayaan. Ang Pilipino ay “tayo”. This is what the monument represents for me. That we are one.” (The Filipinos are the people those we pass by going home, walking on the streets, those we encounter. The monument shows those of different walks of life whose hearts all shout the same thing during the revolution- freedom. The Filipinos are us.”) The monument is not just a ‘trophy’ for having achieved a peaceful revolution, but a reminder that we don’t have to tolerate what’s not good for us, and we have the power to stand up for what’s truly ours.
“There are those who have heard of the People Power Revolution, but since they did not experience it personally, they don’t bother themselves about it. Pero meron din namang mga kabataan ngayon na kahit mas payapa ang buhay ngayon kumpara sa mga pinagdaaanan ng ating mga nakatatanda, patuloy nilang pinapaalala ang mga pangyayari noon sa PPR. (“But there are youths who continue to remember the events of PPR even if their lives are at ease compared to those then.”) May it be through theater, music, art, photography, short films. There are still those who carry the emotions from PPR in their own way. May iilang inaalay ang kanilang buhay sa pagiging abogado para ipagtanggol ang mga wrongly-accused. Iba naman ay nasa larangan ng politika para maitayo ng tuwid ang ating pamahalaan. Ang iba ay nasa media para maghatid ng katotohonan o inspirasyon- lahat ng kabataan ay may iba’t ibang pamamaraan sa pakikipaglaban upang hindi na maulit ang nangyari noon.” (“There are some who dedicate their lives as lawyers to defend the wrongly-accused. Some enter the field of politics to build a strong government. Some are in the media to deliver truth and inspiration- the youths have their own way in fighting and preventing what’s happened before.”)
“I learned to become warier and more critical in thinking when it comes to what I should believe in. In real life, I meet younger people who have no idea of what happened and talk about it lightly, I gently tell them the truth. I guess I took it upon myself to help my fellow youth understand what really happened in the past. I think me and my generation, and the generations to come, should do better. Do our research thoroughly and share this with others. Every decision we make doesn’t have to be dedicated solely because “bitter” tayo, pero because we know what’s best for our future and our country. Don’t think na burden ‘to. It’s a duty we share as Filipinos. This is not being “unable to move on” from the past. This is learning and moving on in itself.” - Yula, 21
Photos by author
“Knowing the history of EDSA Revolution is important to every generation in the present, and for those to come,” expresses senior college student Yula Ferma, “because there, we could see that we, the Filipino people, have the power to stand for what’s ours.”
“The EDSA Revolution may have passed, but it doesn’t stop there.”
Built on the corner of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, commonly called EDSA, and White Plains Avenue in Barangay Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City is the People Power Monument. This landmark commemorates the People Power Revolution of 1986, also known as the non-violent EDSA Revolution by the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who called for restoration of democracy. Since the events and end of a trying era for the Philippines then, Filipinos have not forgot about the value of truth, justice, peace and togetherness in one’s nation, including those who were born long after the Edsa Revolution.
Passersby, youth individuals here at the very monument share their knowledge, lessons and perspectives grown out of the stories they’ve learned of the peaceful protest and the distressing events that inspired it. Though the People Power Revolution is long gone and young adults today weren’t present during its times, there’s still a number in this very generation who are encouraged to express the importance of the nation’s strength, unity, and freedom today.
“This is our present now. It's our turn to shape the future we want for ourselves and the next generations to come. It’s up to us to do better. No one else is gonna fight for our future but us.”
Browse through the gallery above for more insights of a few inspiring young Filipinos, and their hope for the nation’s tomorrow.