EDSA '86 Memory Museum underway

By Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 18 2012 10:06 AM | Updated as of Sep 18 2012 08:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A museum will be constructed to commemorate the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.

Commissioner Emily Abrera of the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC) told The STAR they are still threshing out the details of the museum, including its funding source and location.

“We are looking at memories that spanned 40 years,” she said.

“Many events are taking place and we are trying to recall it (martial law era). We should find ways so that the youth could grasp it and so that it won’t happen again.”

Abrera said the museum would contain oral archives or the recorded testimonies of key personalities, exhibits about martial law, and objects that were used during the 1986 revolt.

“Deeper awareness of the things that happened during the martial law years and the 1986 People Power Revolution will help our younger generation appreciate and cherish the freedoms they now enjoy,” she said.

The museum may be funded by both the government and private groups, Abrera said.

The EPPC conducted yesterday a roundtable discussion to gather insights about the plan to establish the Edsa ’86 Memory Museum.
The roundtable discussion will end today, three days before the 40th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.

The discussion was organized by the EPPC, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the Office of the Vice President.

Three foreign experts were invited to share their countries’ experiences in maintaining their memory museums.

Speakers in the event were Maria Eugenia Ulfe Young, an anthropologist from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru; Patricia Tappata Valdez, a human rights advocate and academician from Argentina; and Lelia Matilde Perez Valdes, an educator and human rights activist from Chile.

During her talk, Valdez said those who seek to establish a memory museum should consider answering these questions: “Who are the stakeholders? What happened to the perpetrators of abuses? Are the perpetrators still in power? Why put up a museum and for whom?”

Key officials like Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., defense department spokesman Peter Galvez, NHCP chair Maria Serena Diokno, EPPC executive director Maria Montelibano and Armed Forces deputy public affairs chief Maj. Emmanuel Garcia were present at yesterday’s event.

In a speech read by Coloma, Vice President Jejomar Binay said the lessons of the past would be lost forever if they are not shared publicly.

“It’s about time we tell our story to the next generation, not for vanity... but to keep the fight for democracy alive,” Binay said.