tie that yellow ribbon again

Last Saturday, former President Corazon Aquino died from Colon Cancer. I only came to know about it when Father Anton (Pascual) offered the intention of her eternal repose during the opening mass of the LSE that morning. I was a little surprised, relieved and sad. I was surprised because probably, I too was hoping that her life will be extended a little more even if her death was something impending. I was relieved knowing that her physical suffering has finally come to an end. I have two close friends who's mom and aunt suffered cancer. I felt their pain from the discovery, to the treatment and until the death of their loved ones. It was something that although you have been preparing yourself for will just hit you with the same intensity. But I was sad because the Philippines lost a good political figure--one who exemplified integrity and good governance; one who delivered the Philippines from tyranny; one who became a beacon of hope.

I was still very small when the EDSA Revolution happened. I remember asking my parents one morning while they were preparing to leave, "San kayo pupunta?" They responded, "Sa EDSA." I immediately said, "Sama ako." I knew at my young age that EDSA was something big, something momentous. It excited me, more so, I wanted to witness what "EDSA" was myself. Of course, my parents did not heed to my request and I was left at home. Days later when things started heating up in Manila, I was brought to the province. I have only heard from the conversations of the adults that Marcos had left for Hawaii and the Philippines is finally free from his claws. Cory then became President. It was in the history books that I had fully understood more about why and how she became president, and I was happy she did.

I admired her courage for taking on the battle her husband left. A widow with five children could have chosen to mourn and be bitter with her misfortune, yet she did not. She shared in her husband's cause and believed it was noble and indeed worthy to be fought for. She fought head on to reclaim the leadership of the land even without any political experience. She knew her responsibility as a Filipino and used all the opportunities presented for the well-being of the motherland. She believed in her identity and fought for it passionately for the freedom of the country from the oppression of the Marcoses. I could surmise that her feat might have been stirred by a personal loss of the man she loves. Nevertheless, I salute her for using that pain to lead the Philippines out of misery of injustice and excessive human rights violation. She redeemed every Filipino's dignity by restoring democracy. Her greatest achievement as a political leader is the restoration of democracy and guarding it from any attack.

I admire her love for the Philippines. Just as the true essence of love, she sacrificed her comfort and took on a challenge that she had never took on ever in her life--only seek what is good for the beloved. One would see her integrity in service, when she did not sought for any extension in office neither taking on any position in government. All she desired was to serve the Filipinos by leading them in crossing over a new form of government where freedom exists.

I salute her for remaining to be a good mother despite the demands of her political obligations. I would like to believe that, indeed, she was able to raise good Filipinos in her children. Her moral values held her family together. Her youngest daughter, Kris' , failures might have been a national disappointment but Cory's motherly heart remained forgiving and I would rest to believe she made it a point that Kris will repair her life. In the various interviews that Kris will be in on TV, she will never fail in mention her mother and the pieces of advice she'd give her. My heart goes to her knowing that she will now be left to herself without a mother by her side.

Most of all, I see her deep faith in God and I would like to believe that she was very instrumental in order that God will be able to work for His Filipino people. Her faith kept her resilient amid the criticisms during her term as president. Her faith kept her wise and prudent in her actions. Her faith kept her family together despite the absence of a father.

Many would now call Cory a "Saint of People Power." I say, we leave that for the Catholic Church to decide. Undoubtedly, however, Cory is indeed an inspiration to most Filipinos. Let us not allow her efforts, and that of Ninoy, to die with them all in vain. I would like to quote, Jim Paredes when he said, that the overwhelming support and condolences of the people along the streets will be much more appreciated if we will keep it aflame until the next coming election in May 2010. I agree. Perhaps, if we do really love and appreciate President Cory (and Ninoy) let us continue fighting for democracy and good governance. It is also my prayer that the Philippines will have competent, committed and selfless leaders. EDSA I and II had already happened. Let us take on a new challenge by giving valuable meaning to of our right of suffrage.

Thank you, President Corazon Aquino. Thank you for restoring democracy and giving us the rights we now enjoy. You have lived by your name. You have become the heart of the Philippines and you will definitely remain in the hearts of every Filipino. May you rest peacefully in the bosom of our Creator.

Follow this link for the last part of her last State of the Nation Address in 1991.

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