Today, we commemorate the climax of the four momentous days in February 1986 when millions of Filipinos, along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue in Metro Manila, and in cities all over the country, showed exemplary courage, stood against, and peacefully overthrew the dictatorial and plundering regime of Ferdinand E. Marcos.
During that time, the People Power revolution was an extraordinary show of courage and unity against a totalitarian rule that had, time and again, established that it would readily use brute force against any and all dissenters. The four-day demonstration along EDSA was the culmination of a series of public protests that was the manifestation of the discontent of the Filipino people who had gathered the steely resolve to peacefully face off armored tanks with nothing but linked arms, prayers, and song.
In the end, that was also the beginning of a new era. Filipinos won their freedom peacefully, forcing the dictator Marcos to flee the country that he had ruled with an iron fist for 21 years.
Filipinos celebrate the People Power Revolution today under different circumstances, as the nation flounders under the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic that has held millions of Filipinos prisoners, figuratively and literally, for almost a year now.
As we reflect on today’s holiday, let us look to this glorious day in our history for inspiration and remember that time when Filipinos beat the odds by peacefully uniting, determined to defeat a common foe. If we can oust a dictator in 1986, surely each of us has what it takes to do our share in defeating the Covid-19 pandemic that has, so far, stymied our seemingly clueless government officials.
Today, we are facing neither a dictator nor armored tanks, but a highly infectious disease that threatens the health and livelihood of millions of Filipinos. One year into this pandemic, most of us can say we have tried almost everything within our power. At this point, there is nothing to lose if we draw inspiration from the spirit of the People Power Revolution as we prepare our families and ourselves to come together one more time and resolve what we must do so that our nation can finally declare victory over the threat of Covid-19 that has made life miserable for Filipinos for more than a year now.*