People Power – After three decades

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    The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
    —Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Commissioner Emily Abrera (center) of EDZA People Power Commission, announced before the members of the media at the Bulong Pulungan forum held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City, commemorating the People Power Anniversary titled: Thirty years later, is the EDZA spirit still alive? With her are Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Celso Santiago (left) and Deedee Sytangco forum moderator. (JOSEPH MUEGO)

    Commissioner Emily Abrera (center) of EDZA People Power Commission, announced before the members of the media at the Bulong Pulungan forum held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City, commemorating the People Power Anniversary titled: Thirty years later, is the EDZA spirit still alive? With her are Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Celso Santiago (left) and Deedee Sytangco forum moderator. (JOSEPH MUEGO)

    “EDSA 30: Ipinaglaban N’yo: Itututuloy Ko” (EDSA 30: You fought for it: I will continue it) is the battlecry of the commission in charge of the 30th anniversary celebration of the country’s glorious and peaceful EDSA People Power Revolution. They want to make sure people will remember the compelling reasons the nation came out in support of ousting the dictator.
    EDSA 1 began three years earlier with the assassination in broad daylight, in front of foreign media, of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on Aug. 21, 1983. The haste and brazen way of silencing Ninoy was the spark that began the conflagration that brought down the House of Marcos.
    And yet, there are young people today who have been led to believe the Marcos propaganda that “Martial Law was the best thing that happened to the Philippines! It taught us discipline!” Oh, wow!
    What really happened to many freedom fighters and ordinary citizens who disagreed with the dictator? They were either jailed, tortured, and killed, or kept in cells to languish away. The media was silenced, newspapers shut down, curfew imposed, haircuts of men had to be short, rallies banned, gatherings of more than four people forbidden. Many student activists fled to the mountains and rising political stars were murdered, like Evelio Javier, Ninoy’s good friend.
    Sadly, today’s youth have very little knowledge of the horrors of those dark years of Martial Law. Textbooks have glossed over those years, too, burying the ghosts of the tortured victims. The EPPC, said commissioner Emily Abrera and executive director Maria Montelibano has embarked on “learning and remembering the past” to better prepare for the future, as Theodore Roosevelt put it a long time ago.
    “It’s time to propel the spirit of social transformation to greater heights and unite the people once again, and help those in need. We have to build on the gains of EDSA,” declared Montelibano.
    Commissioner Abrera said that the activities were planned to give “esteem to the EDSA heroes and put the trust on the new champions, the re-awakened youth.” The EPPC guested in our forum Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel, sponsored by PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office). We heard the testimony of Art Alejandrino on the horrors of bringing back to Manila the body of murdered Evelio Javier who dared oppose Marcos, and was serenaded by singer Ivy Violan, one of the stars of the opposition then. We all relived our colleague Mandy Navasero’s experience trying to stop a tank through an iconic photography of the third day stay-off between the military and the civilians.
    There will be interactions, storytelling, and debates this weekend in different venues, even a ballet named “Rebel,” starting on Feb. 25 to the 28 the at the Aliw Theater with prima ballerina Liza Macuja collaborating with British choreographer Martin Lawrence. A comic book, 12:01, will be launched, as well as a video.
    The most intriguing offering of EPPC is the “Experiential Museum,” which will open at Camp Aguinaldo on Feb. 25, free to the public. As explained by Asec Celso Santiago, the “museum” will bring the viewer through several halls depicting the Martial Law years. Don’t take my word for it. Bring your friends to Camp Aguinaldo’s Gate 5 on opening day and experience the museum.
    On another front: The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines (4As) calls on the marketing communications industry for its Ad Summit Pilipinas 2016, to be held from March 9 to 12 at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center.
    With its theme, “Come out and Play,” the biggest advertising and marketing convention in the country aims to inspire practitioners to progress fearlessly, as its invited industry icons prepare to participate as speakers.
    “We have an amazing lineup. Expect the unexpected,” said Ad Summit 2016 chair Alex Syfu. “With our theme, we hope that the summit allows all to view possibilities where there were none before. No obligations, just opportunities. Ad Summit Pilipinas 2016 will encourage this type of unbridled creativity to flourish,” he added.
    Speakers participating include business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan; award-winning director Jose Javier Reyes; AQKA Shanghai’s Eric Cruz; Vikas Gulati from Opera Mediaworks; leadership expert Tom Oliver; TBWA\Hakuhodo’s Takahiro Hosoda; Hakuhodo Kettle’s Kazuaki Hashida; Fox International’s MD for SEA and head of ad sales Simeon Dawes; regional digital director for APAC Havas Worldwide Todd Martin; Google SEA and India’s vice president and managing director Rajan Anandan; Mullen Lowe Group’s president of Creative Council Jose Miguel Sokoloff; and Twitter’s VP for online sales for Asia Pacific and Latin America Aliza Knox.
    This is the second time Ad Summit is partnering with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Robert Garcia, chairman of SBMA is happy about it.
    And on the brighter side: One of the most delightful feng shui experts is Princess Lim Fernandez. She held our undivided attention at a seminar at the LRI mall on Reposo Street in Makati recently with her presentation of the Year of the Fire Monkey in achieving harmony and balance in design.
    And thanks for the delicious lunch at Massimo Trulli, Tony Lo! It’s an art and food cafe featuring designer Italian furniture, bags, and meals. It is owned by Adriano Stefanutti and his wife Angela “Chen Hui” in partnership with Atty. Gale Atienza.(mb.com)

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