By: Vergel O. Santos

WITH AROUND 400,000 protesters descending on the Luneta – not to mention others turning out in fair numbers elsewhere around the country and some parts abroad – Monday felt, positively, like another day of great unburdening. The feeling was unmistakable in the brightened faces and strong voices in the crowds.

But “unburdening” connotes mere momentary relief, a feeling in which seemed lost the express high purpose of the undertaking – a vigorous prodding for sociopolitical reform.

Luneta, to be sure, wasn’t anything like its very mother, EDSA, that million-strong street vigil that cut down a dictator nearly a generation ago. Putting an end after all to 14 years of national constipation, EDSA may have brought relief worth savoring longer than a moment.

But not a moment longer, lest one be lost again in a state of denial and a false sense of health.

Indeed EDSA seems to provide such panacea that each time we billowed out we don’t even need to go out on the street and march our constipation away; we have only to summon EDSA’s memory to get our relief. In other words, EDSA lives only in a commemorative sense even in memory; it does not engage the consciousness so that whatever one thinks, says, and does as a citizen becomes inspired and informed by it, in that way taking it a step further each time, until it develops into a constant perspective of nationhood.

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