During three days in February 1986, on an avenue in Manila called EDSA, ordinary people turned out by the thousands and became patriots overnight. They participated in a “street sit-in” called for by a Catholic radio station. There were nuns, priests, and families with their picnics, students, workers, movie idols and whatnots. This fanfare, this motley crew deposed the Philippines’ President Ferdinand Marcos.

There were people who believed that their presence there just might make a difference. But there were more people who were looking for any opportunity for a good time. There was singing, dancing and music playing. There was beer, gin and rum. Filipinos are warm and friendly people. Food and drink were shared by all.

But who were these people? They were the average, the run-of-the-mill, the Juan de la Cruz. What are ordinary people like? Ordinary people take advantage of situations when they are in a position of strength in order to oppress the weak. Ordinary people are selfish, evil and unprincipled. They are rats, quick to jump ship wherever the grub may lie. They showed no fear on EDSA, but not out of courage. The nuns were the ones in front of the military tanks and most of the other people knew that they themselves would be quick to run at the first gunshot fired. They showed no fear simply out of ignorance.

They are an ordinary people because they will continue to vote for the same sort of mediocre politicians, bent on making money while in office. And as long as the ordinary people remain ignorant, they will continue to do so. Nations of ordinary people go through the same charade and the parade never changes.

The Philippines is a cluster of beautiful islands–but it is a little nook in the Pacific Ocean where man exploits man in the most ignoble manner.