Thursday, February 25, 2010

White hair chronicles XXII - I remember people power 1

Tempus fugit! It's now more than a generation since the EDSA people power revolt but I still remember vividly those heady days.

In '85, Marcos was still so well entrenched despite the swelling sentiment against his regime that he confidently called a snap election when pressured by his American masters. I personally thought there was no way Cory could win, even without Marcos cheating. The people were still deathly afraid of him. In my office then, a government corporation, the staff was even scared to talk about the signature campaign for Cory to run. Young and fearless, I did what to my office mates was unthinkable. I signed the petition. The signature campaign caught momentum and since then I knew Marcos' end was near.

I became part of my office's hakot brigade in the Batasan canvassing. The session hall was divided between the pros and antis. The government hakots composed the pros. The antis sounded to have more fun compared to the nervous air in the pros side. They  boisterously cheered each time Bono Adaza noticed small defects on a canvass. They booed when the chairman just said 'asteriks'. I cheered and booed with them even if I was on the pros side. I wandered around the corridors to find a way to get to the antis. When I got to the other side, I proudly waved at my office mates. Their shock and disbelief is still etched on my mind.

On the second day of the EDSA uprising, I asked them who's coming with me to EDSA. Although still very wary, many dared and went with me. The atmosphere was still tense, anything could still happen. But I believed it was just a matter of days before Marcos goes. They couldn't kill us all, I told my friends. By the fourth day, I was at home when it was announced that Marcos had fled. I went outside and shouted at the top of my voice "wala na si Macoy, lumayas na!".  Ah, those were the days.

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