A message to Filipinos who plan to celebrate the EDSA People Power ‘revolution’ anniversary

I find them funny, these articles, blogs, and Facebook posts that together mount a futile effort to trumpet the dubious “achievements” of Yellow-branded “democracy” over the last 30 years. Authors of these hilarious articles make the whole circus sound colourful and peachy only because they apply a low bar as a baseline for measuring “progress”. All they really do is further highlight Filipinos’ renowned pwede-na-yan (that’ll do) mentality.

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Some of them are downright misleading. Purchasing power supposedly increased since then because prices were crushed by the “reforms” following the 1986 “revolution” under the weight of a torrent of cheap imports from China and pretty much the rest of the world flooding the Philippines’ consumer market. Family incomes were propped up by millions of Filipinos working abroad at the expense of the sound upbringing of an entire generation of Filipino youth. Lower prices crushed by industry-killing imports plus incomes raised by a labour practice that erodes a society’s core social fabric equals the sick society we see today.

Freedom of speech? Of course we have lots of that. That “freedom” to speak is now used to spread inanities over a vast swath of the nation’s ill-educated (thanks to a still-decrepit public education system) electorate. Evidence of this failure of the nation’s “free-thinking” thought leaders to uplift the national discourse is on display today in the sorry lot of presidential candidates lined up before us and the half-brained celebrities populating the country’s legislature. Collectively, our presidential candidates are products of Philippine society and mirror its intellectual bankruptcy.

Sure, Metro Manila now looks like a “modern city” with a skyline that rivals other metropolises around the world. But how much of that cosmopolitan chic and trendiness do Filipinos really have access to? Not much. And even for those who “can afford” (thanks to OT hours and night differentials racked up in our famous call centres), getting there is an unnecessarily onerous challenge. Walking is virtually out of the question as you’ll need another shower after spending just 15 minutes outdoors in Manila’s toxic atmosphere. Public transport? There ain’t any — none that is modern at least. Own a shiny new Toyota Fortuner? Make sure you don some adult diapers (or dehydrate yourself to a crisp) before embarking on the 20-kilometre drive from your tony White Plains suburb to chi-chi Makati to “gimmick galore”. And bring your iPhone. You might be lucky enough to catch a decent Globe or SMART 3G or 4G signal during the three-hour ride — if you are extremely lucky, that is.

And so Filipinos are “still here”.

Yes, continuing to exist is now regarded as an “achievement”. Pwede na yan, right? So we will, yet again, troop to EDSA to celebrate the 1986 “people power revolution”. Was it, indeed, a display of people power? Perhaps. Filipinos have since exhibited a talent for physically massing themselves in the hundreds of thousands to “achieve” something that could be listed on the Guinness Book of World Records, so we must have learned something there, to be fair. But was it a revolution? It is on that question that the interesting discussion begins.

Was the supposed “transformation” of the Philippines following 1986 truly revolutionary?

Continuing to be “still here”, I guess, is something Filipinos consider to be revolutionary. To each his own standards I guess. Some people consider advancing from Third World to First World as the gold standard of revolutionary. Other people regard simply still being alive as “revolutionary”.

Perhaps we don’t deserve the gold standard in much the same way that we are happy defending our skies with FA-50 training planes while the airforces of the rest of the region menace their respective airspaces with F-16s and 4th-generation fighters.

Oh well. Existing is a quintessentially Filipino achievement. That, at least, we can assure ourselves of.

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29 Comments on “A message to Filipinos who plan to celebrate the EDSA People Power ‘revolution’ anniversary”

  1. Hindsight being 20/20, only two (2) things the EDSA changed. First, it transferred the country’s wealth and power from one oligarch to a mulitutude of oligarchs. Second, it made life in the country that much harder to live.

    When Marcos stole 1 peso from the country, he kept 20 centavos and gave the rest back to the people. Today, when all the oligarchs steal 1 peso from the country, they kept 80 centavos to distribute among themselves, and only gave 20 centavos back to the people.

      1. maria,

        I don’t believe the younger generation (including many aristocratic wannabe generation) realize what is happening to their country.

        The masses have been dumb-downed by the Chinese-controlled media and bought into a regal lifestyles of condominiums, shopping malls, factory-assembled automobiles, and designer brand itmems that were also sold by the same group of oligarchs.

        Everyone and everything about the Failippines have already been sold, adulterated, and bastardized.

        The people have no choice but to be driven out as expats or OFWs to other countries; or, worse, impoverished in their own country—where they have to resort to extreme measures (be involved in criminal activities) to survive and/or try to emulate the same aristocratic lifestyle as the oligarchs, regardless of the costs.

        It really is Hell on Earth for the people of the Failippines, where it’s “every man [or woman] for himself.”

        Aeta

        1. @Aeta,
          my country does not differ that much from PH. Most of us live in a consumer world. Consume, consume, consume. Is that a consolation or a sad conclusion? Of course, I also consume. But I still use a cell phone that is 6 years old. I dont need the latest model that is almost identical to what I already have.

          And yes my country differs with yours in other areas. But deep down inside we dont differ that much. So hopefully, its a consolation.

        2. Robert Haighton,

          Your country may have similar problems as the Failippines with material consumerism; but I’m certain you don’t have the same level of graft and corruption that we have.

          As far as similarity with our human traits, that goes without speaking. However, our undesirable traits of arrogance and selfishness are magnified tenfolds because of our lack of a single and distinct cultural identity; and, our lack of empathy for our nation and each other.

          Aeta

        3. Dear oh dear (no sarcasm involved) Aeta,

          I really must disappoint you here and now. I live in a very strong individualized-focused country. And in a country that cant be labeled with having one/single/homogeneous culture.

          Corruption is rare but does take place. The politician (at national or city level) will get caught, trialed and when proven guilty, sentenced (unless of course she/he is the politician that commits the perfect “crime”).

          What more?

          Teenage pregnancies? We have that too
          Lousy boring TV programs? Check.
          Lousy tabloids (newspapers)? Check.
          Divorce rate of 33% (you like that rate?) Check.

          But we also have the other side: quality TV programs, beautiful great TV documentaries, quality newspapers and girls/women who will wait with getting pregnant when everything is stable and almost perfect (the circumstances).

          Maybe the biggest difference(s) is that our wages are higher (in relation to the cost of living) and about 50-60% are atheist.

        4. Robert Haighton,

          You said the magic words: ” Corruption is rare but does take place. The politician (at national or city level) will get caught, trialed and when proven guilty, sentenced (unless of course she/he is the politician that commits the perfect “crime”).”

          Everything else you’ve said after that is trivial and no need for comparison.

          Aeta

        5. @Aeta,
          why is corruption rare? Because we wont allow it. Who is we? That are all individuals. Its MY tax money. So hypothetically, the politician will ‘hang’ and he/she knows it. Thats why it is rare.

          But I dont see such behavior in PH. And that is why PH politicians get away with it.

          Do you have any idea how much income tax we pay in my country? It can go as far as 50% (not counting VAT). That 50% goes to the national government (treasury) and on top of that every household has to pay an annual fee to the city government.

        6. Robert Haigton,

          You can keep believing what you want to believe about overcoming corruption in the Failippines, by following a simple formula, and you will be waiting a lifetime.

          Our culture is different from yours because my people never gave themselves the chance to cultivate who they are and how much they needed each other–more than they need other people from other cultures–to survive.

          That is the million dollar answer to the endless question of why the Failippines is such a ‘fucked up’ nation.

          Talk to you tomorrow. Going to bed.

          Aeta

        7. @Aeta,
          the PH culture is indeed different. And it already starts from how kids are raised by their parents in my country.

          You would have been raised as a critical thinker, not accepting crap, raising the bar, rising to the occassion, raised to be independent (so you wouldnt need others bec you are strong. Pls dont confuse this with being arrogant). Your parents would have told you the importance and also the flaw(s) of money and having money (spending it wisely and save some for a rainy day).

          Because of all those traits you develop a strong sense also of your tax money. You will not accept wrong doings with your tax money. It must flow back to you in a way. Tax money should be used for widening roads, building new roads, improving public transport (to name just a few things). And bec you use all of these, it flows back to you. And thus you will fight for the good use/spending of your tax money.

          Probably I mingle(d) with the ‘wrong’ Filipinas but I never saw/see any of those traits in them. So where did everything go wrong? With the parents who raised their kids poorly?

        8. Robert Haighton,

          “Critical Thinker” is what the majority of the Failipino people are not. There is an old saying among my people. “Mababaw lang ang kaligayahan ng mga Filipino.” (It’s not hard to make Failipinos happy because their needs are not that complicated). Well, that saying may be true to a certain extent, since the most Failipinos lived with little means and have to learn to be thrifty.

          However, the masses have also allowed this popular saying to be extended–that the government and media have gladly endorsed and supported to serve their own selfish purpose–to their way of life, especially in the critical thinking department, with a ‘Please Dumb Us Down’ caliber of education (especially in communication literacy and critical thinking skills) and entertainment (mind-numbing movies and television) programs.

          I can’t speak for your former girlfriend, bro. That is something you have to deduce from the relationship you had with her and what you’ve learned about Failipinos through this website.

          Aeta

  2. Who ever supports such brainwashing activities is GUILTY by betraying his country and the TRUTH!

    Shame on those yellow piss drinkers.

  3. The EDSA revolution was a momentous time in Phil history but it was not happily ever after for Pinoys. No amount of revolution can make up for our shortcomings.
    But the alternative history of the Philippines where the ESDA revolution failed would have been worse in my opinion. Marcos was not able to fix the economy in 20 years. What would have happened if he ruled until his death? Would he been able to conjure a rabbit out of his magic hat? I doubt it. It would have been chaos. The sickly Marcos would have been unable to control various factions of Enrile, Imelda, and others. There would have been infighting and other coups. Communists would be watching and waiting with glee. If the EDSA revolution did not happen, other revolutions would have. And it would have been worse.

    1. rightist,

      Marcos was not there to fix the economy; he was there to maintain order (with the U.S.’s backing during the Vietnam War) and to keep the people well-fed, happy, and under control. We Failipinos are inherently unmanageable, as was evident during Marcos’ tight rein in his 20 plus years in power; and our unruliness became even more prevalent after he was ousted.

      That’s when all the snakes and crocodiles crawled out of every nook and cranny and started swallowing the entire country piecemeal.

      Whether or not the EDSA revolution should, or shouldn’t, have happened is besides the point. The point is we Failipinos are just wayward people,who are too arrogant and self-serving, for our own good and the good of the country; and, we deserve what we got.

      Aeta

  4. If his purpose was to maintain order, keep people happy and well fed, then he also failed. Big communist and Muslim insurgencies in the provinces. A successful assassination attempt in a supposedly well guarded tarmac. Very unhappy people joining communist and Muslim insurgencies and big bunch of unhappy people on the most famous Metro Manila avenue. As to being well fed, do you remember the Negros famine in the 80s? And yes as president , he has to take care of the economy too.
    You are correct though, we deserve who we get. We needed more discipline but Marcos was the wrong guy to force the discipline on us. He cannot even discipline his cronies and his wife.

    1. Rightist,

      I depends on how you see “failure” in the case of the Failippines then–during Marcos’ era–to today, under the strict monopolizing oppression of Chinese businesses and multitudes of our corrupt Failippine politicians.

      During Marcos’ tenure, Communism was kept at bay because our American ally was figthing the same war in Vietnam; and, the Muslim insurgencies were prevented from spreading throughout the entire archipelago with the full support of the U.S. military.

      Marcos may not be the best thing that has ever happened to the Failippines; but, I never saw other alternative candidates that could have done a better job—then and now.

      It’s like what I have been saying all along. It’s hard to pick a good apple from a basket-full of bad ones. Our culture is corrupt; therefore, I’m not surprised if our people–whether we think we’re above that over-generalization–do not turn out corrupt, too.

      Corruption is written in our people’s DNA.

      Aeta

    2. Rightist,

      It depends on how you see “failure” in the case of the Failippines then–during Marcos’ era–to today, under the strict monopolizing oppression of Chinese businesses and multitudes of our corrupt Failippine politicians.

      During Marcos’ tenure, Communism was kept at bay because our American ally was figthing the same war in Vietnam; and, the Muslim insurgencies were prevented from spreading throughout the entire archipelago with the full support of the U.S. military.

      Marcos may not be the best thing that has ever happened to the Failippines; but, I never saw other alternative candidates that could have done a better job—then and now.

      It’s like what I have been saying all along. It’s hard to pick a good apple from a basket-full of bad ones. Our culture is corrupt; therefore, I’m not surprised if our people–whether we think we’re above that over-generalization–do not turn out corrupt, too.

      Corruption is written in our people’s DNA.

      Aeta

        1. chem,

          I blame the Chinese because their monopolizing greed is as much to blame for the country’s failure as the Failipinos’ lack of entrepreneural spirit. Dude, we (Chinoys and Failipinos) are all aboard a sinking ship (the Failippines) and there is no lifeboat. So we better teach each other how to swim and build a liferaft or we will all die.

          Aeta

  5. EDSA was not a revolution. It was a “coup d’ etat” by Enrile and Ramos, with the aid of the U.S./C.I.A. The Aquinos and their followers were hiding in Cebu, during that time. The Roman Catholic Church, with their leader, the late Cardinal Sin, was involved. Because of the huge Friar Land Ownership of the Roman Catholic Church. They were afraid of the Land Reform Program, being vigorously implemented.

    EDSA strengthened Feudalism and the Oligarchy; especially the Filipinos with Chinese ancestry, like the Aquinos.

    Look at who profited from EDSA…A few rich, who became powerful Oligarchs. A few Filipino Chinese businessmen, who became filthy rich. Land owning “Hacienderos”, like the Aquinos and the Mar Roxases…etc…the poor became poorer, while the rich became richer. We have to become OFW slaves, in order to float the Philippine economy and feed our families. Our remittances are stolen by thieves, thru DP, PBAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, etc…

    If you are one of those Dumb Filipinos, who go there and celebrate. You are Clueless, like the YellowTards. Do you rejoice, at your being scammed by these wicked people? Do you rejoice that our country became the basket case of Asia? Do you enjoy being OFW, and your taxpayer money stolen?

  6. “Our OFW remitances were stolen by Aquino and his cahoots, thru DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, etc…”…corrected statement…

  7. 54342Hyden007Toro9989877.99

    “Look at who profited from EDSA…A few rich, who became powerful Oligarchs. A few Filipino Chinese businessmen, who became filthy rich. Land owning “Hacienderos”, like the Aquinos and the Mar Roxases…etc…the poor became poorer, while the rich became richer. We have to become OFW slaves, in order to float the Philippine economy and feed our families. Our remittances are stolen by thieves, thru DP, PBAF, Pork Barrel Bribery, etc…”

    This is what I have been saying all along. Thank you for confirming it.

    Aeta

  8. @Aeta:

    EDSA was a scam…from the beginning. We all become Suckers. Those “hakot demonstrators” anyway, were paid by the Aquinos.To pose for photo opportunities, as if, they were revolting…we learn it now, but the damage is done to the country…the feudal oligarchs are in place. Mar Roxas is running for President, to prolong/continue the EDSA SCAM. Mar Roxas, is himself a scammer.

    1. 33Hyden007Toro9999.99,

      I say all Failipinos who can afford to do so (Balikbayans, OFWs, and those who are supported by their families overseas) should go on a campaign to boycott every programs, services, and products that these oligarchs are trying to shove down our throats, and try to rebuild our cottage industries. This is the only way we can fight back instead of trying to support one asshole oligarch after another, in hope of getting a lesser asshole.

      Aeta

  9. My mom went to EDSA as a matter of principle. That was no hakot crowd. The people there really believed in what they were fighting for. But it is true that after EDSA , the philippines went nowhere for a few years and many corrupt people benefitted. But that is not EDSA’s fault. That is our own. No revolution will succeed in our country as long as our mindset do not change. We need to follow the laws, exercise self discipline, and vote wisely. A lot of our poor are poor because of poor personal choices. Education up to high school has been free for a while and yet many are still out of school youths. I blame their parents for bringing too many kids and the church for blocking the RH bill and similar types of bills.

    1. Rightist,

      This was my reply to Sick_Amore’s comment on the other thread and it’s my reply to you as well.

      The leaders (Enrile, Ramos, Lopez, Ayala-Zobel, and a slew of nameless others in the background) of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, are the same ones who enrich themselves after the smoke and dust have settled.

      The “People’s Power” was never meant for the Failipino people, it was intended for the oligarchs who are running/ruining the country today.

      Aeta

  10. It is a self-deception of Failipinos in the Failippines to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.

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