Is the 1986 EDSA revolution still relevant today?

It’s hard to imagine why there are Filipinos who still feel the need to celebrate the anniversary of the first EDSA or People Power revolution held in 1986. As I keep saying every year, not much has changed since former President Ferdinand Marcos left the building.

I was not there and I am glad I wasn’t because I do not share any of the nostalgia that seems to hold some people back from moving forward. I mean, it’s one thing to celebrate it but it’s another for Aquino propagandists to keep making it look like the family owns the copyright to the concept of street revolutions. When are we ever going to see the end of yellow paraphernalia when the EDSA revolution is celebrated? Enough is enough. The yellow color has become divisive to our society. Not everyone subscribes to the Liberal Party’s political views.

We cannot continue to pretend that it was Cory Aquino who was the only person instrumental to toppling what everyone keeps referring to as a dictator. Former President Fidel Ramos was actually quoted saying that “The spirit of the 1986 People Power Revolution belongs to the people, and politicians, political groups and religious personalities should not use it for their own interest.” So it seems even he is fed up with the way the Aquinos and their minions keep bragging — as if EDSA was their own exclusive victory.

The records show that former President, Corazon “Cory” Aquino wasn’t even out on the streets with the people and did not participate in the three-day rally at all. It’s a real mystery how she turned into the “people power” icon. The people who participated should give themselves more credit for the success of this so-called revolution. Likewise, they should also take the blame for putting in power a housewife who some say was just a front for an oligarchy that continues to benefit from the 1987 Philippine constitution. We all know them. They are the ones that apply a singular focus on protecting the interests of their stakeholders in the Philippines.

When you look at the gathering of what was said to number over two million Filipinos, you will realize that it was just like any other rally that preceded it except it was bigger. It was nothing more than a mob. Whether the first EDSA revolution was justified or not, the fact remains, the people who participated in toppling Marcos threw the rulebook out the window. And some of the participants there got addicted to the short-term gain from such impulsive behaviors.

As I keep saying in the past, there are grave consequences when using shortcuts. It’s no different to considering defying the law as an option for getting something done quickly. Most people have not realized it yet but removing an elected leader unconstitutionally the first time already set a dangerous precedent. It gave people excuse or reason to justify doing it again and again. Following “revolutions” that removed Marcos then Erap, rumors now abound of PNoy, his minions and other elements taking advantage of the situation and gearing up for another revolt — this time against the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Renato Corona.

I say good luck to PNoy in his plan to incite the gullible crowd into hitting the streets to demand for the resignation of the Chief Justice. It would be interesting to see how he can manage to muster enough people to follow his lead. Not even his Number One mouthpiece, Conrado de Quiros, writing in what some people refer to as the “yellow pages” of the can convince us that “occupying the Supreme Court” is the ultimate solution to the ongoing constitutional crisis — well, maybe except for a handful of Aquino fanatics. But more and more people are getting disillusioned with the way the current government is meddling with the impeachment process of Chief Justice Corona.

Ironically PNoy, the son of the “people power” icon, is to blame for tainting the memory of the EDSA revolution. Prior to his win in the presidential election in 2010, some people were getting tired of the same old story of how his parents, Ninoy and Cory, made huge sacrifices for the country. Some were already questioning why they should remain beholden to them. Alas, PNoy’s lackluster performance in office and his vindictiveness towards his political enemies put an end to whatever indebtedness some old folks still felt towards the Aquinos. PNoy’s arrogance pushed a lot of people over the edge and erased whatever moral obligation or kindness that kept them from being critical. Some even regret ever participating in EDSA.

Twenty-six years after toppling “the dictator”, the incumbent PNoy is even being hailed as worse than Marcos thanks to his penchant for strong-arming his allies. I can agree with this because PNoy pretends to be fighting corruption but appears to be committing the same offenses with allegations of coddling incompetence among his staff and his habit of applying double standards to his appointed friends in government already well-known. Worse, a lot of Filipinos who look back at the memories of EDSA can’t help but wonder if the Philippines would have been better off if Marcos had stayed on. Some can’t help compare PNoy’s very unstatesmanlike manner to that of Senator Bongbong Marcos who appears to be a more skillful and respected impartial politician. The only son of former President Marcos recently wrote about his thoughts on the anniversary of EDSA revolution:

As for what took place in February of 1986, 26 years ago to this month, again, I am in no position to pass judgment that would be seen as impartial simply because of my obvious personal involvement.

Most of what we hear now from all sides are still within the ambit of propaganda.

But I certainly am concerned with the state of our country today, more than a quarter of a century since the experience of EDSA 1, as it has come to be known.

I have chosen not to indulge in the “blame game” and rather, invest my energy in helping move this country forward.

But if comparisons are to be made, and if there is a need to evaluate the road taken since then and what has resulted from it, it’s not difficult to arrive at answers, provided we ask the right questions.

Has poverty been alleviated? Is the wealth of the country more equitably distributed? Do we have more jobs available at home? Has there been a rise in the quality of our education? Are we self-sufficient in our daily food requirements? Is there less hunger? Crime? Insurgency? Corruption? Basic services? Health?

The same questions can be asked of other countries, our neighboring countries specifically, and see whether we can answer the same way they would.

China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia can all point to the progress they have made these last 26 years but unfortunately, for the majority of our people, nothing much has changed and today, and just this morning, a survey placed our unemployment rate at 24% or close to 10 million unemployed adults.

The country’s economic performance last year sunk to a dismal 3.7% growth.

The problems we face remain daunting and there is still that need for Filipinos to unite and face these challenges as one nation, with a singular aim and direction, with a leadership that is willing to make sacrifices and capable of harnessing the talents of our people.

We have seen what our neighbors have been able to achieve in the last 26 years. There is no reason why we cannot at least match their achievements if not do better.

We need to change the politics of this country.

Whether you subscribe to Senator Marcos’s politics or not, you have to agree, the politics of this country needs to change. But it looks like we need to either wait for PNoy to change and adopt this mindset, or wait for the next election. Let’s just hope that those who harbor strong inclinations towards taking shortcuts can hold on for another four years. Otherwise, people might have to celebrate the EDSA revolution with a new date if, yet again, PNoy gets booted out by mob rule.


Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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136 Comments on "Is the 1986 EDSA revolution still relevant today?"

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cool ass

I was just in grade one at that time…and i cannot forget what our teacher said “masuwerte kayong mga kabataan ngayon kasi wala na si Marcos, mas maganda ang magiging future nyo”…
I wonder where that “suwerte” is now…


Another great article Ms. Ilda. I’m sick and tired of this people power crap. Nothing has changed because it just made it worst. When oh when will the pinoys realize that they’re celebrating a nonsense anniversary that they actually don’t have any freedom at all? And them praising cory and pnoy, who done nothing to improve this country at all but only for themselves, is like praising their “great” leader in north korea while they’re suffering from famine.

Robert F. Garcia

Ilda, for one who was not at EDSA 1 event you have quite an admirable insight and analysis of the results of that so-called people power. Yes, for our generation who are now senior citizens those were nostalgic times. However, so much deception has been made by the yellows such that they managed by propaganda to make of any good from that event attributed to the aquino clan. They had nothing to do with EDSA 1 I assure you. the real heroes are the people and Enrile and Honasan.

cool ass

pls join my group in Facebook as we strive to CHANGE FOR GOOD


I’m pretty much sure that many participants of the fraudulent “EDSA Revolution of 1986” were gullible enough to believe that Marcos is the “bad guy” and probably didn’t know what they’re doing and just hopped in the bandwagon.

Good read, good read. 🙂

Totoro Kujo

That celebration is becoming tooo mainstream.

BAD GUYS win in the end? Only in the Philippines.

Cory was aided by the rampaging yellow mob. Right beside her are the theocratic support of people led by a religious group who are into priestcraft who claimed to be authorized by a supernatural being for moral support. Completing the cast are the old resurrected oligarchy. Together, they pillaged and plundered the country anew by tweaking our constitution (read, hacienda luisita) and return for free major industries that has monopoly on power generation and media, created the PCGG to legalize thievery to a favored few whose mandate was to milk the business establishment of suspected cronies.It never was for the… Read more »
I was still in grade 2 for the first EDSA. for much of my youth, I believed that marcos was the reason why the country was in a bad situation. but now, looking back, I can’t help but compare the situation today when I am an adult and the situation then when I was a kid. it seems people were better off then than now. education and a lot of basic services are surely lacking now. so, I agree with bongbong marcos’ observation. also, can’t help but be impressed with bongbong in the impeachment, he seems to be a really… Read more »
I don’t quite agree with the tagging of the commemoration of the Edsa Revolution as just being nostalgic or a propaganda tool used by the less scrupulous people in government. Though there are people who remember it as being just nostalgic and there are people who abuse the memory of it, the main purpose was to defend a group of people who symbolized / represented the opposition at that time. Everyone knew that deadly force would be used against the opposition and so the people took to the streets to try and prevent that from happening through peaceful means. The… Read more »

If we lived during those days, writers as critical as yourself would have been one of the first ones dumped in jail to say the least.


tama na, sobra na, O.A. na!

also, the L sign should rightfully be flashed on the forehead.

Der Fuhrer
Yes… I was a part of the one and only EDSA revolution. I entered Camp Aguinaldo on an early Sunday morning. The gate at the Bonny Serrano side was closed. I had to climb through the sentry embrasure. I reported for duty as a volunteer reservist at the Department of National Defense building. There were other reservists there and we were assigned to the food brigade. The task was to feed the troops and the support civilian elements. Why did I go? Because of principle. It was a matter of honor for flag, country and people. I was unarmed and… Read more »
Joe America

I enjoyed the article. Nice quotes from Mr. Marcos. But it’s not the politics that needs to change. It’s the character. And the ever-present question about change is “how?” That’s where people seem to draw a blank, or get into an argument. In truth, no one has any idea.


History of EDSA. People fought a dictator. Won

EDSA leaders did not protect the economy. Failed

EDSA is now being ABUSED by scrupulous influential families whose businesses once feared the clout of a dictator.

EDSA now after 26 years did more harm because only one president stood up and save our economy BUT then later on jailed.

Who will save the majority of unknowing public from the abusive yellow HEIRS who is now using EDSA principle for their selfish endeavor?

Hacienda Luisita will always haunt the nation of what EDSA really is.For real.

Der Fuhrer
For one shining moment in Philippine history there was unity of purpose and action. I saw no selfishness there. Total strangers were helping each other. Food was pouring in from all points of the compass. Even the criminals were inactive. There were no reports of thievery or robbery in the area. The national character is still intact as far as i am concerned. The spirit of bayanihan lives in us. Is our character damaged by all the evil examples of our present dictator? The answer is a resounding no! It is said that the people rise to the occasion in… Read more »
as a martial law baby i’ve lived through the “dark ages” and the euphoria of the “new age of democracy”…and i have learned that the only constant thing there is in this country: the oligarchs. HIS oligarchs, HER oligarchs, closet oligarchs(aka parylist reps), pseudo oligarchs and those oligarchs for all season. then there are the wannabe oligarchs…that’s us who don’t belong to any of the aforementioned. sigh. i wanna be BS’ friend so i can help save the government money by being “incognito” in macau. thank god i do not see the world through yellow-tinted lenses. i agree with what… Read more »

thats it! a country’s claim to fame – one failed revolution from a generation ago that now is a marketing campaign.


…anong klaseng pagbabago, saan, kelan, kanino?

-Sayaw Sa Bubog

Der Fuhrer

Hacia abajo con tirania! Viva democracia! Viva libertad!

Well, I was born way past EDSA but I grew up in the notion that Ninoy and Cory were the good guys and the Marcoses were the bad guys. I first met Ninoy as a 500 golden yellow bill, and I always wondered why he was that look on his face. As I grew up, whenever there are the Aquinos, there were the Marcoses. Both families were almost always pitted against each other, like two families of Montagues and Capulets. Perhaps, yes, we might thank EDSA for bringing up the democracy that was suppressed that day. Many people were happy… Read more »