By Erl Myca Lozada and Grant Ian Salavaria of Plumeria, the official student publication of La Consolacion College Bacolod Senior High School
More often than not, without wealth nor fame, we are portrayed with powerlessness. However, from the very start, the hierarchy which comes before us does not defy the power we truly have.
We are the ones who gave power to the authorities. The government is in no position to belittle its citizens, and the citizens should not, in any way, be petrified of the government, as long as there is justice and fairness in their call.
Today, February 25, marks the 35th anniversary of the People Power Revolution. As stated in the official journal of the Republic of the Philippines Official Gazette, “During those momentous four days of February 1986, millions of Filipinos, along Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila, and cities all over the country, showed exemplary courage and stood against, and peacefully overthrew, the dictatorial regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos.”
Filipinos, during those times, were deprived of their liberation. They were taken away from their rights to speak and defend themselves. Marcos’s ideology of “constitutional authoritarianism” breaks the quintessence of why people in the first place decided to vest power on his hands. He unjustifiably used what was endowed to him through the establishment of the Martial Law. Marcos instigated the suspension of civil law and exercised the power with the military.
The one-man rule was deemed powerful but was not commanding enough to keep millions of Filipinos in place and just watch the innocent be walloped. It was only the beginning of a meandering long battle towards democracy.
“Two heads are better than one.” The statement sums up the prospection of the protest that destroyed the 14-year tyranny once and for all. Millions gathered for the 1986 People Power Revolution – the pinnacle of what people had been insisting on throughout the years of slavery and dictatorship. It was the time to take away the power from one person and prove that conflicts are not solved with weapons but civility.
Back then, people were afraid for the reason of wrestling alone – the notion that one cannot take down an army hindered their desire to fight back. In the end, they were still able to do so… but together.
With the revolutionary might, Marcos was forced to step down from the position. Since then, People Power marked the historical beginning of democracy for the country. Freedom was returned to all Filipinos – the freedom we deserve.
Now that we are already on the drive to democracy, our time has come to further broaden the roads of freedom and dignity. We are called to be responsible constituents of the country.
Thus, we all have the right to speak and defend what we think is right. Ranks and opulence are only words with pseudo-exclusivity. We should not be put on hold by the very power we gave to the higher authority. They were meant to serve, not underestimate us.
What makes us powerful is unity. One person cannot make a huge difference, but he can move a group of people to do much bigger things.
Unity is our true valor, and we are the power.*
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