Today is Ninoy Aquino day.
I was a sophomore student in HS when Benigno”Ninoy” Aquino jr. was shot and murdered at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport (NAIA1). I was curious then why my folks and uncles are jittery, though they followed closely the wake and funeral of the fallen senator.
On 1986, more aware of of the social and political ills of the Philippines, I participated in EDSA 1. I’m one of the warm bodies that showed the world how a bloodless revolution can be, what a proud moment for Filipinos.
But four decades after, with 5 elected presidents, coup attempts and 2 more EDSA’s (both are being downplayed in history bec. EDSA 2 was said to be a mistake, and EDSA 3 is the most violent but unsuccessful in bringing down the government), the same social and political evils are still present- patronage politics, oligarchy, poverty and unemployment, insurgency, unequal distribution of wealth, and same threat of dictatorship, ironically from the son of the slain senator who fought against dictatorship.
It makes me wonder, are we better off now compare to the pre 1987 constitution?
From my “recollection” as a kid then, here’s a laundry list of comparison.
- As a beneficiary of the public elementary school then, we have free nutribun to keep us healthy, regular vaccine, and free books from the school. We lack classrooms now.
- Drivers and pedestrians are disciplined then. Nowadays? Oh well…
- The price of fuel then is kept at a stable level by the government. We are at the mercy of oil players now.
- Telephone is a luxury then with the monopoly. With duopoly, we are a little better now.
- We have a controlled media then. The free media we enjoy is double edged, can be harmful too.
- PNR is a major contributor to our transportation then. Now we have an MRT that disgarails.
- With .25 centavos, I can buy a fresh gusto soft drink and hopiang hapon then. What can we buy now with .25 cents?
- Minimum fare for my first Jeepney ride then is .35 centavos. Today, it’s P8.50
- We have Metro Manila Transit then, with “love busses” and “double deckers” on the road to ensure commuters will have a ride home. Now, the pedicabs rule!
I guess I’m looking at the value being added whenever we give up a workday to look back at history aside from demonizing another person.
Do you have similar or contrasting observation? What could be the reason for the lack of or little positive change?
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