By: Jena Isle
MANILA, Philippines – The EDSA People’s Power 27th Year Celebration is upon us again and I keep wondering if there was indeed any change from what people revolted against- dictatorship. I am a common ‘tao’ and this is my experience.
The euphoria I felt during the people’s revolt in 1986 took years to wane. Every time I read and hear about the peaceful People Power Revolution in the news, I felt ten feet tall- I was so proud of being a Filipino. There was so much promise for us, Filipinos.
Years passed, and I patiently waited for the fulfillment of that promise of a brighter tomorrow for me and my family, but 27 years has passed, and yet, life became harder and harder for all of us. On top of that, I fear snatchers, robbers, and rapists, wherever I go. It seems there is no longer a safe place to go.
I remember during the martial law years these crimes were rare, and not done in broad daylight. Nowadays, it is rampant. What happened to the promise of a better Philippines?
President Noynoy Aquino boasts about the economic growth of the Philippines but I don’t see any evidence in our lives. While the little sum that my daughter sends monthly from abroad continues to decrease in its conversion, the cost of living in the Philippines continues to spiral higher in prices. I don’t see my life getting better.
Can someone please tell the president that we, the common tao, don’t feel the progress that he so glowingly talks about? We were labeled middle-income families pre-EDSA revolution time, but now we are labeled as “poor.”
Where’s the promise of the EDSA People’s Power Revolution? I do my part as a citizen; pay my taxes religiously from the meager salary that I earn. I obey rules and regulations instituted by the government, but life isn’t getting any better.
To gauge the progress of the country, the common people should feel the change. But the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, with the middle-income families slowly being wiped out.
As you lead the celebration tomorrow, President Benigno Aquino III, and re-enact the “salubungan” with the Armed Forces, please, Mr. President, visit the truly poor and ask them if they feel any progress in their lives.
Your cordon sanitaire may not tell you everything you need to know, and we would like to let you know that we have not yet experienced the progress that you keep talking about. Those are only meaningless figures and terms to us, who still could not eat three square meals a day. We could not grasp whatever significance they have in our lives because we’re hungry.
We still wish you, however, a happy EDSA People Power celebration!