The 1986 EDSA Revolution started at the start of the weekend. And I remember clearly that the Gospel reading for that Sunday was the story of the Transfiguration. And those four days in February were for me a Transfiguration experience for the nation. The words from the Gospel describe how I experienced those days: his face changed in appearance . . . . his clothing became dazzling white . . . . appeared in glory. I felt walking on clouds as I traversed the length of EDSA and the abutting White Plains Avenue. There was tension all right; but there was also a palpable feeling of peace, love and kindness in the air. People huddled in prayers and shared whatever they had. Food was overflowing. But we did ourselves proud before our own eyes and before the eyes of the world, EDSA being the harbinger of other peaceful people power revolutions that toppled autocratic and despotic governments. But the Transfiguration is but a Prefiguration of the Resurrection. Calvary is yet to come. Christ still had to go through his passion and death. Even as he was being transfigured, he was talking with Moses and Elijah about his exodus.
And it seems now that we are going through the passion and dying slowly as a nation. All the peace and love and kindness seem to have evaporated in the noonday heat. I am left aghast by the vitriol in the anger and hate that pervades the atmosphere, by the flippant viciousness of the lies and calumnies that are bandied around. It is unbelievable how low we have sunk from the heights of EDSA to the depths now of the West Philippine Seas.
The Transfiguration was supposed to prepare Peter, James and John for the horrors that were to come in Calvary. But when Calvary came, they still scampered away. And even now, with EDSA but a distant memory, I am afraid and often given to feelings of despair and hopelessness.
But persevere I must in my faith, hope and love. I love this country. I love this land and her people. I force myself to see the nobility in ordinary people and their lives, struggling to raise their families in love in a sea of hate and anger. I keep focus on friends and their various faith communities, binding wounds and healing the broken spirits around them. I peer into the darkness and see flickering lights of hope in young emerging leaders who are proving themselves to be totally different from their elders. I strain to hear the words of forgiveness and compassion above the din of all the insanity and irrationality around me. I pray I make it to the light at the end of the long dark tunnel we are going through. I look forward to the braking of the dawn.