I see shoots of green emerging from the tainted hue.
For Filipinos, yellow means democracy, liberty and sanguinity. The EDSA peaceful revolution in 1986 exemplifies this. We have had set a trend where active non-violence has since evolved as a nuance for Mahatma’s passive resistance in the struggle for democracy and freedom throughout the world. At least, at one point in time, we have been proud as Filipinos.
We had our first taste of liberty after almost 20 years of repression under martial law. And when the government institutions and civil society organizations started functioning and interacting, we have, as gain, gradually distanced ourselves from the shadow of colonialism.
But pondering on our present state of the nation, how we have truly imbibed the meaning of EDSA and steeled our resolve for societal change is questionable. Perhaps we had liberated ourselves “only” from Marcos but not really from our past colonial attitudes such as propensity for forgetfulness and mediocrity, inexplicable tolerance for ineptitude, poverty, graft and corruption and gross violations of our human rights. These assail our culture as Filipinos and most of the time, due perhaps to the overwhelming challenge, we rationalize that we have been a good example to our family, at least by earning enough to send kids to school and bank on their capacity to change society – for us.
The bearer of the yellow ribbon left us with so many unfinished tasks.
Although, I could not discard my recollection of her being the originator of “total war policy” which extends till now the Marcosian velvet hands in suppressing dissent, patronizing political dynasty and placing a carpet on the blood of many farmers spilled in Hacienda Luisita, I have no love and high esteem lost for Tita Cory –
Not that from being just a plain private secretary to Ninoy, she became an iconic figure in taking up the challenge of governing a divided nation. Nor for being so prayerful that infected her guards to abandon their weapons for a rosary. Nor for being so forgiving about the passionate adventures of her youngest daughter that makes her so endearing to her children and to the rest of the Filipino mothers. Nor for voicing out several times in SONA about relinquishing power after her term ends that caught Ramos and Mitra on TV grinning like hyenas licking the saliva oozing from the side of their mouth. Nor for empowering the civil society organizations and cooperatives throughout the country that squabbled on presidential social funds and later learned how to take advantage of the peace bonds. Nor for international awards and respect from leaders throughout the world that made Pedro proud of being the first colonial country with a woman president. Nor for surviving seven coups that sent the plotter to senate who orchestrated another coup and sent another plotter to the senate! Nor for knowing how to speak French that during her visit to France and South Africa exchanged quips with François and Nelson who later quoted her in their speeches. Nor for institutionalizing the Commission on Human Rights and Commission on Election, the first in the region that also the first institutions to be corrupted.
Her personal conviction – wrapped in utter simplicity – to continue, even beyond her term, service for the Filipino nation is what struck me most. Her dedication for the change of governance for the better was demonstrated during his active participation in mass mobilization in ousting Joseph and now her incessant calling for the stepping down of Gloria. As she was once moved by conscience in 1986, she has been, no doubt, moved by the same force every time she exudes candor in making a statement on public. Simplicity simply describes her actuation and appearances in all personal respect. While other head of states and their Firsts are noticeable with their glittering apparels, she would appear naïve with her yellow dress. She could easily relate to the masses not so much with the crocodile tears of Imelda but more of her simple appearance and language used in her speech.
When she uttered “family” as her last word, we know, we lost a mother, a mother to our nation.
– dani conejar