By Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS
(When I went to bed last night it was
dark, gloomy, and raining. When I woke up this morning, lo and
behold, it was bright and shiny - an inspiring day. I hope this
portends the same good omen of great things to come for the
Ladies and gentlemen, good
On behalf of the US Pinoys for Noy-Mar and its
Core Group in Las Vegas, I welcome all of you to this People Power
Festival, the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the
historic People Power Revolution of 1986 in the Philippines, a
most successful revolt of a united people against tyranny thru a
sustained non-violent demonstration. The dictator was armed with
tanks and machine guns; but the people were better armed: not with
missiles or nuclear weapons, but with something more powerful:
love of nation, rosaries and prayers, and a great will power and a
This bloodless revolution, fueled by
the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., and led
by his widow, Cory, a “plain housewife” as she described herself,
showed the whole world how much the Filipinos loved freedom and
democracy, even at the peril of their life, and that the Filipinos
were capable of charting the course of their own destiny.
An American observer later said “We taught the Filipinos
democracy; now the Filipinos are teaching the whole world how to
fight for freedom and democracy, without firing a single
This soul-lifting event in Manila, inspired other
“velvet revolutions” around the globe, from Seoul, Korea, to
Johannesburg, Warsaw, Moscow, and ultimately led to the tearing
down of the Berlin Wall.
The world has recognized the
People Power of 1986 as a distinct historical contribution of the
Filipinos in the world’s struggle for freedom and democracy. The
movies you are going to see in a few minutes, entitled The Last
Journey of Ninoy, and Noy-Mar 2010, will touch your heart, inspire
you mind, and challenge your patriotism.
Indeed, the People
Power Revolution of 1986 was, and still is, one of the proudest
and most glorious moments in the history of the Filipinos as a
people and as a nation.
And now, 24 years later, you, each
and everyone of you, are a part of that same movement, but
fighting a new foe.
Today, the Filipinos are faced with
another enemy, a close cousin of oppression, called government
abuse and corruption in all its branches, from the executive, the
legislative, to the judiciary.
The situation is indeed,
deplorable. The Philippines has earned the dubious distinction as
the most corrupt government and country in Asia, if not in the
world. It has shamed you and me and our national pride has been
severely diminished, our reputation as a people, badly tarnished.
We are angry and frustrated, and many of us are feeling hopeless
and are practically giving up. But, shall we raise our hands in
surrender, look the other way, or hide our head under the sand,
and allow these crooks to continue the rape of our people and the
plunder of our nation?
Shall we, who are more fortunate
and blessed, abandon the more than 20 million fellow Filipinos, –
who are direct victims of graft and corruption – and are
languishing in the gutter of poverty back home, millions of them
children, going to bed at night hungry, with empty stomach, and
Shall we give up in our frustration and say
it is hopeless anyway?
Or, say, “My family and I are
comfortable and content here, that’s their problem.” ?
Aren’t we our brothers’ keepers, as today’s Gospel
Shall we wave the white flag and continue to allow
government abuse and corruption rule our land, and kill, not only
our dreams, but also our spirit as a people and as a
The People Power Revolution of 1986 taught us
otherwise. We learned there is always hope, as long as we are
speaking with ONE solid voice, because the real power rests in the
people. If We, The People, are UNITED, there is no mountain too
high to climb, or a star too far to reach, or a noble dream too
great to achieve.
With solidarity, you and I can change
our world. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you
want to see in the world.” Indeed, the change must start with us,
with “We, the People”.
To quote the Irish Statesman Edmund
Burke, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men
to do nothing.”
Ladies and gentlemen, shall we just sit
by, close our eyes, and do nothing? Unlike the past 3 national
elections, this coming one on May 10th is our FIRST real
opportunity to feel the refreshing breeze of The Winds of Change
for the Philippines. For the first time in two decades, we now
have a presidential candidate, Noynoy Aquino, and his running
mate, Mar Roxas, who are both honest leaders with integrity,
proven ethical, and transparent leadership, who can transform the
Philippines into a nation of dignity, prosperity, honor, and
They are the ONLY two top candidates who can truly
say: Hindi kami nagnakaw, hindi kami mag-nanakaw!” We did not
steal and WE will not steal! President Cory Aquino, Noynoy’s
mother, taught us how to be a great people with dignity and honor.
Noynoy, guided by the beautiful and noble legacies of his parents,
Ninoy and Cory, and supported by us, We, the People, as his
pillars, will lead us and our nation to our future glory and
greatness once again, and allow us to finally make our appointment
with destiny. Indeed, It’s NOY or Never!
Remember, you are
the power. You are the heroes and the hope of our country. Led by
Noynoy and Mar, let’s us continue the fight Ninoy and Cory had
started, and let The Winds of Change sweep across or our nation.
Ladies and gentlemen, LET US AIM FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM! Thank
you and enjoy the Festival. May God bless all of you. May God
bless the Philippines.
Remarks delivered by cardiac surgeon Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS,
FPCS, Chairman, Filipino United Network (USA) and Lead Convenor,
Las Vegas Chapter of the US PINOYS FOR NOY-MAR, at its PEOPLE
POWER FESTIVAL at the Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium and
Gallery, Las Vegas Boulevard and Clark Street, Downtown Las Vegas,
2-5:30 PM, Sunday, February 28, 2010.