Cebu youths on Edsa: Short on details, long on belief
MORE than two decades have passed since the first Edsa People Power Revolt ousted the Marcos regime.
Two Cebu veterans who joined in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship called on Cebuano youths to remember the lessons of history.
Regional Trial Court Judge Meinrado Paredes and Democrito Barcenas were human rights lawyers who were jailed for opposing the late president Ferdinand Marcos.
Both men attended Mass at the Redemptorist Church in Cebu City with their wives and some lawyers to mark the 25th anniversary of Edsa People Power.
“Young people should not forget history. Whatever little freedom they enjoy today is the fruit of the struggles of those who fought the dictatorship (of Marcos),” Paredes said in an interview.
Barcenas said he hopes the same Edsa spirit will inspire Filipinos to persist in eliminating corruption and poverty.
“Let us not get discouraged that we have yet to achieve the goals that we fought for. The fight against poverty must continue,” he said
Some of today’s texting generation were born, while others were not yet conceived when the Edsa “miracle” took place in 1986.
When asked what this event meant for them on a personal level, young men and women interviewed by Cebu Daily News said it was a victory for independence and freedom from a dictatorship.
When probed further, however, they struggled to elaborate.
Most of them admitted that they have little interest in history and current affairs.
“I can’t really remember the details but I know it’s meaningful. It was the time when the Filipinos rose up against Marcos,” call center worker Jose Flores said.
Others were more verbose.
“We were freed from the control of a very harsh leadership. It was the day we had our freedom, the same freedom we are enjoying now, ” said 21-year-old call center agent Joey Lito Zamoro.
Like Flores, Zamoro said he wasn’t keen on the details since he “wasn’t born that time.”
Gezel Punay, a 20-year-old IT student said the Edsa revolt was a “a display of unity of the people, the nation.”
Those who were born near 1986 like 25-year-old call center agent May Joy Silvano, described the first People Power revolution as the “end of the Marcos regime and the beginning of Cory’s administration; freedom from dictatorship.”
But Silvano said she “doesn’t feel any attachment.
“It was a time when they (Filipinos) sought for independence,” said Princess Carcueva, a 22-year old nurse.
While she said she doesn’t feel the need to remember all the details, she’s proud of what that generation of Filipinos did.
“Our time now is a little relaxed compared to before. (Yet) I’m proud that they (Filipinos) were able to do it, to fight for their freedom,” Carcueva said. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol and Neil Iosef Ilagan
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