Sunday, March 06, 2005

Memories of EDSA


I've both cold and warm feelings remembering the first EDSA revolt in '86. Warm because I was a six-year old kid in kindergarten who was only too glad school was out, and my parents stayed home on a couple of weekdays for a change. Cold because there was nothing on TV, there were terrifying aircraft zooming overhead every so often and old folks were talking about "Marcos" and "Cory" and people getting killed in either hushed tones or lively banter. The radio was on until that was cut short too. And there was nothing to do but play with my brother and a gaggle of other school kids who were on vacation as well.

There was a rumor that spread among us that "Cory" actually lived only a few blocks away. It became a little adventure as we all trooped to "her house" and tried to catch a glimpse of her yellow outfit, her glasses and short curly hair. I wanted to see Cory so badly and maybe to even speak with her and ask her what the fuss was all about.


I'd always thought I'd wanted to be a lawyer. Why? Because everyone seems to think it’s a blast to be one. It pays relatively well, and carrying the title "Atty." before your name is carrying a talisman to ward off evil, misfortune and over-all unhappiness.

But the Moro-moro of the Erap impeachment trials single-handedly destroyed any left-over respect for the professional guardians of the sanctity of law. There is no such thing as “sacred” in this country in the first place, because respect for written rules is virtually non-existent, and what is customary is arbitrarily changed depending on the whims of the powers-that-be.

And so the plot unfolded with its heroes and villains and the politics of play. The masses were entertained, the middle-class exasperated and the elite determined to survive any changes in the power configuration. And I? I was equally entertained, exasperated and determined. Determined to exercise my political right to march the length of that historic avenue and howl at the fugly bronze statue at the shrine.

I marched aplenty during those days. I’d never walked so many kilometers in my life. To oust a perceived villainy, to kill that fat bastard of a penguin, I walked with friends and sat waiting amongst strangers. It felt absolutely marvelous, doing my civic duty. And that historic Friday, the 21st of January, it felt good to be drenched in confetti.

Looking back, I miss that old self where black never bled into white.

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