Feature: EDSA I - history worth remembering, spirit worth perpetrating
Tacloban City (February 23) -- As President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, joined in by one of the leading figures in the EDSA revolution, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., and Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, together with the members of the Diplomatic Corps and the Armed Forces of the Philippines hierarchy, led the kick-off activity for the 23rd Anniversary of EDSA People Power, a lesson in Philippine history comes to mind - the value of patriotism and unity as a Filipino nation, traits that are much needed in this time when the country is bracing for the effects of the global economic crisis.
President Arroyo urged the Filipinos to look back at the four glorious days of EDSA 1 "not to relieve them, for history must move on, but to recall their lessons and refresh our spirit as a people against the new challenges of today."
"We must prevent the world crisis from becoming a Philippine crisis, and protect those most hurt by the global downturn," the President said.
Saying that "our political stability today is one of the reasons why we have escaped thus far the worst effects of the global recession," President Arroyo said that while the world embraced EDSA 1 in 1986, and tolerated EDSA 2 in 2001, it "will not forgive an EDSA 3 but would instead condemn the Philippines as a country whose political system is hopelessly unstable."
Indeed, the February 22 to 25, 1986 EDSA Revolution which restored democratic institutions and ushered meaningful political, social and economic reforms in the country, will forever serve as a national inspiration as the Filipino people chart their course as a nation and as a people.
Truly, the Filipino people gained the respect and admiration of the whole world with the feats of valor and demonstration of people's solidarity in transforming society during the four-day bloodless uprising.
February 23 to 25, 1986 should forever remind the Filipino people of the importance of unity and national teamwork in achieving the economic and political goals of the country.
President Arroyo's signing, two years ago in 2007, of Proclamation No. 1224 declaring February 22 to 25 every year as "EDSA People Power Commemoration Week" in order to perpetuate and propagate the spirit of the historic 1986 event, was very timely as it came at a time when the Philippines was actually making history achieving rosy economic growth and breaking from the bondage of deteriorating and economic and political systems.
As President Arroyo led the country in the opening activity for the EDSA People Power Commemoration Week yesterday, one couldn't help but wish that the spirit of EDSA 1, that the value of patriotism and unity would touch the hearts of the Filipino people, so that with hearts burning with love of country and fervent faith in God, the looming perils of the global economic crunch, the Filipino people shall overcome. (PIA 8) [top]