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God's Gift to the Filipino People

25 years since EDSA-1 and it seems that there has been increasing cynicism about it especially with the return to power of the Marcoses.

Imelda is back in Congress. Imee is Governor of Ilocos Norte. And Bong-Bong is a Senator—and likely presidentiable. More, Marcos himself may yet be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani.

For Marcos to be hailed as a hero if buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be the ultimate betrayal of our EDSA Revolution. That’s a no brainer actually, but it seems a lot can be swayed by the strong currents of revisionism now, especially with the present challenges of our country.

Remember, there are still the disappeared or those who were salvaged during Martial Law, never to be given even a proper burial!

It seems to me though that celebrations organized here and there to relive EDSA-1 have only focused on the sequence of events and personalities involved that eventually led to the departure of Marcos and Cory’s assumption of the Presidency.

But what is sorely lacking and almost forgotten is the Miracle of EDSA itself, that is, the hand of Providence charting our new destiny in freedom and democracy. Precisely, we have now the Our Lady of EDSA Shrine to ensure we never forget—or we repeat history.

EDSA-1 reminds us not so much of People Power, but God then hearing our prayers and sacrifices for deliverance from the long and dark years of the Marcos Dictatorship. Indeed, if Marcos were to be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani, we would be like the Israelites dancing and singing alleluia to the Golden Calf!

Our celebrations now should thus re-steer us back to that closeness with God, that strong faith exemplified by the nuns who stopped the mighty tanks of oppression then!

For one, we could reflect on Thomas Keating’s words in his book Intimacy with God, thus:

“God is present to everything like the eye of a camera that sees everything just as it is. Yet we, in our turn, may not be present to God. Like the subjects of a casual photograph, we may not perceive that someone sees a marvelous value and beauty in us and is taking our picture.”

“We are summoned into the presence of God by the fact of our birth, but we become present to God only by our consent. As our faculties and capacities to relate gradually develop and unfold, the capacity to enter into relationship with God increases, and each new depth of presence requires a new consent. Each new awakening to God changes our relationship to ourselves and to everyone and everything else. Growth in faith is growth in the right perception of all reality.”

EDSA was “God’s gift to the Filipino people,” as Cardinal Sin often said.

Let us then nurture that gift by a new awakening to God who after all writes the destinies of nations