Emily Abrera, current Chair of the board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and one of the commissioners of the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC), gave a talk before the employees of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in Intramuros, Monday, 21 February 2011.
The talk was part of the commemoration of events leading up to February 25 or what is now known as EDSA People Power anniversary. This year, the title and theme of the celebration is “EDSA 25: Filipino Ako, Ako ang Lakas ng Pagbabago.”
“And to think that people were able to walk up and offer flower in the face of these gigantic metal machine, if you think about it, it is so ephemeral and so poetic a gesture. That is art, is it not? And art in that time could stop army tanks dead in their tracks. Art is more powerful than we think. So the kind of work you are involved with is so powerful,” says Abrera.
In closing, Abrera recited an ecumenical prayer, which she said she was tasked to prepare, and will be delivered on Feb. 25. Here we quote briefly: “Father of all ages / You gave us the discernment to tell right from wrong / The strength of will to change for the better / The fortitude to surmount challenges / The perseverance to stay at the back of goodness. / Father, you gave us the freedom to shape our own destiny / In unity and solidarity / And you sent us the heroes to light our way / 25 years ago, / We showed you Father that these gifts you generously gave us were not in vain / When we, your people rose as one and in loving trust took our first step towards transformation.”
Abrera is part of the now seven-man team of commissioners sworn into office by President Benigno Aquino III on Feb. 3. The other members of the Commission include its chairman, Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa, Jr. , former Trade Secretary Jose Pardo, actor-singer-composer Ogie Alcasid, Milagros Kilayko, Christopher Carrion, and former Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) chair Cesar Sarino.
Executive Order No. 82. (s. 1999) created the EDSA People Power Commission to institutionalize the legacy of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
As a dedicated organization, the EPPC is tasked to institute activities and concerted action that will serve to enshrine EDSA People Power as a continuing and permanent source of inspiration for future generations.
On December 22, 2010, President Aquino issued Executive Order No. 17, which streamlines the role of the commission and whittled down the number of its members from 25 to just seven.
EDSA People Power has become a historic uprising in February 1986 that toppled the decades-old Marcos regime and catapulted Corazon “Cory” Aquino, the President’s mother, to the presidency that time.