Updated 13:15 PM PHT Thu, February 25, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – A millennial’s question grabbed the attention of some Filipinos who witnessed the commemorative program of the 30th EDSA Revolution anniversary on Thursday (February 25): “What is the EDSA of the Filipino youth today?”
Without a speech guide in hand, Maria Angela Villa said she may not have been born in 1986, but she expressed joy that the People Power Revolution has given her the freedom to speak today without the fear of her life being threatened or her house raided.
“Hindi kapansanan ng kabataang Pilipino ngayon na wala kaming karanasan sa EDSA ninyo noon. Kung iyon ang EDSA ninyo noon, ano ang EDSA ng kabataang Pilipino ngayon?” Villa asked in a speech that gained several applauses from the crowd at the People Power Monument in Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) – White Plains.
[Translation: “It is not a disability of the Filipino youth of today that we do not have a first-hand experience of your EDSA in the past? If that was your EDSA in the past, what is the EDSA of the Filipino youth today?”]
Earlier during the program, Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa said most of the millennials were deprived of the opportunity to understand the true meaning of EDSA, as he invited the youth to visit the experiential museum set up inside Camp Aguinaldo.
But Villa summed up what EDSA means for millennials like her: The restoration of a nation’s dignity and the wholehearted service to others without asking for any position or money in return.
“Gusto naming maglingkod dahil gusto naming maglingkod,” she said.
[Translation: “We want to serve because we want to serve.”]
Villa headed the project Milk Matters of the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority of the University of the Philippines Manila, a regular milk-letting activity which aims to ensure the safe and sustainable supply of breastmilk for newborns at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
She added the youth are the “new hope and the new EDSA,” asking those who took part in the 1986 EDSA Revolution to guide them.
Program hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and EDSA People Power Commissioner Ogie Alcasid expressed awe and accord to Villa’s speech saying the youth may no longer be toppling a dictator today but they are still fighting for relevant advocacies such as education, jobs and livelihood for the people.
Fight for education, freedom from poverty
Likewise, Khenn Arquiza of the Zamboanga City-based nongovernment organization I CAN Make a Difference thanked the EDSA Revolution because the youth now has the freedom to express through social media without fears and worries.
“Tayo po ay pinagkalooban ng People Power ng pribelehiyo upang maging parte ng nation-building sa pamamagitan ng pagtataguyod ng ating mga adbokasiya”
[Translation: “The People Power gave us the privilege to be part of nation-building through fighting for our advocacies.”]
He added it is the youth’s turn now to fight for education and freedom from poverty.
#EDSA30 No. 1 trend on Twitter
Some netizens took notice of Villa’s thought-provoking question.
"Kung ayon ang edsa niyo noon, ano ang edsa namin ngayon?" -ate na nagsasalita ngayon sa program— king (@keipiiiii_) February 25, 2016
Gusto ko po yung tanong, Ano ba ang EDSA nami ngayon??? #EDSA30— cookieroy alcaide (@cookieroi) February 25, 2016
One of them even kiddingly answered, EDSA means traffic.
"Ano ang EDSA namin ngayon?" Traffic here, traffic there, traffic errwhereeee— Francis Muria (@FranciswithaG16) February 25, 2016
The EDSA anniversary program also featured a re-enactment of 'Salubungan,' the coming together of the military and civilians during the EDSA Revolution.
While the Salubungan program was ongoing, the hashtag #EDSA30 became the number one Philippine trend on Twitter.