This post is made for Blog Action Day: The Real Heroes of EDSA in commemoration of the bloodless revolution by the people 24 years ago that toppled the brutal Marcos dictatorship.
I couldn't think of a befitting for my post for today's Blog Action Day but the one you can see above. Why? Because people close to me who had been around on that fateful day evaded my answers but I saw something in their eyes which cannot lie: they had never forgotten.
As far as I remember, I've been asking quite a lot of questions to my parents about where they are during the EDSA Revolution of 1986. If my memory serves me right, my father told me that he was still currently on duty that day as a security guard at Glenmore Shoes in Manila - that once famous shoe shop frequently visited by the stars of that time. But beyond that, he told me nothing.
Just yesterday, I've tried to ask my mother again where was she during those time. She just told me that she was in Navotas, their home then after they have left and returned here in Bulacan. Just like my father, no more stories after that.
Of course, I have to believe them they're telling the truth since they're my parents. But beyond that, I knew that from their answers I could squeeze out something.
They were not present in EDSA then but they are one with the millions of Filipinos desiring for freedom and democracy.
Blame it on what they call 'Freudian slip', in some of our small talks they mentioned to me that they were once joining in the rallies of that time.
I believe my father joined several rallies before the Martial Law had been imposed and my mother mentioned to me joining in a strike of teachers then. (She was then a member of progressive teachers group)
But that was it. After that they would tell me of stories like their leaders would usually be the first one to run away if things get awry. My father told a story wherein they were left to fend off for themselves when the police started to disperse the rally. My mother told a story wherein after the strike, several teachers were suspended. That discouraged them from joining any more strikes.
That's why they had been discouraging us (including my sister) from joining such groups and rallies. They told us that 'we are just being used by rich individuals promoting their interests and that they are exploiting our idealism and radical views to advance their selfish cause.'
An activist in UP told me that probably the one who lead the demonstration then and the rich people that my father was talking about were some sort of a leaders that the so-called 'rejectionists' have in their fold.
But with the little that I knew about what my parents did during that period cemented my belief that we are indeed a 'nationalistic' family.
My parents are trying hard to bury the past. I somehow have a hint that they were once 'activists'. But they know that it can't be hidden because right now, the one who's typing this post is a by-product of their nationalistic sentiments and ideals - and he's willing to continue the fight.
I can't blame them. They could have not been better informed and educated by the importance of the cause that they were fighting for. Despite that, I knew deep in their hearts that they still long to see a Philippines truly free.
EDSA is not only about the people who went there and the hard-liners who believe that it brought about 'long-lasting' changes in our society and believes that two is enough.
EDSA is not only about the 'miracle' that happened during that four day drama on the streets.
EDSA is not only about Cory Aquino, Cardinal Sin, Juan Ponce Enrile, Butz Aquino and other figures of that period.
EDSA is also about the pessimistic Filipino people who had not been there, and felt betrayed by the cause.
EDSA is also about those who discredits what happened then and tells everyone else that nothing has really changed since then and nothing would really change even if we go out again to the streets.
EDSA is also about our parents who persuade us from joining these progressive movements and mass actions.
Because no matter how hard they try to convince us that EDSA meant nothing and all is not worth fighting for, they themselves still believe that someone has to take up the unfinished cause and go on with the struggle.
They tried hard to bury all the memories of the past, hide the struggles that they partake, but they have failed. Little did they know that they were planting the very seeds of the fruit of what they had done in the past, making themselves the true heroes of EDSA who lives up to its spirit.