Remembering Edsa 2: One youth activist’s view from the streets

Posted: January 15, 2008 in All in a day's work, Socio-Political
Tags: , , ,

Kasama ako sa EDSA2!

January 16 marks the start of a historic period in Philippine history known as the Edsa 2 People Power uprising which culminated in the ouster of then president Joseph Estrada from Malacañang on January 20. The protests started on the evening of January  16 when youth and students and different groups marched to the Edsa Shrine and held a protest program. Dormers from the University of the Philippines Diliman even marched from their school all the way to Edsa, arriving a bit late but just in time to claim their mark in history as among the first to march to Edsa that night.

 

I joined the protest actions on January 16, joining the march of UP students and teachers that some estimate to have reached 15,000 people. We stayed at Edsa till past midnight only to return early the following day.

 

We were part of the Estrada Resign Youth Movement (ERYM) at that time. There was Anakbayan, LFS, NUSP, CEGP, SCM and other student councils and organizations. We were joined by Mon Pagdangangan (may he rest in peace) and China Cojuangco (who hosted some of the meetings at her parents home in Forbes).

 

Our official ride was a passenger jeep from a driver in Sampaloc who lived beside the Anakbayan HQ. Our cell phones could be described as “pangkaskas ng yelo” by today’s standards. And we didn’t really have a lot of resources except for a portable table, some chairs, and a tent we borrowed from some local politician (God bless him). But we had that fire burning in us, the strong desire for change.

 

We had our speakers in the main program. We did our photo-ops, including the memorable brown envelopes at the steps of the Shrine.

 

We got by because of the support of many friends and allies. We had our field HQ at the 17th floor of some building in Ortigas through the help of some friends. Nope, not Linden Suites (that’s what Gloria used). We held office in a much older building. We could only use it after office hours of course. We had some late meetings at that place.

 

Black was the official protest color. I did hear some stalls in Robinsons’ galleria running out of black clothes, even the more expensive ones. I never did wear black though.

 

I remember a lot “balimbings” at that time, those who withdrew support from Erap at the last minute and went to Edsa. Some of them were booed by the people. Others were prevented from speaking on stage.

 

I spoke before the crowd on the fourth day, it was almost 6am. I was asked to provide some agitation before the march to Mendiola. At that time, not everyone was convinced we had to march to Mendiola, but a good majority was already raring to go. I could tell from the reaction of the crowd during the speech.

 

We already dispatched an advance team of several thousand activists from various sectors to go to Manila to prepare the people for the coming of the main march in the morning of January 20. That was at the dawn of January 20. The main body of the Bayan forces were already in marching formation from the corner of the POEA Edsa and up along Ortigas Avenue. It was a very formidable and solid looking contingent among the different forces assembled at Edsa on that day.

 

The signal to march was given at 6pm. Our forces were ready and in formation and we started moving. Some smaller group I think identified with Roilo Golez wanted to march ahead of everyone else. Some overeagerness I think.

 

It was a loooong march from Edsa, to Shaw, to Sta. Mesa then Nagtahan, then Forbes then Morayta then Recto. Everyone knew it wasn’t wise to go through San Juan.

 

It was still dark when we marched. The sun had not risen. None of us felt tired. The people of Mandaluyong lined up along the streets were giving us water and food.

 

We marched along Recto to Mendiola. The Estrada supporters scampered. We took Mendiola. We held a program on top of a flat-bed truck. We received news Erap left the Palace. In a few hours, Mrs. Arroyo was sworn in at Edsa. Nope, we didn’t go back to Edsa to witnesses the oathtaking. It wasn’t about GMA to begin with. The Mendiola march was the climax for us. Around 75,000 joined that march with started at 6am and ended by noon.

 

After the rally, I remember resting inside a movie house along Recto, watching the Joyce Jimenez-Rica Paralejo flick “Balahibong Pusa”. I slept through most of it. I also discovered I wasn’t the only activist who thought of taking a snooze in the movie house.

 

Some lessons I learned since that time include:

 

  1. There’s no single formula for people power. It’s always about the existing conditions at a given time and how subjective forces interact with these conditions. It is difficult to artificially replicate these conditions in the hopes of getting the same results.
  2. From its very name “people power”, we can conclude that the only thing constant in these upheavals are the people. The most decisive force is the people. Mass movement ang kailangan, more than anything. The fact that Malacañang is still terrified sh*tless by the mere mention and hint of people power tells us that this is still the most effective weapon in combating tyranny. What irony though that they are terrified by the force that brought them to power in the first place.
  3. It was never about Gloria. To those who say that Edsa 2 was about bringing Gloria to power, please, give us a break. It was never about her. She just happened to be the main beneficiary but we sure as hell did not spend four days shouting at Ortigas just so she could be president. Do we regret what we did? NO. But maybe one regret was the lack of a better alternative at that time. Sure, Gloria turned out to be a really bad president but at that time, people had high hopes and were willing to give her the chance to do some good. She blew are her chances.
  4. I don’t really subscribe to the theory of people power fatigue. That is a cynical way of trying to explain why the anti-Arroyo forces have failed to muster the people power necessary to replace Arroyo with a better government. There are many problems facing the anti-Arroyo front, but people power fatigue doesn’t even rank high among these problems. There’s the basic problem of unity and struggle within the anti-Arroyo front, the ability to unite on alternatives, the clashing political and economic interests and so on.
  5. The Arroyo government will do everything to prevent a repeat of people power, even if this means widespread bloodshed. We have seen it before. It gives us something to ponder on, and prepare for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About these ads
Comments
  1. adarna says:

    psst, link mu ito sa http://peoplepower2.bloggerskapihan.com. tapos kuha ka ng badge sa bloggerskapihan.com :)

  2. Bill Realph says:

    If there is to be a future, you must change and not be like people of the past who have destroyed most of the planet and taken your future away because of wanting and being sheep and not standing for what is right, wait until it happens is the way your so called representatives politicians dictators and the rich think. Please do not go there, be a voice for your friends and stand as an individual and save our culture, country and planet and be known in our history books as someone that cares not only for yourself but for all living things, you can do this. We all make money of the backs of the poor in some way or another it is how the economy survives, slaves build and make everything the rich take it to make money only by using the poor the rich are rich and we look at them to be the good guy’s because they have more then you. The rich have no practical experience in anything it is you that do the manual work because they can not, but they are payed millions what do you get? wake up if you truly believe in doing good for the poor you make money from you must govern yourself within all countries without represenatives. If you do decide to go with the flow we will and you will have nothing and you will see the end and it will not be pretty. Sorry to do this to you but I hope you may care enough to do this new constitution of the Individual Two-Third Majority Vote Self-Governmnernt http://www.selfgovernment.tk This is not over your head you are here so you are our only future and our future depends on you to do what is right, sorry it has to come to this. Only as a individual, together this can selfgovernment prevail please think about it for it is time to wake up for time is not on your side anymore, think about the innocent and a future all living things born or unborn, this ball is in your court what would your children think if they knew you knew and did nothing, if it is left to me they will. Doing is right waiting is wrong. Last Political Party Australia, not registered as yet because of corrupt representatives changing membership forms twice, but we the people will prevail or perish. Not a good job for me but who else is going to put their life on the line for you, you I hope you do. Please reply, Bill Realph.
    “All emails sent an recieved are recorded for public view”.

  3. |.Xlike a rolling store
    an activist-musician’s life in the mass movement# The UP Centennial and my awakening in the “Bastion of Activism”Energy Sabit #Remembering Edsa 2: One youth activist’s xview from the streets
    January 15, 2008
    January 16 marks the start of a historic period in Philippine history known as the Edsa 2 People Power uprising which culminated in the ouster of then president Joseph Estrada from Malacañang on January 20. The protests started on the evening of January 16 when youth and students and different groups marched to the Edsa Shrine and held a protest program. Dormers from the University of the Philippines Diliman even marched from their school all the way to Edsa, arriving a bit late but just in time to claim their mark in history as among the first to march to Edsa that night.
    I joined the protest actions on January 16, joining the march of UP students and teachers that some estimate to have reached 15,000 people. We stayed at Edsa till past midnight only to return early the following day.
    We were part of the Estrada Resign Youth Movement (ERYM) at that time. There was Anakbayan, LFS, NUSP, CEGP, SCM and other student councils and organizations. We were joined by Mon Pagdangangan (may he rest in peace) and China Cojuangco (who hosted some of the meetings at her parents home in Forbes).Our official ride was a passenger jeep from a driver in Sampaloc who lived beside the Anakbayan HQ. Our cell phones could be described as “pangkaskas ng yelo” by today’s standards. And we didn’t really have a lot of resources except for a portable table, some chairs, and a tent we borrowed from some local politician (God bless him). But we had that fire burning in us, the strong desire for change.
    We had our speakers in the main program. We did our photo-ops, including the memorable brown envelopes at the steps of the Shrine.
    We got by because of the support of many friends and allies. We had our field HQ at the 17th floor of some building in Ortigas through the help of some friends. Nope, not Linden Suites (that’s what Gloria used). We held office in a much older building. We could only use it after office hours of course. We had some late meetings at that place.
    Black was the official protest color. I did hear some stalls in Robinsons’ galleria running out of black clothes, even the more expensive ones. I never did wear black though.
    I remember a lot “balimbings” at that time, those who withdrew support from Erap at the last minute and went to Edsa. Some of them were booed by the people. Others were prevented from speaking on stage.
    I spoke before the crowd on the fourth day, it was almost 6am. I was asked to provide some agitation before the march to Mendiola. At that time, not everyone was convinced we had to march to Mendiola, but a good majority was already raring to go. I could tell from the reaction of the crowd during the speech.
    We already dispatched an advance team of several thousand activists from various sectors to go to Manila to prepare the people for the coming of the main march in the morning of January 20. That was at the dawn of January 20. The main body of the Bayan forces were already in marching formation from the corner of the POEA Edsa and up along Ortigas Avenue. It was a very formidable and solid looking contingent among the different forces assembled at Edsa on that day.
    The signal to march was given at 6pm. Our forces were ready and in formation and we started moving. Some smaller group I think identified with Roilo Golez wanted to march ahead of everyone else. Some overeagerness I think.
    It was a loooong march from Edsa, to Shaw, to Sta. Mesa then Nagtahan, then Forbes then Morayta then Recto. Everyone knew it wasn’t wise to go through San Juan.
    It was still dark when we marched. The sun had not risen. None of us felt tired. The people of Mandaluyong lined up along the streets were giving us water and food.
    We marched along Recto to Mendiola. The Estrada supporters scampered. We took Mendiola. We held a program on top of a flat-bed truck. We received news Erap left the Palace. In a few hours, Mrs. Arroyo was sworn in at Edsa. Nope, we didn’t go back to Edsa to witnesses the oathtaking. It wasn’t about GMA to begin with. The Mendiola march was the climax for us. Around 75,000 joined that march with started at 6am and ended by noon.
    After the rally, I remember resting inside a movie house along Recto, watching the Joyce Jimenez-Rica Paralejo flick “Balahibong Pusa”. I slept through most of it. I also discovered I wasn’t the only activist who thought of taking a snooze in the movie house.;]ieie:)/=*.|

  4. Ute says:

    Human skills and dedication are of utmost importance, since
    services are directed toward the school children’s formative development. This includes any indications of fraud presented by errors and deviations, since the main objective is to gather evidence for litigation purposes. Well, fortunately, a background in accounting means you have a solid, respectable foundation to a wide variety of careers, many of which pay extremely well.

  5. Rachelle says:

    You need to jot down all your work experience in a reverse chronological order stating the designation you
    held, the organization you worked in, the duration and your job responsibilities.

    Payroll forms for salaries and wages that are manually
    paid-out also serve as accounting source documents. We will not give you
    this information scare you but to motivate you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s