Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in a recent statement made crack that the Philippines "should have been a Singapore" by now if the Edsa "People Power" "revolution" of 1986 had "not prospered". This is of course debatable and an easy assertion to make since it is by all intents and purposes unknowable and unprovable anyway.
But, see, that this assertion is debatable now highlights a revealing point. Back in the lead up to this "revolution" of 1986, to consider the Philippines continuing under the rule of then President Marcos meant pondering the unthinkable. Ask any mid-1980's Filipino schmoe how he or she foresaw the Philippines if Marcos was not replaced, and it is almost certain that his or her reply would describe a bleak scernario -- a Philippines shrouded by darkness and severely stunted economically, its people cowed by fear.
Thus the rallying cry of the time: Tama na, palitan na.
Enough is enough. Let's replace President Marcos.
The thinking there was categorical: Marcos = Failure.
But then fast forward to 2011 and those same words -- shrouded by darkness and severely stunted economically, its people cowed by fear -- can, as it turns out, be said to describe the Philippines today to some reasonable degree.
So whereas an assertion that the Philippines could be a Singapore under the continued rule of Ferdinand Marcos back in 1986 would have elicited a categorical No way!, the same assertion made today would now be considered debatable. From a perceived impossibility, to being debatable -- the point had become moot now that we had proven to ourselves that 25 years of "freedom" from tyranny hardly made a difference as far as our economic fortunes go. We had become a food-insecure, environmentally-devastated, and over-populated country ruled by morons who acquired their office by virtue of the popular vote.
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 "People Power" "revolution" simply highlights this in-your-face reality about how we over the last quarter century turned what was once thought to be a golden egg into a little brown turd. In the process the once unthinkable alternative presented to us in 1986 -- continued rule under Ferdinand Marcos -- became something that could now be pondered in hindsight.