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Essay contest: Edsa flame in good hands

By: - Senior Digital Producer / @SPaciaINQ
/ 02:27 AM March 06, 2016
KEEPERS OF THE EDSA FLAME/ MARCH 03 2016                                      (L-R) PDI Executive Editor Joey Nolasco, grand prize winner Alona Guevarra, DTI Representative Marcos Montanez, and IGC chair Ray Soberano at the PDI office for the awarding of the Keeper's of the EDSA Flame contest.  INQUIRER PHOTO/ ALEXIS CORPUZ"

KEEPERS OF THE EDSA FLAME PDI Executive Editor Joey Nolasco, grand prize winner Alona Guevarra, DTI Representative Marcos Montanez, and IGC chair Ray Soberano at the PDI office for the awarding of the Keeper’s of the EDSA Flame contest. ALEXIS CORPUZ

Thirty years may have passed since the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, but every Filipino alive today must continue to play a part in ensuring that the Edsa flame never dies.

This was the theme at the official awarding ceremony for the Inquirer essay-writing contest, “Be a Keeper of the Edsa Flame,” to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first People Power Revolution.

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The contest, which ran for two weeks, called on both “Edsa millennials,” or Filipinos between 15 to 35 years old, and “Edsa survivors,” or those 36 years old and above, to take a selfie and write a 500-word essay about People Power.

Stay the course

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Millennials were asked what it was about Edsa that they wanted to know more about, while survivors had the task of writing on how they intend to pass on their experience to the next generation.

Alona Guevarra, a 40-year-old English teacher at Ateneo de Manila University, came up with the winning essay, and took home an iPhone 6S Plus.

In second place was Ma. Czarina A. Fernandez, 19, a third-year communication arts major at University of Santo Tomas. She got a certificate, a book and a Guyito doll.

Presiding at the awarding ceremony at the Philippine Daily Inquirer office on Thursday were Joey Nolasco, executive editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; Chato Garcellano, opinion editor; Ray Soberano, human relations chair of the Inquirer Group; and Marcos Montañez, representative for the Department of Trade and Industry.

“By your accounts, you tell us that you, both the youth and their elders, are staying the course. By your accounts, you convey to us your understanding that it is not just that memorable four-day period in February 1986 that toppled the dictatorship, but also the years and events that preceded it. By your accounts, you assure us that the Edsa flame will continue to be in capable hands,” Garcellano said in her remarks.

Complacency the enemy

In her winning essay, Guevarra wrote of how her generation had become complacent after Edsa, hence the current misconception that the martial law years were the “golden years” of Philippine history.

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“Complacency is the enemy that blinded us Edsa survivors,” she wrote. “The 21st-century Filipino should battle complacency head-on through vigilance by maximizing the benefits of the information age. Learn as much as you can, speak your opinion, be heard.”

Accompanying Guevarra’s essay was a photo of her with her 19-year-old daughter, Ashley.

Asked what her message was for her daughter’s generation, Guevarra said she hoped they would understand that Edsa was more than just a four-day event in 1986.

“Edsa is a process. We shouldn’t just stop with the event, with the personalities and all. Edsa is a day-to-day occurrence, when we step out of the house, when we decide on what we should do and where to lead our lives,” she said.

“The spirit of Edsa is a process that we have to live,” she said.

20 finalists, consolation prizes

Ten finalists received as a consolation prize the book, “The Inquirer Story: 30 Years of Shaping History”: Ma. Czarina Fernandez, Ravi Paul Tañada, Jay Bernard Autor, Alberto Ellema Jr., Raphael Descartes Roldan, Emmanuel Totañes Jr., Nancy Tan, Feliza Iliana Bañado, Sharon Villaflores and Julie Garcia-Nolasco.

Another 10 additional entries were given various Inquirer memorabilia: Maharlika Bieren Doctor, Mary Pauline Balmes, Celia Tobia-Bulan, Yolanda Casilad, Tom Lin Deocampo Jr., Liezl Ann Lansang, Ernesto Talatala Lapuz, Gabriel Lanz Barcelon, Dinka Calderon and Rey Johnino Carinugan.

Visit the Inquirer special site on the Edsa People Power Revolution at http://inquirer.net/edsa.

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TAGS: 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, Alona Guevarra, Edsa flame, Edsa millennials, Edsa people power, Edsa People Power Revolution, Edsa survivors, Ma. Czarina A. Fernandez
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