RED DAY

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Today, I won't be seeing my surroundings in pink.

The color RED would be very appropriate for this day as this signifies two things: today is the birthday of the man who changed my life in a full 360 degree turn, and today would be the day our past "plunderous" (according to the people who put him down - definitely NOT my opinion) president Joseph Estrada.


It's been two years since my group in Philippine History in college did a video documentary of the so-called People Power of the Masses, the EDSA 3 Revolution. This has been considered one of the most powerful since People Power 1 but in history texts the least honoured one due to the nature of behaviour shown by the participants of this revolt. It was also least covered by the media (whereas the People Power 2 of the elite force was overtly sensationalized by the different media outfits in and out of the country.


Making the EDSA 3 documentary was the most difficult and challenging experience for me due to the fact that you won't see a commerciallized documnetary of the revolt in video (unlike PP1 and PP2, so the other two groups in our block were lucky, all they did was re-edit and re-format their style of reporting). During the time we made our research, we are lost for informtaion in print and in digital media. I personally would say this EDSA 3 is continously being dragged down to darkness up to point where no ordinary Filipino would remember it clearly and precisely.


I can still remember during those times we went to the key places where EDSA 3 took place: Mendiola, Morayta, and outside of Malacanang. When we went there, it was like any other day: busy, quite normal, and peaceful - thanks to the surrounding forces like PSG and the police mini-dispatch center beside CEU. Barb wires can also be seen. I asked several people around the place like the few policemen near the pink university.


This first attempt was unsuccessful. I got no informtaion nor they allowed me to roll my camera for an interview. They simply prohibited us from filming a single interview and getting their accounts forom what happened there during the third revolt. My team even managed to see the PSG's and attempted to get their accounts on the issue but they too declined and even warned us that if they see us rolling our video camera, they would confiscate it. I never lost hope. I insisted that this is only a school project and showed our ID's to the PSG's that time. They allowed us to shoot! But only in one area: The Freedom Park near Malacanang. DEAL.


But to my dissapointment, I got a shot of the thick and high bushes and trees surrounding the palace. They prohibited us in taking videos of the Mendiola junction where you would see the white gate and the PSG headquarters. That is where all the action took place: that bloody dispersal.


All my team got was unclear shots of the vicinity, because I turned on the cam without focusing. I turned on the video camera holding it on my right hand, simply catching a glimpse of the area especially inside the gates of the palace. I almost got caught, but I was able to use my rapport with them.
The people whom I expect to give me an insight made me disappointed. The only clear interview I got was from a street sweeper.


We packed our things and went straight to San Juan to get an interview of JV Ejercito, the city mayor. We arrived there and expressed our mission. They were very positive about it since they knew we are just students trying to get a first hand account of EDSA 3 and the people involved in it. Ejercito was the closest person involved we could get.


The people of San Juan City Hall graciously accepted us.


JV Ejercito was even gracious to see us get his side, because very few people actually asked for their side of the story during those times. (Or maybe until now). I will tell the details of this interview, maybe next time, or maybe not. Mr. Ejercito even gave us the videos we need: their own documentary of what happened to his father, and the plot made to dethrone his father from father, and the unending reasons on why his father was put to a shut. Up to this day, I'm still holding on to my group's video documentary, and the things JV shared to us - the video docs and the F. Tatad book about the Estrada Impeachment.


I can only say that after this, everything became clear as a red day. Clear only red. The manipulation of the overtly powerful forces succeeded and the so-called truth that we see now is adorned with hypocrisy and blind justice. If it weren't for this project, I will not see the side which is considered to be least heard side up to this point in time.


Whatever the decision is for Estrada, may it be become an eye-opener for every Filipino, especially the masses. Hopefully, after the verdict comes, we may continue in peace, and hopefully, justice is served in a timely manner.

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