It was August 2. In the thick of the immediate preparations for the Church’s call for the August 4 rally for Life,
I was privileged to attend the security and logistics meeting at the Shrine. As we went up to the historic
stage that claimed for us freedom through the peace of prayer, I was in awe at what could have been the feeling
I was born in 1987, a year and 5 months after the historic rally. I only had images of EDSA in my head through the many photographs I saw when my teacher in Grade School spoke so passionately about it. I learned further of how Mama Mary interceded for us when it was said to Cardinal Sin by a marine soldier that she appeared to him as the government mandated them to fire: “Do not harm my children,” the Lady said.
I believe that Mama Mary has been with us ever since. One of the untold stories behind EDSA was when Blessed John Paul II, then pope, requested the bishops all over the world to declare an international Marian year. It was only Cardinal Sin who heeded the call. That was 1985, a year before the EDSA that removed Marcos from office. We were entrusted to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s care.
In that EDSA, the Lord, through Mama Mary has gifted us not only with the Filipino sense of freedom but LIFE.
The yellow could have been red by bloodshed but Our Lady protected the Philippines. All because we came in prayer. Prayer was what stormed the heavens to pour out mercy. Prayer was what saved us from the fire of bullets.
How is August 4 historic?
It is because we relived the true spirit of EDSA that was stained by the previous two revolts, claiming to follow the authentic spirit that freed us. We came in prayer. This time, it is not to overthrow a government that was unjust and corrupt but to defend what seemed to be the essence of our existence: LIFE.
Here, we see the two essentials that we forgot as a nation: FREEDOM and LIFE.
Freedom not in the definition of the pro-choice side but true, authentic freedom that can only be founded by faith in the Lord. Didn’t we find this freedom when we won EDSA 1986? Weren’t we freed because of prayer?
EDSA 1986 also gave us LIFE. A new life for our country when we struggled from the empty treasure chest that Marcos claimed for himself. We struggled for life. And so it is ironic to see now how we disregard this freedom, how we twisted the very definition of the life that God has defined for us.
I raised my hands in prayer that afternoon in EDSA 2012. I knew Mama Mary was there. I knew the Lord was there. It was not the EDSA that moved the people to shout curses to the government to make their voices heard. It was the EDSA where the aggrieved prayed for their oppressors. No revolutionary shouts were heard but gentle calls in the defense of life. Through prayer. When the other party ridiculed the valiant prayer warriors at EDSA, we prayed for them. When they called us names and cursed our God in social media, we prayed for them.
And this, my friends, is true freedom: living the life God has set for us in spite of the persecutions of the world. We are secure in this freedom. In this life. We are secure in the Lord.
As of today, we heard the news. We heard how the president seemed to follow the deceitful path similar to the midnight appointment he vehemently opposed (that dramatic Corona case). Congressman Biazon had a field day lambasting the clergy during the immediate caucus called to pass the controversial bill. It should have been voted for today and not yesterday.
The Aquino name rose in EDSA 1986. But now, as a youth born in the time of peace, I am ashamed at the disregard of the freedom brought about by the very name associated with the EDSA that witnessed to my hopeful generation.
As of this moment, we hear the rains fall down on us and floods brought forth by this rain that has no name. As of this moment, let us take a trip back to 1986 and August 4, 2012, to the two EDSAs that saw prayer as the means of healing the Land.
It began with prayer. It will end with prayer.
THIS IS EDSA and this is the EDSA spirit I will forever remember.