Sunday, January 24

Remembering Cory Aquino

It's her birthday...

I met Corazon "Cory" Aquino when I was 11 years old while she was campaigning for the presidency. I went to school adjacent to our local Catholic church so we were herded to see her when she was there. I did not know the significance of the event unfolding before my eyes or even remember a word she said, but I recall shaking her hand and holding on to her skirt when she was about to leave... I didn't know why I did that, but she smilingly and very gently extricated herself from my grabby little hands.

I then went home boasting to my mother and anyone who would listen that I nearly got a glimpse of Cory's underwear! Grossly exaggerated I know, but you know how kids are. She subsequently "lost" the election to Ferdinand Marcos--the people were aghast at the obvious cheating and took to the streets. Cory Aquino then became president through "People Power" and Marcos hightailed it to Hawaii.

I didn't pay much attention to politics in the intervening years... apart from going to EDSA 2 where I saw her again, I pretty much didn't care about who's in charge of the country... except for Cory,they all are thieves anyway--sadly a fact of life in the Philippines.

When President Aquino died on August 1, 2009, I was one of the hundreds of thousands who flocked to the streets to pay respect to a great lady who gave so much. My friends and I waited for more than 3 hours in the noonday sun for a glimpse of her funeral cortege as it passed by Ayala Avenue on its way to the Manila Cathedral.

The outpouring of love for her that I witnessed there is an experience I will not forget. I met doctors, office workers, students, retirees--all there to pay their last respects and celebrate her life saying "siya lang ang di nagnakaw sa atin". The only president in our recollection who did not steal from us... and she restored democracy. Her presidency was far from perfect but we all knew she was honest.

Today would have been President Aquino's 77th birthday. Statues will be unveiled, masses offered for the woman who so changed history and up until the end, held the affection and respect of Filipinos. Her son Noynoy is himself now running for president, let's hope he's got his mother's integrity and selflessness.

“I have led a full life. I cannot complain," President Cory Aquino said in March 2008, when she was told that she had stage 4 cancer of the colon.

Here are some pictures of the funeral cortege last August '09:

confetti for Tita Cory

climbed up a fire truck for a better view

took pics while waiting

at last!

she was decent and honest

a fitting send-off


Liza,  21:10  

Naku ilang months bago bumalik ang kulay ko sa pag antay sa kanya. Sobrang worth it and historic. Di ba na sunburn ka rin?

Lynn 12:38  

Oo,nito lang pumantay yung lower arms ko mag 3/4 sleeves ba naman e... di ko naisip na ang tagal bago dumaan.

Anonymous,  20:11  

I really hope that Noynoy Aquino will follow his parents' legacy in clean politics..

Lynn 23:25  

I have the same wish too, Marvin.

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