ON THE very day when Filipinos were to mark the 20th anniversary of the People Power uprising that ended Ferdinand Marcos’s strongman rule, Marcos-style dictatorship sprang a surprise by making a comeback: this time, in an attempt to prevent another popular revolt. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a “state of national emergency” after preempting a group of soldiers’ plan to turn their backs on her and join thousands of protesters in the streets.
TWENTY YEARS ago, at the height of the people power revolt, Imelda Marcos, then holed up in Malacañang with her anxious family and a phalanx of remaining loyal troops, contemplated the possibility of her imminent, and vertiginous, fall. At about the same time, Cory Aquino, who had returned to Manila after taking shelter in a Carmelite convent in Cebu when the uprising broke out, was insisting to worried family and friends that she should join the throng that had gathered at Edsa despite the security problems that would pose.
IN THE garden of peace that Sr. Luz Emmanuel Soriano began more than 15 years ago on the hilly Antipolo campus of Assumption College, there is evil on four legs, a stray cat that has a nasty habit of preying on the birds in the eco-park, leaving the good sister not too pleased. But even the cat that she calls a “witch” cannot seem to darken the mood of the Assumption nun, not even when she sees it slinking behind some bushes on a morning when the sky has gone gray and is threatening to unload more than a bit of rain. She simply harrumphs, the pesky cat scampers away, and Sr. Luz is back to chirping happily about the eaglets in the park, and their caretaker named Darigold.
IN 1989, Jim Paredes of the Apo Hiking Society walked into the United States Embassy and gave up his green card.
An astonished embassy official looked at him and said, “Are you sure? You know, a lot of people would kill for this. Maybe you should think things over.”
“I have thought it over,” Paredes answered.
AFTER TWO people power revolutions where her publications played a role in removing disgraced presidents, Eugenia ‘Eggie’ Apostol retains an optimism that can only come from one who has scaled the mountains and sees the larger view.
“It’s not just the leadership that must change,” she says. “The people, too, must change.”
A POSH motorcycle showroom in Makati is not a place one would expect to find a human-rights lawyer, but in the rare nights that he has time — and enough money — for a bit of fun, former senator Rene A.V. Saguisag can be found somewhere in its vicinity. Actually, Saguisag and wife Dulce are enthusiastic patrons of the ballroom-dancing club upstairs, and so he sometimes tries to squeeze in last-minute meetings with clients at the bike shop’s adjacent restaurant.
IF HE were an ordinary ex-military man, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan would be taking it easy, preparing for what aging soldiers are supposed to do next: fade away. After all, he is just three years short of officially turning senior citizen, his hair is a salt-and-pepper gray, and the trim physique women used to swoon over is now just a memory.
IT WAS the perfect formula for another uprising. Factors and forces that conspired to oust a previous president surfaced again to threaten yet another one out of power: a familiar pattern of titillating scandal and media overkill; congressional investigation and official cover-up; street protests and digital demonstrations.
BGY TINANG, CONCEPCION, Tarlac – When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last week began her six-year term, her inaugural address had one glaring omission: it made no mention of land reform.
But it was an omission that was barely noticed. To many, and especially to the government, land reform is practically a done deal, a program nearly complete, and about which little more need be said.
WHEN the U.S. Democratic Party primary season opened in January, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry hardly looked like someone who could be the party’s candidate in the U.S. presidential election this November. Although already a fourth-term senator, Kerry was being outshone by Vermont governor Howard Dean, who the media had all but proclaimed the Democrats’ presidential bet.
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