HomeLUMINAvol. 22 no. 1 (2011)

The Edsa Revolution(s) and Freedom: Hegelian Interpretation of History

Ferdinand M. Mangibin

Discipline: Social Science, History



Man by nature is free. He always seeks for freedom. He cannot be contented being enslaved by any external forces. He needs to express himself according to his nature. Any violation to this right to freedom is a moment of struggle. In the history of mankind, there were several instances when man continuously fights for this very right to freedom. He allows no one to violate it. By any means he tries to sustain it. That man by nature free is a usual contention. In fact,


All men seem to be at least experientially aware of freedom in choice. The experience is so primary, in fact, that it is difficult to conceive oneself operating as if there were no freedom at all. Data from literature, history, and personal communication present manifold testimony not only to freedom, but to the ambiguity, the deliberation, the irrevocability, and even the terror of it. It has often been maintained that this universal experience of freedom provides the greatest proof for its own existence.


Moreover, man as a rational being tends to organize himself together with other men. He cooperates and collaborates to others in order to organize themselves according to their given nature as free. Man therefore, seeks order, rules, laws, and principles that sustain freedom. In man’s cooperation with others, he comes to realize the value and meaning of a community, society, or state.

Furthermore, man as rational and free is able to organize a state governed by laws and rules which are necessary principles to maintain man’s freedom. They also sustain order and harmony among men as they strive to develop their potentialities. Thus, man’s freedom is sustained through the state he himself tries to organize together with others. Freedom is expressed in a communitarian perspective. It is the concern of everyone.

It is from this context where this study departs. It analyzes one of the significant events in the Philippine history’s fight for freedom. It tries to elucidate and expound the very reason behind the revolution of 1986 or the EDSA Revolution(s) in the light of Hegel’s philosophy of history. It is the claim of this study that EDSA revolution(s) is not a cultural structure of the Filipinos but an historical necessity on the Hegelian perspective.