Monday, August 21, 2006

Remembering .. Aug 21,... 23 years after...

Has it been that long since that day when it happened? Somehow I only noticed the date when I looked at a article was writing a client. Then I asked myself- how many years since... that day... many seem to remember it now only as moment of history.
A moment in time - others like with many eventful dates in other parts of the world ask people they know where were we then? Or did you remember when you got the news? It has indeed been a long time - a lot of years and other events have happened.

Yes, I was here in Manila then- on high school vacation from my classes in the states and about to head back. That day and in days that followed I grew up. We did a lot of things I found new and strange then, we made and sent clippings of news from the states, clippings of what occurred, We stayed up late to watch watch thingd like when ABC's Ted Koppel interviewed Marcos on nightline.

We kept up on events and what had happened. I remember I even kept the numbers of groups like Amnesty International and those who cared about human rights cases handy- just in case. We had relatives back here then and always were worried about if and what roles they had - and what to do if anything untoward happened to them too.

Looking back now from my perspective and chosen path and career as journalist, to the day - While we did hear the news from people we knew, a cousin who had just flown in had been at the airport- he had heard the shooting; nothing else was available on TV or in Newspapers for couple of days afterwards. I didnt see this image til we got back to California.

I remember that afternoon we went to green hills after some phone calls;

I remember people panic buying and stocking up on things, the not knowing, the brownout, the news blackout- the noise and protests. In the next couple of days I remember seeing people going out - men - women - teens many older than I was some younger. Speaking in hushed tones about this and that- not wanting anyone to listen. About people speaking in riddles on the phone, fearing the lines were tapped.

So different now, so much has changed - it has been a generation - it marked me mine and ours who passed through it - as other have been marked by other miles stones in history. Sad as this one was it did unite people - for better or worse and change did happen. Sacrifice inspired many to make their stand their fights their goals and dreams come forward. Yes- it has been a long time - it has been not forgotten nor I hope the memories good and bad of a time when people did not stand alone and worked together united for a change.

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