DLSU kept EDSA Revolution alive in weeklong commemoration

The DLSU USG and CONIC kept the spirit of EDSA alive within University walls in a weeklong commemoration.

The Lasallian community commemorated the 38th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in events spearheaded by the University Student Government (USG) and the DLSU Committee on National Issues and Concerns (CONIC) in both the Manila and Laguna Campuses.

Manila Campus activities commenced with a placard-making initiative hosted by the USG in their office from February 20 to 22 at the third floor of Br. Connon Hall.

On February 21, USG and CONIC hosted Proyektong EDSA: Through Their Eyes, a round table discussion with Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel, former DSWD Secretary Dr. Judy Taguiwalo, and DLSU Faculty members Samuel Rosales and Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua at the Natividad Fajardo-Rosario Gonzalez Auditorium. 

“We had no other option…I chose to fight,” Taguiwalo recalls her experiences as an activist during Martial Law. “Martial Law [for us] meant prison, as well as going underground.” Chua highlighted that these struggles faced by Taguiwalo, as well as other activists, is clear evidence that the EDSA revolution was a bloody 14 years, and not just four peaceful days. 

This is why people should remain vigilant in asserting democratic rights, according to Manuel.

Kapag hinahayaan natin na mayroong mga nangyayaring abuso, ‘yun ‘yung nagbi-build up para i-normalize ‘yung abuses, hanggang sa pwedeng mag-impose ng mas authoritarian na pamumuno,” he voiced out.

(If we allow abuses to happen, they continue to build up, and abuses are normalized until a more authoritarian leadership can be imposed.)

Former senator and Tañada-Diokno School of Law Professor Leila de Lima, in her keynote address, conveyed the importance of telling the stories of those who suffered during Martial Law. “Remembering EDSA is remembering what we are capable of as a united Filipino people…Therefore, it is through constantly telling the real story that we could challenge attempts such as historical revisionism,” de Lima said.

De Lima also related the country’s struggles during Martial law to the recent tragedy of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs campaign, stating, “What we [Filipinos] fought for in 1986 was then again revived in his violent War on Drugs campaign. We tried to shout ‘Never again,’ but we were silenced.”

The USG ended the week with a unity walk around the Manila Campus on February 23. At the St. La Salle Hall, where the march ended, a prayer vigil and candle-lighting event took place in memory of the victims of injustices and human rights during the Marcos Sr. dictatorship.

Ang mga Pilipino ay gutom at uhaw sa kalayaan at demokrasya. Sa EDSA natagpuan ang minimithing kasarinlan. Ang EDSA ang kaharian ng langit sa lupa ng bayan ng Pilipinas,” Vice President for Lasallian Mission Fritzie de Vera heralded in a speech during the vigil.

(Filipinos are hungry and thirsty for freedom and democracy. In EDSA, the desire for independence was found. EDSA was the kingdom of heaven and earth in the Philippines.)

Another point raised in the gathering was the exclusion of the People Power Revolution Anniversary as a holiday on the 24th. “Ayaw natin makalimutan, ayaw nating gawing commemoration lang ito. That’s why right now, ang gusto nating gawin is make it as a holiday,” USG President Raphael Hari-Ong shared.

(We don’t want it to be forgotten, we do not want to make this just a commemoration. That’s why right now, we want to make it a holiday.)

Also present in the vigil were students from the neighboring De La Salle-College of St. Benilde and St. Scholastica’s College, who were invited by the USG Office of the Vice President of External Affairs (OVPEA).

“We wanted…our reach to be maximized, and since andito tayo sa Taft, malapit lang naman…so gusto sana naming makilahok sila sa ating movement,” VPEA Macie Tarnate expounded as to why representatives from the said schools were invited.

Ira Madel Loren, part of the Scholastican contingent, told The LaSallian, “Maganda siyang opportunity sa’min para makiisa at makasama sa ganitong kind of protest. And, I think maganda siyang way para maka-build ng connection with fellow students, not just Scholasticans.”

In Biñan, the spirit of freedom and democracy resonated as the Laguna College Student Affairs and the Laguna Campus Student Government launched Tatlumpu’t Walong Taon, Para Saan? Para Kanino?, the Laguna Campus series of events commemorating People Power from February 21 to 28.

A learning session on the controversy-ridden People’s Initiative and Charter Change was held on February 21 involving partner communities and Lasallian representatives. The Lasallian Mission Office, De La Salle Philippines Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission, and the Office of the Vice President for Laguna Campus hosted a reflective seminar on EDSA called Pagpapayabong sa Yaman ng EDSA at the Santuario De La Salle on February 23. On February 28, a discussion titled The Experience of Doing and Being a Volunteer: Rekindling the Spirit of EDSA and the Filipino Resiliency was also held.

DLSU’s events culminated with a film viewing activity featuring various martial law-related films such as Lauren Greenfield’s Kingmaker and Kip Oebanda’s Liway on February 26 in the Manila Campus and February 28 in the Laguna Campus.

Job Lozada

By Job Lozada

Carmen Maitem

By Carmen Maitem

Philip Matthew Molina

By Philip Matthew Molina

Leave a Reply