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February 25, 1986 was a day of democracy for the country. Thirty-one years later, we once again commemorated the anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea chairs the EDSA People Power Commission and I serve as the vice chair and representative from the private sector.
With the theme “A Day of Reflection: Celebrating People Power for Nation Building,” we are reminded of what the Philippines has become after this momentous event.
Without the help of Chris Carrion, this celebration would not be possible.
In a short message, I shared with everyone my thoughts on how we can continuously celebrate the real essence of EDSA: “I don’t know if my father realizes that I’m up here on stage. Somehow he has lost part of his memory but he is the one who instilled the love for country.
“When I was asked, do I regret what happened during those times? For all of us it was the best experience that we should never forget. When we toppled the dictatorship, it brought Filipinos together as brothers and sisters. Military and civilians were not shooting one another. It was truly admirable to see this event happen, and we were well-respected all over the world.
“One of the reasons why we chose this day to be a day of reflection is because we really have to look back to the past and see how we can move forward. I know that sometimes, it is very hard to forgive. But we must try to forgive but never forget. There is a big difference in forgiving and forgetting. We must move on to build and to continue the spirit of EDSA and pass it on to the next generation. Your generation is gradually moving on and my generation is entering that next phase. We will not be able to accomplish and fulfill the dream and spirit of EDSA if we will not be able to pass it to the young millennials out there, to really get them to understand what happened on this day. Our Blessed Mother has truly been a miracle for all of us who has guided us all these times. Through time and today, we are very fortunate to see the Philippines in progress. The spirit of EDSA can only be achieved if we have unity, peace, and prosperity for all.”
Yearly, the Spirit of EDSA Foundation, headed by its founder, Chris Carrion, awards members of the important groups during the EDSA revolution: the military, religious and civilians. Together with former President Fidel V. Ramos, E.S. Medialdea, and Chris, we awarded these groups who were instrumental in making the peaceful call for freedom a success. Medialdea closed the program with an endearing speech.
May we all be reminded of the true essence of EDSA. Let us not forget that the Philippines was one in fighting for our freedom. Together, let us build an even brighter future for the next generation.