Remembering EDSA

February 26, 2018
Mrs. Janina Ann Sanchez- Ines

A growing number of students who tend to forget what EDSA People Power Revolution is to us as Filipinos has been a concern for the Ateneo. 
To address this, the Araling Panlipunan Department invited Vice President Leni Robredo to share her experience and insights on EDSA People Power.
According to Subject Area Coordinator for Araling Panlipunan, Mrs. Teresa Ibarrientos, every year they do a conscious effort to teach the boys what they have gained from EDSA and why people sacrificed their lives so we could experience democracy.

Ateneo Grade School Headmaster, Mr. Jose Salvador agrees, quoting novelist George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” He also believes that a good sense of history assures us that the next generation of students/ Filipinos will take us to the right path.

In the program held at the Irwin Theater last February 14 entitled, EDSA @ 32, the Vice President shared that she used to not care about what is happening around her.  She was a province girl from Naga who went to Manila to study college and that the only concern she had during Martial Law was that she had a curfew.
Speaking to an audience of more than a thousand boys from Grades 5 and 6, she says that she used to believe in everything she hears or see in the media.   
It was not until Senator Ninoy Aquino’s death however which opened her eyes to the abuses and the lies of the Marcos regime. 
She started becoming more critical of what she reads and found out that as early as 1972, Fake News or alternative facts were already rampant.
She mentioned some instances where truths were fabricated like Marcos being awarded the Medal of Valor by the US government or how the economy was booming during Marcos’ time but data proves otherwise.

“Ang Fake News ay sinisira ang kaalman natin kung ano ang totoo at ano ang hindi”, she said.
Information from the radio, TV and print were being controlled to favor Marcos and freedom of speech was being suppressed.  Any form of dissent towards the government will either put you in jail, torture, death or sometimes, families may never see or hear from you again.
Becoming more aware of what’s happening around her, she together with her fellow students then joined the Filipinos who marched to EDSA on February 25, 1986.
“Very celebratory ang pakiramdam.  One side namin takot na puwede kami sugurin ng mga tangke, pero celebratory siya dahil hindi na kami takot – marami pala tayo natatakot noon pero ngayon sabay-sabay na lumalaban.”
32 years later, the Vice President says that we should never forget EDSA and the lives lost to tell us the truth and give us the freedom we enjoy now.
University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ said we need to be wary of repeating our mistakes in the past as these are happening again.

He added that these are strange times of post truths – where emotion and personal beliefs prevail over logic and reason.  These post truths are shaping public opinion and public policy. 
He believes that we should remember that Filipinos are beautiful people, those who were in EDSA 32 years ago, until today. 
“We need to remember this especially these days that we are told that there Is so much badness, so much darkness and evil in us that we need violence, we need force and force to make us beautiful again – we need to remember EDSA.”