Self-centered. Apathetic. Disillusioned. These are but a few of the words that Filipinos use to describe today’s young people. Self-centered because of the constant updates and selfies they say we post on social media sites. Apathetic because, as they see us fill our feeds with the same types of posts, they say we neglect talking about the bigger problems around us. Disillusioned because, despite all the education we got or are still getting, they say we remain oblivious to the truth.
These are all labels that aim to put us in a box. As John Bender put it in the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club, “You see us as you want to see us—in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.” It’s always wise for everyone, for people across all age groups, to be discerning when it comes to broadly defining whole generations with a few words, without asking for explanation.
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These myths, however, persist because there’s smoke from a fire we still have not put out. And one of the main reasons these myths spread is because many of us have yet to take all resources available today—advanced technology, our education, our freedom—to prove that we are more than what we put on our social media profiles.
Not all of us are slaves to our mobile lives, fortunately.
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During the 31st anniversary of the People Power Revolution, #EDSA31, young people were among those who marched with the clergy, government officials, and private groups to commemorate the bloodless revolution of 1986. Many of us, however, still don’t know much about this historic moment. So we gathered some facts young people need to know about #EDSA31.
When did the EDSA People Power Revolution happen?
The EDSA revolution marked a turning point in Philippine history.
It has been exactly 31 years or three decades since the bloodless revolution took place on February 22–25, 1986, which led to the ouster of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.
“TIMELINE: EDSA People Power Revolution,” ABS-CBN News
Who were the key figures behind the revolution?
Former President Fidel Ramos attended the 31st EDSA Revolution anniversary.
True to its name, the revolution wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the people. By February 24, the day after the coup was announced to topple the Marcos rule, Angela Stuart-Santiago’s "Chronology of a Revolution" noted this: “People power was still at its greatest - in power and intensity - as more than two million people converged on the Cubao area to Greenhills and the vicinity of Ortigas to Antipolo to protect Enrile, Ramos, and other officials.”
The other key players were the ones who spearheaded the coup, as follows: Then defense minister for Marcos, Juan Ponce Enrile; Enrile’s chief of security, Colonel Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan; and his PMA classmates Col. Eduardo Kapunan and Col. Victor Batac.
Equally important were the contributions of others on the junta: “Opposition candidate Corazon Aquino, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Fidel Ramos, Cardinal Jaime Sin, and several leading technocrats like Marcos's Prime Minister Cesar Virata.”
"Chronology of a Revolution," Angela Stuart-Santiago
What happened after the revolution?
The late President Corazon Aquino assumed power on February 27, 1986.
To say that the Philippines was in such a mess would be an understatement. The Martial Law Era had left the Filipino people with many wounds. On February 26, Ferdinand Marcos and his party fled to Guam and Hawaii. On the following day, President Corazon Aquino assumed power. Her initial reforms are as follows:
- 517 political detainees, including Jose Ma. Sison, former Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and Bernabe "Ka Dante" Buscayno, former Supremo of the CPP armed group, the New People's Army (NPA), were released.
- The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) was created to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
- The Presidential Commission on Human Rights (PCHR) was created to investigate human rights violations.
- The Freedom Constituion was promulgated; the 1973 Constitution, repealed; and the Batasang Pambansa, abolished.
“In the Face of Crisis,” Office of the President
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Photographs from Chiara Zambrano's Twitter account, and ABS-CBN News