It's NOY or Never!

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 Philippines.)

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

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 firm determination.

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 shot.”

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 empty dreams?

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 said?

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 nation?

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 pride.

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.

Inspirational 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.



Website Director: Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS
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