Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Spirit of EDSA lives as Inang Bayan: BAGO AKO

During these tumultuous nine years of Mrs. Arroyo's time, her mafia tried to slay the Spirit of EDSA. It has long been dead, says Arroyo, this "spirit" (some even called it "malevolent" like the Marcoses) killed by its own people. When the Oakwood mutiny and the Marines' standoff fizzled out, many people believed that EDSA, as a proposition, is dead. Not many people went to Ayala to support the numerous impeachment attempts. 

Mrs. Arroyo and her factotums do not really know what they're saying. 

Is the Spirit of EDSA, really, dead? 

What died is not the Spirit, oh, no. The Spirit, which emanation we saw in 1986, still lives in all of us because, quite frankly, it has been lurking around for centuries. It was never an invention of Cory Aquino and the Yellow shirts. No. It was not even a creation of the COPA, as what Boy Saycon claims. No. Nor was it a creation of the Ramos' boys. Oh, no. 

The SPIRIT of EDSA existed from the very first time our forebears met in that small shack in Tondo Manila. That very first meeting of the Katipuneros led by Andres Bonifacio was the initial creative moment of the Spirit. Some say the Spirit consisted of three things: the military, the People and the Church. I dare say no.

The spirit is the collective consciousness of a people enslaved and harmed by injustices. 

The Spirit of EDSA is an indigenous concept, a concept which sprang forth from the rich, loam soil of these lands. It rose from the very loins of the Filipino People, a rich collective consciousness of struggle for the good life. 

It was never really a political weapon. It was never really a threat against any dispensation. It was never a toy by this and that group. 

Every soul shares this Spirit. Every soul has a part in this consciousness. Whenever we encounter difficulties, we tap in this Spirit. 

When Typhoons hit this country, the Spirit awakens in each and every one of us. When we see beggars in the streets, the spirit urges us to make a small donation. Whenever we see families hungry, the Spirit asks us to partake our food with them. Whenever we see a house burning, the Spirit nudges our souls to help our fellow brothers and sisters. Whenever we see an injured Filipino in the streets or a Filipino victimized by petty thieves, this same Spirit demands from us our duty to help.

The Spirit also of EDSA asks us to follow traffic rules, to obey the laws, pay our taxes, demand receipts whenever we buy something, respect our parents, and all of the things Alex Lacson wrote in his small orange book, " 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can do to Help our Country."

The Spirit demands for us to do our share in nation-building, however small or big it is. 

This same Spirit, the collective consciousness we all call "Inang Bayan" is calling us, every single Filipino, whatever you may be at this time, to go back and help re-build our country.

Noynoy Aquino won this elections because he tapped into this consciousness. He wants us to join forces with him and create a graft-free environment. And he is right.

EDSA is not about power struggles, nor an adventurist's foray into coup d'etats. EDSA is not coup d'etat nor a revolt. No. There is simply nothing political about EDSA. 

It is about transforming oneself and using one's energies for the benefit of the many. It is about being BAGO (New) and NAGBABAGO (an agent or catalyst for change). It is all about embracing the principles of BAGO AKO, an active affirmation of being a Bagong Tao who thinks of his fellow Filipinos' welfare first before himself. 

Bago ako, bayan muna. Bago ako, ikaw muna. Bago ako, bayan naman

From Self to Un-Self. From individual, to collective. From One, to Many. 

How then can we institutionalize this Spirit and make it a part of governance?

Noynoy Aquino should make it his theme---this administration should not be called the Second Aquino administration, no. Let it be called " The People Power" government. 

A government that is of the people, by the People and for the People. 

Noynoy Aquino should make it a point to involve every single Filipino, to engage every single Filipino and make every single one realize that we are all in this together. 

That Aquino is just our shepherd, that he is just a guide, a General, if you will, who leads the charge for a better life. Let his government be one who listens. Let his government realize that its success or failure lies not on Noynoy but on how it engages the people to do their share in nation-building. 

Let the incoming government be measured on how it actively pursues or engages the people and how it then, gives the gains of that engagement back to the People. Let government define what the People want and need and let it be truly responsive of its cries. That is transformative governance which this administration should be measured.