Christine Liwag Dixon and Faith Marianne Lawas contributed to this post
This month, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, a series of peaceful demonstrations held from February 22-25, 1986. The demonstrations brought an end to the 20-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, after which Corazon Aquino was elected as the first female president in Asia.
Filipinos are often portrayed as people who have endured great hardship. Our resilience in the face of struggle is often praised. But the legacy of the Filipino people is not resilience; it is revolution. Contrary to our depiction as long-suffering people who tirelessly persevere without making a fuss, we are a people who will not be subdued, a people of strength and conviction. Our heritage is not a heritage of oppression; it is a heritage of resistance against oppression.
Sa ika-tatlumpu’t-limang taon ng People Power Revolution, ano nga ba ang ating natutunan? (In the 35 years since the People Power Revolution, what have we learned?)
The revolution is proof that there is strength in numbers, and is also a testament to what people can achieve when they refuse to back down. The People Power Revolution reminds us to stand up for our beliefs and to fight for justice. It is a reminder of not just our own power, but the power of community and what we can accomplish when we stand together in solidarity.
Filipinos are not weak. We are not passive. We are warriors descended from a long line of warriors, and our birthright is the fighting spirit that runs through our veins. Our history of revolution is highlighted in the Philippine Natonal Anthem: “Lupang Hinirang/duyan ka ng magiting/Sa manlulupig/di ka pasisiil.” (“Land dear and holy/Cradle of noble heroes/Ne’er shall invaders/Trample thy sacred shores.)
No matter what life throws at us, we must always remember na piliin yung mga bagay na makakabuti para sa ating kababayan (to choose to do what is right for our people).