First Quarter Storm activists: Real Heroes of EDSA*

my contribution to today’s Blog Action Day.

(photo courtesy of

As we commemorate the 24th year anniversary of EDSA, let us not forget that this year we also mark the 40th anniversary of the First Quarter Storm. Let us honor the FQS activists who ignited the anti-fascist and anti-martial law movement during the Marcos era, they are among the first real heroes of EDSA.

Because of their bravery and patriotism, every campus in the ’70s became a battleground against fascism and social injustice. Numerous student strikes and protests were staged successfully and spread like wildfire throughout the nation.

Today, as we commemorate EDSA, let us relive the spirit by emulating the FQS activists.Youth activists of today are fortunate to have the FQS to extract lessons from. The FQS activists did not have that liberty, their elders either discouraged or reprimanded them. But they nevertheless succeeded in being at the forefront of unseating a fascist monster like Marcos. They achieved so from meticulous class analysis and an admirable show of collective discipline brought about by social necessity and dedication to the nationalist cause.

Another FQS, another EDSA, may yet be unleashed. Present political and economic conditions make the nation very fertile for another uprising and resurgence of the youth and student movement. Twenty-four years after EDSA, our people remain hungry and restless. Indeed, even the FQS veterans are saying that, much similar to the martial law era, today’s national situation leaves very little debate on the need for genuine social change and reform.

But another FQS, another EDSA, will not brew by itself. If there is one important lesson in history that we should cherish and thrive on, it is that revolutions are borne from pockets of protests that will progressively rise to a fever that will stoke a nation’s massive discontent.

Eventually and inevitably, we will get there. We are very honored to still have our FQS ‘parents’ with us, reliving the storm, continuing the struggle. ###

*for Sir Nick, Ka Jake, Ka Douglas and other FQS veterans who we will forever miss. 

and for Ma’am Judy Taguiwalo, Ka Albert, Ka Tony Liongson, Ka Boni Ilagan, Ka Satur Ocampo and Prof. Jose Maria Sison — former FQS activists whose continuing vigor and commitment to the struggle for national democracy not even today’s youth activists could rival.

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