OPINION: EDSA envy

Teddy Locsin, Jr.

Posted at Feb 25 2017 02:20 AM

Except when they want something silly from us or detrimental to our national interest, the international community retains an abiding dislike of us. The best they will say is patronizing. In a one-on-one situation they tell us of the great good we do abroad. But they never say it in the open. 

I have tried to understand this antipathy toward the friendliest country. I have come to conclude it is a variety of—how politely can I say this?—male genital envy. They have never come across a people as decent as we are. 

There is a new book that details how over a million autistic American children and adults were herded into warehouses and left to live out their lives in there. Eugenics, the elimination of the helpless, was upheld by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes when he said, "three generations of idiots are quite enough." Thus he justified the castration of a retarded person. 

Never as a nation did we stoop that low or acted as vile. I suspect the international contempt derives from what we have time and again shown: that a race can be decent in thought, word and deed on a personal and national scale with no motivation but a sense of decency.

Soon we celebrate the people power and military revolt by which a nation of willing slaves broke the shackles of a mediocre autocracy—a corrupt and incompetent government. We did it unarmed in the teeth of uniformed arms, which ultimately joined us. 

This combination of people and army was not original. The Portuguese staged the Flower Revolution. The first ever peaceful restoration of democracy. But more thanks was owed to the "tanks" of a communist colonel, Otelo de Saraiva, than the last minute commitment of the Portuguese people. 

But we upped the ante. We staged the same thing, but the people took the initiative on the scale of a Hollywood spectacle. And the army joined the show. 

We were all over international media. Filipinos abroad were met with cheers. Word of our stunning achievement was spread by every Western network. But the enthusiasm was short-lived. 

In three years, our example was followed by Eastern Europe. Cory’s prophecy of the year before came true: "I can feel the winds of freedom blowing freely from the Urals (deep inside Russia) to the Atlantic, because there is no more Wall." She was standing on the ruins of the Reichstag with the Berlin Wall at her back. 

But no connection was made to our People Power Revolution. Only the ever maligned spies of the West recognized Filipino People Power as the mainspring of the Velvet Revolution and of all other people powers that followed. No wonder spies are referred to as "intelligence." In their countries, they are the only ones with any. 

That event was celebrated again, when brave people and brazen power faced off and came together—the first to restore democracy, the second to retrieve their honor in the role we enshrined in our Constitution. "The Armed Forces is the protector of the people and the state."

We entrust our future freedom to the usual instrument of its suppression. Where else has that happened? 

Go on, let us congratulate ourselves. No other country—where evil is institutionalized, or race hate elected, or vulgarity held up as example—can boast of the like. 

Sure, none abroad will join our celebration. But never mind. We did it by ourselves—friends and enemies Filipinos all alike.